The word seminal however has two meanings that could indicate what path Nicholson's show will take. Seminal means "strongly influencing later developments" and also "relating to or denoting semen" - two very different paths. "Look let’s be honest, if you’re aware of my work, I think you know which one it is," Nicholson tells me. "I never know what to say to 'what can we expect?' Expect me to be on stage. Expect about 56 minutes of jokes. Don’t expect live animals. All the animals in the show are dead."
Considering Nicholson went into the lucrative career that is stand-up comedy because he has "absolutely no other skills", he has generated a substantial fan-base and was even nominated for the Barry Award in 2016 for the most outstanding show at the festival. In his near-decade of performing, there are still a few memorable audience reactions to his shows that he holds dear to his heart. "Last year during the Comedy Festival, David O’Doherty and a few hundred audience members sang Happy Birthday to me on my birthday," he recalls. "Also once, an elderly woman walked out of my show very slowly saying 'I think I’ve heard enough of what this boy is trying to do'. Happy times."
Despite not satisfying one elderly woman, Nicholson begins working on a new show far in advance in order to keep his audience laughing. Sometimes, formulating his ideas even a few weeks before opening night. "I start to work on the jokes and for about three months before the season I try and write but just procrastinate and eventually cram everything right in the last week. Then I work with my director Kyran to try and sort out what the show is," Nicholson tells me. "Then I perform it a bunch of times. I don’t get too nervous anymore but it depends on the show. I tend to just go a bit numb if I’m worried about it. Before a show I like to have one small drink like a whiskey or something. I also pee, like a lot. Like I’ll pee five times in 20 minutes. Then I finish the show and get to do it all over again and so I am gradually losing my mind."
Venue: Swiss Club, 89 Flinders Ln. (Tues-Sun) & Melbourne Town Hall, Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts. (Mondays).
Season: 29 March - 22 April | Mon 9pm, Tues - Sat 8.15pm, Sun 7.15pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $28 - $33 Full | $25 Tightarse Tuesday and Preview
Bookings: MICF website