Comedian Joel Creasey doesn’t think 27 years old is too young to be writing a memoir.
In new book Thirsty: Confessions of a Fame Whore, Joel offers up everything from celebrity anecdotes to stories about growing up gay in Perth to travelling the country on the stand-up circuit aged just 15.
Joel says he’s been fame-obsessed “probably since I was four years old. I used to perform for my parents every night, but whenever they said they were having dinner parties I was thrilled because it was four times the crowd!”
“I’ve been in entertainment for more than 20 years and I think it’s nice to hear a younger person’s perspective on the industry,” he said.
“There’s so many stories about growing up gay but they’re usually from older people. And the publisher made me the offer, so who’s going to say no?”
Joel’s carved out a niche in stand-up comedy with pop culture and celebrity gossip, and in his book he shares stories from a run-in with Kylie Minogue in an airport lounge to how he and Chrissie Swan became best friends in the jungle on the first season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Even the book’s launch late last month was a star-studded affair.
“I don’t know whether all the celebrities were there to celebrate with me or just to check whether they’re in the book,” he said.
“My mum called Gina Liano from the Real Housewives ‘Lydia’. It was great.”
Last night I launched my very first memoir 'Thirsty' and I can't quite believe it! If I don't make Oprah's book club I will be furious and will take Gayle hostage if I have to. My book will be in stores in about 10 days or you can pre-order from website now. It's taken me 2 years to write and it would mean the world to me if you read it. Or at least bought it so I got your money. Here's a photo from the red carpet last night with some beautiful ladies and Dannii Minogue!
Joel dedicated the book to his comedy idol and one-time tour-mate Joan Rivers, who sadly passed away shortly after they shared a stage in 2014. “I always loved her and loved how brave she was. Joan really made pop culture stand-up a thing and she really shaped my stand-up,” he said.
“A lot of people think of it as frivolous, especially in this day and age of political comedy. But people often just wanted to laugh, and that’s what she always said. Just be funny, it doesn’t matter what the content is.”
But in Thirsty he also goes deeper, discussing breakups, body image and famously being chased out of country town Colac by homophobes in 2011.
Joel’s never before talked about growing up a couple of doors down from Heath Ledger’s family and how he was affected by the actor’s funeral in Los Angeles in 2008.
“Their family were friends with mine, and they lived down the road. I watched Heath grow up, and I thought if that boy from Perth can do that, so can I,” Joel said.
“It was at a weird point of my life. I’d never dealt with grief before and I was just coming out, it made me grow up quickly.”
Last month Joel made international headlines when he announced on the publicity trail he’d dated a current and “bloody good” AFL footballer in Melbourne, where Joel now lives.
“It’s only three lines in the book and it became a really big deal. I had to turn my phone off, because people were just going nuts,” he said.
“It happened, and good luck to him. It just goes to show that there are gays in football. There are gays everywhere.
“I feel for the first AFL player that comes out because he’s going to be ‘the gay player’, and you don’t want that. You want to be identified as the best in your field, not as the best gay player.
“I’ve been to the AFL a few times and I’ve seen lots of homophobic taunts yelled out. I think the AFL is doing a great job with it but there’s still a way to go.”
The comedian’s also been less than impressed with the standard of debate during the same-sex marriage postal survey, which officially closed on Tuesday.
“It’s been disgusting and thank f–k it’s almost over. I’ve been a major target, but I’d rather it be me and not a struggling LGBTI youth in some small town,” he said.
“I’m really confident [about the result]. It’s just a shit thing to have happened. I’ve found everyone on the ‘yes’ side in general has been so funny and laughed their way through it.”
Joel is currently dating model Jack Stratton-Smith, and he says they just recently moved in together.
“That’s new for me. The good thing about being gay is you inherit a whole new wardrobe, which is awesome,” he said.
The comedian has been asked back to host the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras next year, and he’ll also head to Portugal with Myf Warhurst to again provide commentary on the Eurovision Song Contest.
Joel can currently be seen on Channel 10 drama series Sisters and he’s also got a role on iconic soap Neighbours coming up.
“I play Nick, the new gay in town who’s a bit of a misunderstood stalker,” he said.
“That was fun because it was a soap opera. It was very over the top, and they were like ‘Yes! More!’ They’re all so nice out at Neighbours. I had a blast doing it.”
Thirsty: Confessions of a Fame Whore is out now.