A punter once took offence to a joke and hurled a beer bottle, hitting him in the cheek.
“I pretended that it didn’t hurt so everyone laughed, but after I had to go to hospital and get stitches,” the Maylands local recalls.
In the ups and downs of comedy that was a low point but the highlight of a relatively short career was taking out the Melbourne Raw comedy prize in 2011.
“It was definitely the funniest and most exciting ever,” the awkward, nerdy comic says. “Everyone at work still can’t believe it but I have a video to prove it. Nobody can say they are funnier because I have the video…so I don’t care if anyone argues about it.
“I even said to my brother ‘I’m going to win’, and then I did so that does prove it,” he says.
Rathbone kicked off his comedy career in Canberra in 2009: “At first every one was really good, but Nick Cody was really bad and nobody laughed.
“But he gave me confidence that at least if I was bad I wouldn’t be the worst one at the show.”
Rathbone reckons when it comes to comedy it’s a case of sticking to it, no matter what others may say.
“Everyone says you can’t learn…or pass maths but if you even spend as much time thinking about it as you do on the toilet you can learn to play the piano two and a half times.”
He gets plenty of opportunity, with pre-show nerves kicking in big time: “[I] have to do at least three to five toilet visits.”
The Perth International Comedy Festival was a stellar success when it kicked off last year.
And it’s back until May 19, at venues across Stirling, from the Astor Theatre, to the Mt Lawley Bowling Club’s Jack High room and Laugh Locker, to venues in Perth and Subiaco.
There are more than 50 events and 150 performances with local, national and international comedians performing.
They include Maylands/Leederville-based Sons of Fred, and an act with a dance move guaranteed to change your life.
Rathbone is on at the Jack High Club, May 14, tix $20.90.
You can catch the Suns of Fred at the Velvet Lounge, May 15–18.
But there’s a heap more acts if you’re unlucky enough to miss those, including household names Hannah Gatsby, Akmal and Bob Downe.
Check the Perth International Comedy Club website for more details.
by JENNY D’ANGER