Carry a Big Stick
A funny, fearless life of friendship, laughter and MS
The frank and fearless story of a man fighting MS with comedy.
Tim Ferguson was a star of the international comedy circuit. Along with Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler he was part of the edgy, provocative and very funny Doug Anthony All Stars (DAAS). In 1994 they were at the height of their powers, performing in a season at the Criterion Theatre on Piccadilly Circus. The three mates, who began busking on the streets of Canberra a decade earlier, had achieved their ambition to become the self-styled rock stars of comedy.
Then, all of a sudden, he woke up one morning and his whole left side wouldn't work. He'd had a lurking suspicion that something was wrong and after more episodes he went to a doctor thinking he'd be told to change his diet and get more sleep. It wasn't so simple. An eventual diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) meant an end to the frenetic, high-energy life he was living.
Carry a Big Stick is a chance for Tim to tell his story. He wants to make people laugh but also give inspiration to all the people doing it hard. A lot of people keep MS to themselves because it's invisible. In Tim's case, he has the stick. 'It's such a visible sign that something's happened; it's just easier if people know.'
Carry a Big Stick meanders through Tim's life, and explains how the boy who went to nine schools in 13 years got used to saying, 'Hi, I'm the new kid'. It will detail his ambitions to become an actor and how the Doug Anthony Allstars were born and went on to become what Rolling Stone called 'The 3 amigos from hell'. Diagnosis changed a lot of things but Tim s quick wit and sense of humour weren t affected. This inspiring memoir shows us that you can laugh in the face of adversity.
Read Caroline Baum Review
In the eighties and nineties, the Doug Anthony Allstars - Tim Ferguson, Paul McDermott, Richard Fidler - were pioneers of subversive, in-your-face, politically incorrect comedy. Starting as buskers in Canberra, they conquered the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and became Australia's favourite bad boys with their naughty lyrics, outrageous skits and fishnets.
Ferguson comes from a media savvy, high achieving family, but one which also harboured warning signs that something was not quite right. When symptoms of numbness, tingling, impaired vision and limping announced themselves, Ferguson harnessed his tremendous stamina and will to ignoring them - until he could no longer do so. The diagnosis of MS brings not one ounce of self-pity to this candid, playful and defiantly resilient memoir. An uplifting read for anyone interested in comedy, celebrity and self-re-invention in the face of disability.
About the Author
Tim Ferguson is a widely acclaimed comedian, writer and producer. He s toured the world performing stand-up and musical comedy, co-writing dozens of live stage comedy shows and light entertainment programmes. He has written and produced sitcoms, and is Australia s foremost teacher of screen comedy. Tim was a member of comedy trio Doug Anthony Allstars (DAAS) (with Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler). Author of the bestselling comedy manual The Cheeky Monkey Writing Narrative Comedy, Tim consults for various production companies.
BOOKTOPIA INTERVIEW: TIM FERGUSON ANSWERS BOOKTOPIA'S TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE