“Rob Schneider is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, although the characters he plays are anything but that.”
NAME: Monty Franklin
CREDITS: The Comic’s Lounge, New Girl (Fox), Real Rob (Netflix)
Interview by Joanne Kmaid
Any grand story behind your unique name?
Not really, it’s basically a dog’s name. I hear people yelling at me a lot in parks. You’d have to ask my mum what her plan was there.
What does America have that we don’t?
Lots of Mexican food! It’s glorious. America has far more opportunities; not that Australia is lacking in that, but the population of Australia is in California alone, so the amount of ‘everything’ here is much greater. California is like Australia but on a high – Work opportunities, entertainment, events and food. It’s all out of control here.
Do you still call Australia home?
Of course! Australia and I have an arrangement – I am allowed to see other countries, but I will always come home to her. I have been blessed to travel all over our country. Nowhere else in the world can you see the colour red that is found in the outback of Western Australia or the world that lies beneath the ocean of the Great Barrier Reef. When I travel within America for work, people smile when they hear my accent. I am proud to share in a culture that holds a great reputation for being good-natured, fun people.
The Comic’s Lounge is awesome at supporting local talents. It’s great to have you part of the line-up next week.
The Comic’s Lounge in Melbourne is my home comedy club. I started there 12 years ago, so going back is like going home. I love coming back to an Australian audience. Performing in America, I have to be aware of my accent and wording, so people understand me. At the Lounge, I feel like I’m talking with my mates.
As a writer, where do you draw your inspiration from?
All my writing comes from a comedic background. I have never written anything serious, ever. Most of my humour comes from The Simpsons. I grew up watching that, so it’s filtered through in the way I find things funny or the way I write about things.
Tell us about your creative journey. A hard climb or great contacts?
A hard climb… And I’m still climbing. Great contacts only come from the hard work of getting yourself in a position to have them notice you. No one has ever been plucked from obscurity and been handed greatness, they work their asses off to get there. I work by the philosophy that when the opportunity arises, you better have done the hard work to blow them away.
How crucial is it for an artist to pursue more than one talent?
I know plenty of people who just do one thing, like stand-up comedy, acting, magic, and they nail it. Pursuing a variety is good to broaden you professionally, and things like improv and acting can help a lot with stand-up. But if you are good at one thing and love the work, then just do that, but do it so well that no one will deny you. Growing up, I had a friend who was good at all sports, but he chose to focus on AFL. So while the rest dabbled in basketball and baseball, he just played football and went on to become one of the best players.
What is it like working with Rob Schneider? Is he true to his characters?
I have worked with Rob for 3 years now. I open for him on the road and have been in 2 seasons of his Netflix show. He is a mentor and friend. He is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, although the characters he plays are anything but that. He is every bit hilarious and he has been in this industry for 30 years, so he really knows his work. He’s a legend.
New Girl has reached its 7th Season, how does that make you feel?
It’s a great show; all the people working on it were fantastic and I’m blessed to have been involved in an awesome project.
Do you get recognised in public?
No, only if my family see me out somewhere, then they tend to remember me.
What is a perfect world for you?
6th glassy lefts… And if you don’t know what that means, I probably sound insane!
This interview was submitted by Cinema Australia contributor Joanne Kmaid. If you have an article or interview you would like to submit for our consideration please contact us today.