By dan

Making climate change sexy…media sexy

This post originally appeared on Mumbrella.

There are some other great articles about what we did at COP 21’s Fossil of the Day.

Buzzfeed’s Meet The People Trolling The Fuck Out Of The Paris Climate Talks”
The Guardian’s Live Blog + “Australia wins ‘fossil of the day’ for Julie Bishop’s coal speech at Paris climate talks”
The Fossil of the Day Award Is the Best Part of the Paris Climate Summit”


There are two phrases that put people to sleep faster than “anthropogenic climate change”, the others are “Look at this picture of my kids” and “I think I have a rash”. For the last couple of weeks I had the challenge to make climate change sexy for the world’s media.


But that was the challenge faced each night by myself and the team from Woody at the COP climate conference in Paris. We were tasked with putting a Fossil Of The Day on stage in the middle of the conference centre. We presented to a live audience of media, conference delegates and bored security a diet jokes, and sketches to entertain and make sense of the negotiations that happened nightly in that conference centre, but with the intent to shame governments who were making complete arses of themselves.

The conundrum of course is that the importance of the COP21 Paris Agreement was inverse to how heinously boring Climate Change is. My job; distil the buckets of bullshit down to manageable bite size nuggets of bullshit.

The COP climate conferences are essentially the Olympics for policy wonks. Every night during the negotiations the members of the Climate Action Network  would be dispatched to observe the talks first hand.  CAN is an organisation of 950 NGOs from 110 countries, they’re full of the most hardened climate literate junkies.

Some of these people had been at the talks for over 20 years, they mostly spoke in English, however the language they speak is cluttered with so many acronyms to the untrained ear it sounds like they’re all learning the alphabet for the first time.

They’d honorably stay up all night, observe negotiations bicker over the bare minimum they’d be willing to do to prevent the end of civilisation, semantics, syntax, and the placement of punctuation. Hollywood has us believe that the end of the world will end with a huge explosion, but if this agreement goes wrong, the world will end with a 23 year long protracted argument about the definition of “differentiation”.

During the CAN Daily meeting, around 300 members gathered to share the intel on the negotiations from the night before, and would nominate who would win the Fossil each day. At this point 30 minutes of debate, arguing, and sometimes tears would ensue. Members would then vote on the merit of the Fossil nomination, a highly tedious democratic process that makes dictatorships look appealing.

I would then have roughly 2 hours for the CAN members to break down the issue for me, point by point, then I would translate it to something a normal person could understand and write 10-15 minutes of jokes to go with it. Writing in Google Docs to allow contributors to chime in at the same time, and with a Slack window open ordering quick turn around graphics from the Woody production team.

We then would then put on a show; try to make it loud, funny and visually interesting, just something big and shiny enough for a tv journalist to turn into a 90 second news package.

And unlike the jokes I’ve cracked throughout the most of my career the effect was immediately tangible. After receiving a fossil on the first day of the COP, Belgium changed their position on signing onto the EU targets after receiving 48 hours of negative media coverage based on the shame of being awarded a Fossil Of The Day.

Argentina received a Fossil for promoting the new ambitious 1.5° target, but at the same time, during that day’s parliament was voting on the nationalisation of coal assets. The vote failed under the pressure from the opposition, after press from the Fossil of The Day reached Buenos Aires, the nationalisation didn’t go through, the coal assets will probably be stranded and the country committed to more aggressive funding for renewables.

Even Saudi Arabia, a country with a press as free as a bird trapped in cage, in quicksand, in a dungeon, received the Fossil of The Day three days in a row. Rumor has it Saudi negotiators got a call from a frustrated King Salman, who basically said “look I’ve been reading BuzzFeed tone it down a notch”. When it comes to the Saudi’s that’s a radical progressive shift in policy.

Very rarely do you get an opportunity to do Kardashian jokes that have such an immediate effect on public policy. The COP is such a walled ecosystem of politics, lobbyists, and NGOs, and “civil society” it’s understandable that the information coming out of it is dense and perplexing, it was an absolute privilege to take that two weeks of bullshit in Paris and make it palatable to audiences around the world.

I once did a gig with Rod Quantock who when asked why he does so many joke about climate change said “because if I don’t, there’ll be nothing else to make jokes about.”

By dan

How to call in Sick… (Entertainment meets content)

Last month I was dropped into one of my favourite places on earth, and was forced to have 4 days of fun, in a professional context.

Destination Queenstown and One Green Bean got me on board to front and co write their “How to call in sick.” campaign.

The piece turned out great, and engagement so far is extraordinary. Being pushed through mainly social media channels, “How to call in sick” is a great example of how to make great entertaining content that sells home a message.

This was the ideal job.

Trusting client, collaborative director, tight production. When those elements all fall into place that’s when the best work is done. The trick in jobs like this is for everyone to be on board to give license to each other to do what they do well.

I had a great time…. Hope you like the piece.


Creative – OGB
Executive Creative Director – Kat Thomas
Director: Josh Whiteman
Producer: Alistair Ferrier -Octogon
Producer: Jessica Silver
Production Company: Two Bearded Men
Post Production: The Gingerbread Man

By dan

GetUp 2013: Three Videos I’m Heaps proud of

This past election season I had the great opportunity to
work with the sharp brains and bleeding hearts at GetUp!. GetUp!
are a fantastic non partisan lobby group who fight for progressive
change in Australian politics. Since
2006 I’ve been creating communications that cut through and educate
the electorate on policy often using the sharpest most pointed
It’s been a wonderful synergy. This year I took a
more hands on role in content creation. Two days a week I
worked on strategy, writing, directing, and producing bits of
content throughout the election campaign with my producer, Peter
Slee, at Motion Picture Company.

Often the brief would land in our inbox 3
days before it was to air or be published. That kind of turn around
is really exciting, but also terrifying, and compromises always get
made to get the final product over the line in time, but the work
is truly fulfilling. Working with such a passionate, beautiful
bunch of people who are slaving their guts out to make our country
better everyday is a privilege. Here are three of my favourite
spots I worked on for Electapoolooza 2013.

Bad Designs –
Manus Island

(Write/Direct/VO) When Kevin announced the
expansion of Manus Island, I was with one of the GetUp team in the
car listening to the announcement on the radio. We made a few dark
jokes about how only way this policy could be more palatable is if had been on Grand Designs. Two weeks
later we delivered this sketch. (I’m particularly proud of my Kevin
McCloud Impression… and I know.. the word Bespoke is missing)

Game Of Seats

(Write/Direct) The brief here
was to create a spot about how to vote and inform people about the
senate. It’s a notoriously difficult subject to do properly, and
get the information across in a short space of time without boring
people to suicide. We tried many different scripts, from simple
explainers, to nude sketches, to hip hop raps, to Game of Thrones
hip hop raps. We finally settled on this Game Of Thrones inspired
sketch. It
came out about two weeks before Juice Media’s Rap News
Theirs blew up due to the Assange factor. I
was totes jellz. This was an epic production, we shot in a 70’s
besser block castle on the sunshine coast, that on first glance
looked hokey, but one screen came up a treat. We started rolling at
9am and finished at 6pm, and delivered the edit to GetUp two days
later. Big thanks go to our wonderful cast, production designer,
and team at Motion Picture Company.

Progressive Australia

(Direct) This spot was
made with real Getup members to remind the membership base what
GetUp does and why they do it. After we made this super
positive spot, Labor put out a spot about two weeks later that
looked very similar that was all negative. Bravo.

By dan

Stuff I Directed in 2012

You may be familiar with my comedy work on television and on stage, but what you may not realise is that being a comedian and working television doesn’t necessarily  pay the bills.

So when I can, I try to whore myself out as a writer/director for people with money who want to try and sell you stuff.

So here is a bunch of stuff that I made for various clients this year.

I really enjoy directing comedy, and because I’m a performer first and foremost I’m able work with actors on another level to get the best performances out of them.

Game – Xbox Kinect
Agency: Downwind Media
Production: Motion Picture Company

This was a TVC that was born out of a buch of digital video content that we made for the now in administration “Game”… who still owe me lots of money.

GAME 60sec Online Version from Motion Picture Company on Vimeo.


Bob and Doreen’s Sneak Peek – Commonwealth Bank


Agency: White Agency

Production: Motion Picture Company

CBA Netbank Sneak Peek from Motion Picture Company on Vimeo.

More Bob and Doreen – Commonwealth Bank
Agency: White Agency
Production: Motion Picture Company

CBA – How to use NetBank with Bob and Doreen from Motion Picture Company on Vimeo.

Mitsubishi Electric – Fast Ed
Agency: DMCi
Production: Motion Picture Company

Mitsubishi Electric – Fridge – Fast Ed TVC from Motion Picture Company on Vimeo.

Team Clover
Director, Producer
Agency: Downwind Media
Production: Motion Picture Company

In 2012 I got the opportunity to create a few little videos to help Clover Moore get re-elected. Tiny budget. Nice results.

GetUp! – Don’t Cut Foreign Aid
Production: Motion Picture Company

We made a 90 second version to send out to GetUp! members then, we made a 30 second version once we heard that the government were going to drop the idea of a surplus. In some ways the 30 second is funnier.

GetUp! – Ask For The Aid Back 90 Sec – Dan Ilic from Dan Ilic on Vimeo.

GetUp! – Ask For The Aid Back – Dan Ilic from Dan Ilic on Vimeo.

By dan

Y2Gay to play the LA Comedy Festival!!

If you’re in LA November 4th, swing along to the LA Comedy Festival!!

Y2Gay will be screening in the Shorts Programme 10 at 4pm


Los Feliz 3 Cinemas
1822 N. Vermont Ave.


(Any Aussie comedians in the vicinity of the screening, if you could represent our little film that’d be great…. if you could do a Q And A and film it on your mobile… that’ll also be hilarious!)

By dan

Honing my Jones

The poor parrot, lately he’s been out of his cage causing a racket. Alan Jones has been a powerful force in Australian media for a very long time. It’s been said that his influence can make or break Prime Ministers.

However lately he seems to be losing that golden touch. Traditional media in all forms is becoming flatter, and broadcasting is becoming narrower. I secretly love The Parrot, I think he’s a terrific, strange and repugnant character who claims to be the voice of the battler. He’s one man who is very much in touch with everyday people, he sees them out the window of his chauffeur driven merc , swiftly walks past them on the way to his private lift at his office, peers down at them with binoculars from his penthouse apartment above Sydney’s toaster. I’m sure he even hears stories about battlers from David his butler.

That’s why I love Alan, he’s a guy that’s missing something from his life, so he fills it with the fantastic (and fabulous) Here are several impressions I’ve done of Alan Jones over the years… from the latest to the very first. He’s beautiful character.

Alan Jones has at least ONE advertiser left on his show…. Alan Jones (Thanks to Charlie Pickering for this idea)

Alan Jones makes a heartfelt apology to the Prime Minister:

Alan Jones in Annie The Musical (Hamster Wheel ABCTV)

I can’t find this clip online.. but I’ll see if I can dig it up somewhere else… Written by Chris Taylor, it was a sketch about Jone’s incorrect figures on climate change. Classic Chaser.

Dan Ilic doing Alan Jones at Digital Eskimo’s Do Gooder Launch 

Do Gooder – Dan Ilic does Alan Jones from Do Gooder on Vimeo.

Alan Jones talks climate denial with HG Nelson (Steaming Toad)

Alan Jones does a cameo in I’m A Climate Scientist
Probably my favourite sketch I wrote and directed for Hungry Beast

Ever noticed how John Michael Howson and Alan Jones sound the same?

Alan Jones vs The Worm (Fairfax Media)

Alan Jones calls the date for the 2007 Election (Fairfax Digital)
This was the very first go at it… so the writing is a bit dodgy… and man.. I am seriously fat… why did no one tell me?

A great pic from the set of I’m A Climate Scientist

By dan

Dan Ilic is Legally Ambiguous @ Sydney Fringe



I’ve decided to cobble together some standup some stories and some videos for my first ever solo show.

If you’re a good friend of mine, you are certainly not obliged to come, it’s pretty much the same old dribble you’ve seen for the last few years, compacted in to 50 minutes.
However if you are new to my work then this would be a great introduction to it.

Sep 19,21,22
The Factory Theatre
Main Room Bar

Have you ever been sued by the Australian government? Have you ever tried to assassinate a presidential candidate? Have you ever been heckled by the Taliban? Dan Ilic has.

In his first solo comedy show, Dan Ilic(Ronnie Johns, Hungry Beast, Can Of Worms) takes you behind his comedy to highlight the legal ambiguities in his work. It’s subversive, it’s naughty, it’s raw, it’s very very funny.

Part keynote, part standup, part holiday snaps from Afghanistan, part examination of the human condition.

(if you know Dan personally it’s probably going to the same dinner party stories he’s been peddling for years.)

(Tickets are no longer available on thursday 20th Sept….sorry I forgot I had to do Can Of Worms)

By dan

Kred’s Top Ten Australian Influencers on Social Media

2 politicians, 1 former sports star, 1 reality TV runner up, and 6 young people old people have no idea exist make up the top ten influential Australians on social media according to influence index Kred.

This top ten list shows how the digital devide between old and young exists and is growing. The networks that the stars of youtube and twitter have developed digtally are just as powerful to a global digital audience as traditional media audience in Australia.

Cody Simpson, a 15 year old singer songwriter from the Gold Coast heads up the list, his fame and influence is due in most part to the growth of his YouTube channel.

A couple of comedians from the sketch comedy group The Janoskians are also high up the list. The muckraking teenagers pull pranks in the shopping centres and streets of melbourne and generally causing trouble. They are shambolic and wonderful. The kind of smartarses you wanna be friends with at school, but wouldn’t want to cross.

Another intersting person is Melbourne schoolgirl Jasmine Curtis Smith. While in Melbourne she’s just another girl. In the philipines she’s a massive TV star.

Thanks to the folk at PeopleBrowsr for hooking us up with some sweet data.

Here’s the list:



Kred: 965 Klout: 68

Former Prime Minister.
Renowned Knife Collector.
Has a tea named after him.



Kred: 967 Klout: 69

Prime Minister.
Hairdresser Enthusiast.
Enjoys Moving Forward.



Kred: 970 Klout: 67

Actress / Model.
Big in the Philippines
Goes to School in Melbourne



Kred: 970 Klout: 71

Real life social media expert.
Marketing expert.



Kred: 872 Klout 73

Sporting legend.
Fresh Faced.
Wears white undies.



Kred: 974 Klout: 78

Came fourth on The Voice.
Not related to Bono.



Kred:  984 Klout: 68

Teenager on the Gold Coast.
Best friend of Cody Simpson.
(Cody Simpson Halo Effect)



Kred:  985 Klout: 80

Melbourne Teenager.
YouTube Prankster.



Kred: 992 Klout: 83

Melbourne Teenager.
YouTube Prankster.
Janoskians. (The good looking one)



Kred: 1000 Klout: 85

15 year old.
YouTube Star.

By dan

Funny People Instagramed: Photo Gallery

Ove the years I’ve taken loads of shots of comedians behind the scenes on TV and at gigs, festivals and shows all over the world.

To celebrate the 2012 comedy season, I’ve instagramed a few of my favourites.

I’m thinking of doing an exhibition…. let me know… would you like to see more in the flesh?


Renegades of Folk – @MrJoshEarl & @BeddyPhil – #micf 2006

The @axisofawesome celebrate their birthday – Roxbury Hotel Glebe – 2009





1 2 3 4
Making climate change sexy…media sexy
The Guardian made a thing with me, and it made me cry.
GetUp 2013: Three Videos I’m Heaps proud of
Stuff I Directed in 2012
Y2Gay to play the LA Comedy Festival!!
Honing my Jones
Dan Ilic is Legally Ambiguous @ Sydney Fringe
Kred’s Top Ten Australian Influencers on Social Media
Funny People Instagramed: Photo Gallery