From 1986-2006, Lano and Woodley were one of the most successful Australian comedy acts around. Consisting of Colin Lane and Frank Woodley (always seen wearing a red hat when part of the duo), the guys won Perrier awards, ARIA awards, released an album and even had their own sitcom, ‘The Adventures of Lano and Woodley’. Their humour lay somewhere between The Goodies and The Young Ones; in other words it was very, very silly. Frank Woodley is the master of slapstick comedy and ridiculous stunts. Audiences are constantly on edge around him simply because you can never tell when he will next do a perfectly-timed and rehearsed fall, or come crashing towards an audience. He’s also very childish:
“When Colin and I first met, I didn’t have any pubes… well I did have some, they just weren’t mine. I used to collect them and keep them in a jar. They’re like snowflakes, no two are ever the same. They’re beautiful in that way.”
The dynamic between the two was that of an old married couple, constantly bickering and with Frank desperate to get any form of affection from Colin. They had massive appeal to younger audiences as well as older ones because of their childish squabbling and clever visual jokes. A perfect example of this is their song ‘Bouncy Rabbit’ (watch until the very end…):
Lano and Woodley had several incredibly successful tours over the years, some of which they performed internationally. ‘The Island’ centred around the duo shipwrecked on an island together, ‘Bruiser’ where Frank is forced to fight a local strongman, and their final tour ‘Goodbye’. ‘Goodbye’ was a massively successful tour which took in 37 cities and towns across Australia and sold over 125,000 tickets. The pair decided to go their seperate ways after 20 years, stating that they were still best friends and wanted it to stay that way. They’ve both achieved success as solo artists in the last 5 years, with Frank touring several shows across the world. Colin has written his own shows too and is also a temporary presenter on ‘The Circle’ (the Australian version of ‘Loose Women’).
Their success came from being charmingly childish, surreal, but most of all because they came across as warm and friendly. Yes they would throw in the occasional swearword and talk about sex, but they were never offensive or cruel.
However, Frank Woodley taught all comics a valuable lesson on one appearance on the panel show ‘Spicks and Specks’: If a joke is falling a little bit flat, you can always get a bollock out…