This s a post about Wil Anderson, my opinion of him over the last decade, his new podcast – but it also is about so much more than that! It is about learning a really hard lesson.
When I first learnt who Wil Anderson was I was a 18 kid, living on college in my first year of uni and I was in awe. I though him and Dave Hughes were two of the funniest and cleverest people I had ever come across. The Glasshouse become somewhat of a religion for me and a few of our friends.
The following year I meet him one night, he did a gig at our Uni Club and stayed after the show and drank with us. He even called me “Hot” during the show and I was on cloud nine.
Thing is as the night went on and the drinks kept following, he stopped being this comedic genius and started being a bit of a dick. He was kinda rockstar sleazy and I was gutted.
From then on I watched the Glasshouse for Dave and Corinne Grant but had a level of mild hatred for Wil. He had fallen off the pedestal and it has taken me a whole decade to get over it.
The Gruen Transfer and its following shows has been one of my favourite series since it started in 2008, but I always watched it begrudgingly. I love Todd and Russell but if Wil said something that made me laugh I often wouldn’t out some kind of crazy silent protest against him.
If I was honest, I still thought he was clever but I would pay him that because I had decided for myself that this man was a total dick!
This week, in doing some research I stumbled across he’s new podcast Wilosophy. It was late and I couldn’t sleep so I listened.
3 hours later I was wide awake, still listening, take notes and hanging on the every word of him and his guests.
It is a fascinating show where Wil talks with interesting people, such as Todd Sampson and Ben Lee. He discussing life, philosophy and just asked them about the kind people they are and how they see the world. It is memorising.
Wil also through the course of the show shares a lot about his views of the world, he life experiences and he’s own flaws.
The most confronting thing for me is my opinion of him says a lot more about me than it does him. He might be a dick, just quietly I don’t think he is, but that is none of my concern. He is a human being, he is flawed, just as the rest of us are.
The reason I reacted so strongly to him the night I met him is not because he even did anything particularly awful, but because I had made this hero version of him in my mind and he didn’t live up to that. Every sentence he said to us over our 13th jug of beer, was not as witty and articulated as the things he says on stage. He made lame jokes that I didn’t think were funny and he was just another guy in the club.
I have spent a decade cringing every time I saw his face on TV or in the media simply because he wasn’t as perfect as I had hoped he’d be.
I was also probably jealous of his intelligence and he’s ability to talk about serious issues in a such funny and seemingly effortless way.
I love his new podcast! It is the kind of conversations I would have with people all the time if they would let me.
But mostly I so grateful that I have been able to see him differently, get over my stupid private “Wil Anderson is a Dick” campaign. I feel lighter honestly because there is a bit less negative shit within me.
It has also made me think about the way I see and treat people who are actually part of my daily life. And I have realised attitudes towards people are often more a reflection of what’s going on with me, than it is about them.
Isn’t funny how seemingly unimportant moments can actually be piviot lessons in our life.