Comedy, Creative Entertainment, Hosts/MC's
Heath Franklin is a 29 year old Logie nominated Australian actor, comedic performer, improviser and writer. Franklin is best known for his characters from Network 10’s “The Ronnie Johns Half Hour”, and his numerous appearances on ABC TV’s “Spicks and Specks” and Channel 7/Working Dog’s “Thank God You’re Here”.
Franklin made his television debut on the sketch show “The Ronnie Johns Half Hour” (2005-06), and was in fact the eponymous host, on his papier mache horse, “The Good Taste Pony”. However, it is his character, Chopper, a comedic impersonation of real-life criminal Mark “Chopper” Read that has become an international cult hit, and continues to be one of the most regularly downloaded Australian videos on YouTube.
In 2006, Franklin’s efforts were rewarded when he was nominated for an Australian TV Logie award, the inaugural Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent.
Also in 2006, Franklin brought Chopper to the stage for “Chopper F**kin’ Bingo” in Sydney and Melbourne, which The Sydney Morning Herald’s Arts Review of 2006 named as one of the “five funniest shows of the year”. He has also performed sell out runs of “Chopper’s F**kin Bingo” at the 2007-09 Adelaide Fringes and 2006-09 Melbourne International Comedy Festivals, including a Sydney run of “Chopper’s F**kin Christmas Bingo” in 2007.
In 2007, Franklin performed his debut Australian national live tour of his character, Chopper, in “Chopper's Harden the F*ck Up Australia Tour”, encompassing 16 cities, 90 performances (over 40 performances added) and breaking box office records at the 2007 Adelaide Fringe. A live DVD of “Harden the F*ck Up, Australia” was released in March 2008.
In August 2007, Franklin was invited to perform an international version of “Chopper’s Harden the F*ck Up World Tour” in a sell-out season in London, before presenting the show at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show received strong reviews (4 stars, Three Weeks). Whilst in Edinburgh, Franklin also performed a dramatic role in Phil Nichol’s production of “Breaker Morant”, playing Lt Whitton, alongside fellow Australian comedians, Adam Hills and Brendon Burns.
At the 2007 Tour de France, the CSC cycling team chose “Harden the F**k Up” as their team motto, wearing Franklin’s black “Harden the F**k Up” inspiration wristbands during the race, thereafter becoming a must-have item in professional world cycling. The Carlton AFL Football club also adopted “Harden the F**k Up” as their 2008 team motto. Similarly, the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and New Zealand’s Americas Cup yacht team also use Chopper’s “Harden the F*ck Up” as their mottos.
In early 2008, Franklin toured his second Australian national Chopper tour, the critically acclaimed, “Make Deadsh*ts History” (5 stars - The Sunday Mail, 4 stars -The Age). Its initial run was performed over 100 times in 24 cities, prompting a 21-city return tour in late 2008, selling over 50,000 tickets and playing to over 130 performances by year’s end. In July 2008, he returned to London for another sell out season. A live DVD of “Make Deadsh*ts History”, recorded in D-Division at Pentridge Prison, Melbourne Australia was released October 19, 2009.
Since 2007, Franklin, as Chopper, has sold over 130,000 tickets across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. He recently broke box offices records in his tour of New Zealand.
In 2009, Heath Franklin played the lead role of “Mervyn Toebuck”, alongside Jemaine Clement of NZ’s “Flight of the Conchords” in the black comedy feature film, “Predicament”. He is currently developing a new, yet unnamed TV show.
“Australia's funniest comedy character.”
“Franklin is a true comedy talent.”
“This is character comedy at its finest. Franklin has charismatic aggression down to a fine art; a bloody funny show.”