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Chris Lilley (comedian) facts for kids

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Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley 2014 (2).jpg
Lilley at the 2014 ARIA Music Awards in Sydney
Birth name Christopher Daniel Lilley
Born (1974-11-10) 10 November 1974 (age 49)
Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia
  • Barker College
  • Macquarie University

Christopher Daniel Lilley (born 10 November 1974) is an Australian comedian, actor, writer, musician, director, and producer. He is known for his creation and portrayal of several fictional characters in the mockumentary television series We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year (2005), Summer Heights High (2007), Angry Boys (2011), Ja'mie: Private School Girl (2013), Jonah from Tonga (2014), and the web series Lunatics (2019). He is a two-time winner of the Logie Award for Most Popular Actor.


Lilley in 2009

He began his career in his twenties as a stand-up comedian while also working as a childcare worker at Turramurra North Public School and a shop assistant. In 2003, Lilley made his debut in Big Bite, a Seven Network comedy programme, in which he portrayed extreme sports enthusiast Extreme Darren and the high-school drama teacher Mr G, a character that he continued in Summer Heights High. Big Bite was nominated for Best Television Comedy Series at the 2003 Australian Film Institute Awards, marking the first time a comedy programme from a commercial television network had ever been nominated at the Australian Film Institute Awards. It did not win. The producers co-credited Lilley; however, the show lasted only one series before being spun off into a comedy/variety programme. Lilley was a recurring guest on the programme, but it was cancelled after only a few episodes.

Lilley appeared in the film satire Ned, based on the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. He appeared as the "MSN Butterfly" in a series of television advertisements and Cinema for MSN. He has also appeared on the Hamish & Andy radio show.

In 2015, Lilley was the main actor for The Stafford Brothers, Rick Ross and Jay Sean's "When You Feel This" music video.

We Can Be Heroes

After the cancellation of Big Bite, Lilley created We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year, a six-part series on the ABC, in which he portrayed various characters nominated for the Australian of the Year Award. The series was co-written with Ryan Shelton.

Lilley portrayed several characters in the series: Phil Olivetti, a self-obsessed police officer; Ricky Wong, a Chinese Australian university physics student from Melbourne; Pat Mullins, a 47-year-old housewife with a dream to roll on her side from Perth, Western Australia to Uluru, Northern Territory; Daniel Sims, a teenage boy who donates an eardrum to his deaf twin brother, Nathan (both Daniel and Nathan later appeared in "Angry Boys"); and Ja'mie King, a narcissistic girl attending a private high school in Sydney (Ja'mie later appeared in "Summer Heights High" and "Ja'mie: Private School Girl").

Lilley was nominated for Best Comedy Series and Best Lead Actor in Television at the 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards, and won the Best New Talent and Most Outstanding Comedy Program awards at the Logie Awards of 2006. He also received a Rose d'Or award in Switzerland for Best Male Comedy Performance. Following the series' success, it was sold to other countries under the new name The Nominees.

Summer Heights High

Lilley's second mockumentary series, Summer Heights High, aired on ABC TV in 2007.

In the series, Lilley played the series' three main characters at a public school: Ja'mie King, Mr G and Jonah Takalua. In March 2008, Lilley released a single, "Naughty Girl", based on the series, and performed in character as drama teacher Mr G.

At the 2008 Logie Awards he was nominated for four awards including Most Outstanding Actor and Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Television, and won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor and the Logie Award for Most Outstanding Comedy Program.

The series was sold to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Lilley embarked on a promotional tour of the United States in October 2008 to promote the U.S. broadcast of the series, which began airing on HBO on 9 November 2008. The BBC began showing the programme on BBC Three in June 2008.

When asked whether there would be a second series, Lilley stated, "I never thought about it in the beginning because it was always a one-off thing. I'm not into just cashing in and rolling off into a second series that is not as good. I really enjoyed making the show, so the thought of writing and going back there again is really fun and exciting, but I haven't made a decision on what to do next."

Angry Boys

Chris Lilley (6902314009) (cropped)
Lilley in 2012

Angry Boys, Lilley's third mockumentary series, aired on ABC in Australia and BBC in the UK in 2011, and HBO in the US in 2012. The 12-part comedy series features six vastly different new characters played by Lilley. The show introduces S.mouse!, a US rapper; Jen Okazaki, manipulative Japanese mother; Blake Oakfield, a champion surfer; Ruth "Gran" Sims, a guard at a juvenile detention facility; and her grandchildren, South Australian twins Daniel and Nathan Sims (who also featured in We Can Be Heroes).

Lilley won the inaugural AACTA Award in 2012 for Best Comedy Performance in Television for Angry Boys.

Ja'mie: Private School Girl

Ja'mie: Private School Girl, which aired in 2013, is a six-part half-hour comedy series. It was produced by Melbourne-based production company Princess Pictures and Chris Lilley, and was a co-production between the ABC in Australia and HBO in the US. It was pre-sold to BBC Three in the UK.

On 8 September 2013, Lilley revealed that the returning character to the series was Ja'mie King, from We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High; he also revealed the title of the show.

Lilley won the 2014 Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor for his performance in Ja'mie: Private School Girl.

Jonah from Tonga

On 26 November 2013, Lilley confirmed that he would be reviving Jonah Takalua for a new show in 2014, titled Jonah From Tonga. Jonah had been introduced in Lilley's 2007 series Summer Heights High. At the conclusion of that series, Jonah was expelled from Summer Heights High School. In the new series, his father, Rocky Takalua, has sent him back to his homeland of Tonga to live with his uncle and their family in order to get Jonah's life back on track.

The six-part series was produced by Princess Pictures and Chris Lilley in conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The show was originally posted online on the ABC iView service, available for viewing by Australian residents, and on BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom, from 2–4 May 2014, before airing on ABC1 from 7 May 2014 and BBC Three from 8 May 2014. In New Zealand Māori Television screened the first episode on 29 July 2017, but then withdrew later episodes.


In March 2018, it was announced that Lilley had been signed by Netflix to create a 10-part series, with the titular character not yet disclosed. Filming began at the Bond University campus on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

On 10 April 2019, a trailer surfaced online showing a number of new characters. The show is called Lunatics and features a group of eccentric characters with different talents or oddities. Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Lilley would star in the lead role. Lunatics was released on 19 April 2019 exclusively on Netflix.

Lunatics features six different characters, all played by Lilley.

Lilley collaborated with The Jonas Brothers and Paris Hilton with his Lunatics characters Keith Dick and Jana Melhoopen-Jonks.

Personal life

Lilley has been vegetarian since the age of five.

He dated Milly Gattegno from The Faders DJ from 2014 to 2016.


Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Monday Dump Army Reserve Guy 1 episode
2002 Young Lions Mick Dwyer 1 episode: "Grand Prix"
2003 Ned Customer 1 / Klansman Film
2003–2004 Big Bite Various Also co-writer
2004 Hamish & Andy
2005 We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year Also writer
2007 Summer Heights High Ja'mie King / Mr G / Jonah Takalua Also writer and composer
2009 The Spearman Experiment Himself 1 episode
2011 Angry Boys Various Also writer, director, producer, and composer
2013 Ja'mie: Private School Girl Ja'mie King
2014 Jonah from Tonga Jonah Takalua
2015 Stop Laughing...This Is Serious Himself Guest; 1 episode
2019 Lunatics Various Netflix original series; also writer, director, producer, and composer



List of compilation albums, with selected details
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Summer Heights High
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: ABC Records
  • Format: CD
Angry Boys
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: ABC Records
  • Format: CD
Chris Lilley Theme Songs
  • Released: October 2014
  • Label: Chris Lilley
  • Format: Digital
  • Compilation
  • Released: July 2019
  • Label: Chris Lilley
  • Format: Digital

Awards and nominations

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards are a set of annual ceremonies presented by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), which recognise excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of the music of Australia. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2008 Summer Heights High soundtrack Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album Won
2011 Angry Boys – Official Soundtrack Album Won
2014 "Learning to Be Me" (as Ja'mie) Best Comedy Release Nominated
2019 Lunatics Nominated
Logie Awards
Preceded by
No previous award in this category
Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent
for We Can Be Heroes
Succeeded by
Tammy Clarkson
for The Circuit
Preceded by
The Chaser
for The Chaser Decides
Most Outstanding Comedy Program
for We Can Be Heroes (with Laura Waters)
Succeeded by
Working Dog Productions for Thank God You're Here
Preceded by
Aaron Jeffery
for McLeod's Daughters
Most Popular Actor
for Summer Heights High
Succeeded by
Todd Lasance
for Home and Away
Preceded by
Working Dog Productions
for Thank God You're Here
Most Outstanding Comedy Program
for Summer Heights High (with Laura Waters)
Succeeded by
Working Dog Productions
for The Hollowmen
Preceded by
Steve Peacocke
for Home and Away
Most Popular Actor
for Ja'mie: Private School Girl
Succeeded by
Steve Peacocke
Home and Away
Rose d'Or
Preceded by
David Walliams with Matt Lucas
for Little Britain
Best Male Comedy Performance
for We Can Be Heroes
Succeeded by
Tiger Aspect Productions for The Vicar of Dibley
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