Greek Australian stand-up comedian Chris Demos will be making his first splash at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival in March and April with his debut show Legs in the Pool.

It’s been a long time coming for Demos, who is a lawyer, having first dipped his toes into the metaphoric pool that is stand-up in 2018.

All his life Demos has waited, waited to get a job, waited to move out, waited to come out of the closet and waited to get his start in comedy.

Now he’s ready to dive right in, and that is what his show is about – a show that features story-based stand-up and sketches, that also touch on his Greek background.

The former Victorian RAW Comedy State Finalist’s mum was born in Lemnos and moved to Australia in the 60s as a toddler, while his dad’s family is from Euboea.

Growing up he went to a predominantly Anglo school, so as a child, Demos didn’t want to accept being a Greek.

Fear of not being accepted

As mentioned earlier, the show also involves his story of coming out to a Greek family, an internal battle.

“My parents worked a lot so I spent a lot of time with my yiayia and papou, and that is where the very traditional stuff came in,” he tells Neos Kosmos.

“They’d take me to church and things like that, and I think it was an internal fear for myself.”

Demos feared of not being accepted but when that time came, he reveals that his parents were “totally cool with it” but it took a long time because of the traditional values instilled in him.

However, this moment didn’t come until after his yiayia had passed away and his papou was in his 90s and didn’t really understand, so he won’t know what their reaction would have been.

‘Legs in the Water’ swimming pool photoshoot. Photo: Supplied

“Not knowing how the reaction would be, coming from that society when yiayias are like ‘when are you going to get married?’- when you’re 19.”

“I was always having to dodge a marriage question and things like that.

“Funnily enough, my grandparents actually had gay neighbours that moved in, who they didn’t like at the start, but then they adopted a kid. Then they started to like them because they thought it was kind of them to look after a child.

“So, there was a bit of hope there with them.”

Greece changing with the times

With Greece having now legalised same sex marriage and adoption, Demos says the timing with his show is perfect.

Demos was surprised to see Greece legalise it and wasn’t planning to overly explore his Greekness in the show but realised hiding his sexuality and hiding his Greek heritage as a kid correlate.

Like many others, he too has noticed how different Greeks in Australia are to Greeks in Greece, that ‘cultural jet-lag’ we speak of, where second and third generation Greek Australians have continued traditions and values not overly common in the homeland anymore.

“I learned Greek values and even how to speak Greek from my mum’s parents,” Demos said.

“When I went back to Greece for the first time the other kids my age laughed at me because I spoke like an old Greek and I had the values of an old Greek.”

Chris Demos’ first time at Comedy Republic Melbourne, also first time on a light box board. Photo: lechrisdemos/Instagram

Jumping into the deep end

Demos’ parents were like many Greek parents, they wanted their son to go to uni, get a degree and achieve something. The same applied for his sister.

Obviously, that is what he did, becoming a lawyer, but he says he always wanted to do something creative and had a love for stand-up.

He’s been going to the Comedy Festival since he was a kid, but “never really had the guts to do it.”

“I wish I hadn’t waited so long to do it, but I guess had to ensure that I had a fall back,” he said.

“It was something I was wondering, but just had a bit of a trepidation. Took me longer than it should have to pull off the band aid.”

Now Demos has performed in Melbourne and Sydney, but would love to go more national and perhaps even try comedy in Greek.

“I’d love to try comedy in Greek. I don’t know how good my Greek is and the dialect might impede that, but as far as comedy goes in Australia, Melbourne is like the mecca.”

“This is a good place to be.”

Chris Demos’ show ‘Legs in the Pool’ will be at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from Wednesday March 27 to Sunday April 7, 6pm.