Shaun Patrick Micallef (born 18 July 1962) is an Australian actor, comedian and writer. After ten years of working in insurance law as a solicitor in Adelaide, Micallef moved to Melbourne to pursue a full-time comedy career in 1993. He first gained recognition as a cast member of the sketch comedy show Full Frontal, which in turn led to a number of television roles including his own sketch show, The Micallef P(r)ogram(me), the sitcom Welcher & Welcher and the variety show Micallef Tonight. He also fronted the satirical news comedy series Newstopia on SBS, hosted the game show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation on Network Ten for four seasons, and Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell on the ABC. He also has an upcoming role in Mr & Mrs Murder on Network Ten.
In addition to his television work Micallef has appeared on stage, most notably in the Australian production of Boeing Boeing and on radio as the co-host of Melbourne station Vega 91.5 FM's morning program. He is also a published author; his book Smithereens was released in 2004 and rereleased in January 2011. His other book, a novella by the name of Preincarnate, was released in 2010.
Micallef was born in Adelaide, South Australia and is of Maltese and Irish descent. His father worked for a company that sold parts for Volvos and his mother was employed at the Adelaide Bank. As a child he lived in Clovelly Park and attended St Bernadette's School in St Marys then St Joseph’s Catholic School in Mitchell Park (now Sacred Heart College Middle School) before moving on to Sacred Heart Senior College where he was the College Captain. He studied law at the University of Adelaide, where he was frequently involved in comedy revues, often involving Francis Greenslade and Gary McCaffrie, with whom he continues to work. He was a practising solicitor for ten years in the field of insurance law before making the decision to move to Melbourne and pursue a full-time career in comedy in 1993. He currently lives in Williamstown, Victoria with his wife Leandra (whom he married in 1988) and their three sons. He relates the story that while working as a solicitor, he talked so much about making a career change and becoming a comedian that his wife gave him an ultimatum. She circled a date in the near future on a calendar and told him to quit his job and become a comedian by that date or never talk about it again.
In 1972, having three younger sisters taking ballet classes, ten year old Micallef was often asked to help out when a dance routine required a boy. The following year he auditioned for the Bunyip Children's Theatre and over the next four years participated in plays that they performed in the Scott Theatre during school holidays. In 1976 he doubled for Humphrey B. Bear for personal appearances.
TV and Film
Following early TV appearances on Theatre Sports (1987) and The Big Gig (1989), in early 1993 Micallef was offered a job writing for the Jimeoin show which was soon followed by an offer to also write for the sketch comedy show Full Frontal where six months later he took on the role as co-producer with Gary McCaffrie. In 1994, Micallef became a full-time cast member of Full Frontal, where he became well known for characters such as Milo Kerrigan, Nobby Doldrums and a send-up of Italian male model Fabio. Micallef recalls that the show was a good introduction to television comedy because, with an ensemble cast, its success did not hinge on his performance and he had more freedom to make and learn from mistakes. However, he was frustrated with the lack of control he had over his work in the series as well as the repetition of characters and gags. Micallef's role on Full Frontal led to a 1996 special Shaun Micallef's World Around Him and three seasons of the two-time Logie Award-winning ABC series The Micallef Program (1998–2001), which he co-wrote and produced with long-time writing partner Gary McCaffrie. Since the series' end he has created and starred in two short-lived television series, the sitcom Welcher & Welcher (2003) and the variety show Micallef Tonight (2003), and devised a series of telemovies, BlackJack (2003–present). Micallef has also had acting roles in the television series SeaChange (2000), Through My Eyes (2004) and Offspring (2010) as well as supporting roles in the films Bad Eggs (2003), The Honourable Wally Norman (2003), The Extra (2005), Aquamarine (2006) and The King (2007). In 2006, he was a recurring guest on the Network Ten Improvisational theatre show Thank God You're Here. In 2007, along with partners McCaffrie and Michael Ward, Micallef developed the satirical comedy program Newstopia, which he hosted. The show began airing on 10 October 2007 on SBS and in August 2008 it was announced that a third series had been commissioned. In 2009, Micallef joined the Ten Network and hosted Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, which has been a hit on Australian television screens. In 2012, Micallef began hosting ABC1's Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell.
In September 2005, Micallef began hosting the breakfast show on Melbourne radio station Vega 91.5 FM, Shaun, Beverley and Denise, with comedian Denise Scott and television presenter Beverley O'Connor. In July 2006, comedian Dave O'Neil took over as host and the show was renamed Dave and Denise with Shaun Micallef. Micallef left the network on 23 November 2007. Micallef has also released a book, Smithereens, which was published in 2004 and contains a collection of prose, poetry and plays. He describes it as a collection of "all sorts of bits and pieces I have written
With Micallef's 2009 move to the Ten Network's Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, a sudden and unprecedented rise in his popularity within the Australian mainstream has been observed. His contract with the program marks his first long-term position in a commercial network and has raised his profile in commercial television. The extent of this has been demonstrated with celebrity appearances on Rove McManus's Rove, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and on 9am with David & Kim. In 2010, he was voted most popular presenter at the annual Logie Awards