Australian entertainer Jimmy Rees is set to take his 'Let's Get Regional' tour to Lismore in 2024 to give back to the flood-affected town that is still in recovery mode.
The show will raise money for the Lismore recovery fund and remind people that Lismore still needs their help by visiting and supporting the town and surrounding districts.
Jimmy visited Lismore recently and admitted to being blown away by how high the flood water reached.
"It's an incredible place that has been through so much," he said.
"We all saw the images on TV of the McDonalds 'M' almost completely submerged in water, and you can relate to that.
"The people there are amazing. I mentioned the word resilient to them, and they said, 'We don't like that word; we just get on with it'."
Jimmy hopes his shows will unite the local community for a good night of laughs.
"It's bringing people together, it's raising some awareness that people should visit the area and spend a few dollars because they are still in recovery mode, there are still impacts being felt, and it's a great town," he said.
"People show their support in different ways. Many people donated at the time, but it's the ongoing support and appreciation for what these people have been through.
"Hopefully, we can raise some funds with the show and bring people together and have a laugh."
Jimmy has been entertaining Australians for more than a decade, and he laughs that now children who watched him on TV are on their P plates.
From 2009 to 2019, he was the face of ABC's Giggle and Hoot, as Jimmy Giggle and his sidekick Hoot kept the nation's children entertained.
"I did an audition many moons ago in 2008 for different jobs that were advertised for ABC Kids, and my audition DVD, as it was then, was plucked out from about 5500 people," he said.
"Mine was shortlisted; I went to a couple of callback auditions and got the job at Giggle and Hoot.
"I did that for 10 years and pranced around speaking to puppet owls in my pyjamas - it was such a great experience because I got to be this heightened version of myself.
"It was fun and silly, and they're the things I love.
"It was such a sweet show, and we got to tour around the country and do all sorts of things as part of that show."
Since then, Jimmy has become one of Australia's most followed, versatile and loved entertainers.
In Melbourne during the extended lockdown, Jimmy started releasing comedy content, gathering four million social media followers, 43 million likes on TikTok and an extraordinary 200 million viewing minutes last year on Facebook alone.
"Comedy was something I always wanted to do, but I just needed the time to do it, I guess," he said.
"Giggle and Hoot ended, the pandemic hit, and I had nothing to do, so I thought I would give it (comedy) a run online.
"The rise of TikTok and short-form videos gave me a bit of a kick up the bum to put something out there.
"I gave it a nudge and became more daring with the content. It started with parenting observations and then got a little more topical. I created some characters, which I love, personifying different elements about what was happening in the world; people seemed to enjoy that, so I kept the momentum going.
"People ask me what keeps me motivated, and I just really enjoyed the momentum that one video got 100,000 views, the next one got more, and then the next reached one million people - it encouraged me to keep doing more."
Jimmy then took his one-person comedy show on the road in 2022, with his first headline tour, 'Meanwhile In Australia'.
Announcing five shows, the tour grew to 34 sold-out performances in the major cities - making it one of the biggest comedy tours in recent years.
His latest regional tour follows the success of Jimmy's Not That Kinda Viral tour, which started as a 12-date tour and ended with 24 shows across Australia.
"It was almost like I had more experience in front of a live audience over the years," he said.
"With Giggle and Hoot, there was the TV element, but there were heaps of live aspects of that show, touring around and being responsive to an audience.
"It was natural when someone suggested it to me; I thought, oh yeah, that's a no-brainer."
Jimmy will visit 17 regional locations, including Port Macquarie on March 8 and Lismore on March 9, 2014.
"every time you post something and announce you are going on a national tour, and you list all the big cities, a lot of people say, 'it's not a national tour if you don't come to the regions' - so people have bullied me into it," he said.
"Over two years, I've done two tours that mainly went to capital cities, and we just thought the rest of the country was missing out."
Tickets via frontiertouring.com/jimmyrees