Anthony Michael Ackroyd (born 30 June 1958) is an Australian comedian, speaker and writer. He is a cast member of the ABC local radio comedy show Thank God It's Friday!. He is the creator and director of the United Nations of Comedy which aims to bring together the best comedy from around the world and build bridges between cultures through shared humour.
Ackroyd is a political candidate at the 2016 federal election for the seat of Wentworth, representing the Arts Party. At the 2014 by-election for the seat of Griffith, brought about following the retirement of Kevin Rudd from the Australian House of Representatives, Ackroyd contested the poll representing the Bullet Train party; and received 602 votes, or 0.77 per cent of the formal vote.
Ackroyd was born in Hobart, Tasmania and grew up in the suburb of Warrane. At the age of 16 he became Australian schoolboy public speaking champion when he won "Rostrum's Voice of Youth" competition. He was also a Commonwealth debating champion. He graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and European Literature and Philosophy.
Ackroyd began performing stand up comedy at the Sydney Comedy Store in the 1980s. Television exposure quickly followed with frequent appearances on popular TV shows such as The Video Comedy Store, Hey Hey It's Saturday and The Midday Show. From 1989–1991 he was a cast member on ABC TV's pioneering live comedy show The Big Gig. During the 1990s he appeared on TV shows including Good News Week, Tonight Live, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, and Pizza. He performed the critically acclaimed comedy monologue "Karma Comedian" on ABC's The Smallest Room in the House, which detailed with great honesty many aspects of his life to that point. He performed for many years as a clown doctor at the Sydney Children's Hospital.
Ackroyd's one man shows have included Anthony Ackroyd in His Own Little World, Ecstasy and How To Get It, At Last The Truth About Everything, and The Fruit of My Lions.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspapers acknowledged Ackroyd as one of the best comedians of his generation. Cosmopolitan Magazine dubbed him "The Man of the Moment". Beat Magazine declared him "one of the ultimate comedy legends".
He has written for TV and film including the highly successful Australian sketch show The Comedy Company and two years writing for an internet sitcom spin off for Jim Carrey's Ace Ventura character. He has workshopped material with writer-performers such as Billy Crystal and Rowan Atkinson. Ackroyd's articles have appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Vogue, Life Etc., Studio, Eco Magazine, Parenting, Men's Stuff, the Good Weekend and Good Taste.
Ackroyd's film work includes roles in the movies Reckless Kelly, Gino, and WillFull. He provided the voice of Dragon on the award winning children's TV show Magic Mountain.
This examination of comedy's power in society led Ackroyd to declare that "comedy is the correct response to life". He writes and performs comedy for stage, print media, TV, and feature films. Due to an uncanny resemblance, Ackroyd also became a frequent impersonator of Kevin Rudd, a former Australian Prime Minister. He is believed to be one of Australia's leading political satirists and hosted his own show Political Bent.
Ackroyd is the father of two children, Michael and Brodie, and lives with his partner, Anna, in Bowral, on the NSW Southern Highlands.
He is an Ambassador for the Sydney Swans.