It takes all of my self-control not to exclaim, “JONATHAN VAN NESS” in the same way Sophie Turner did at the VMAs last year when his agent connects us over the phone. Instead, we dive head first into business. And by business, I mean Jonathan Van Ness coming to Australia this month for a slew of stand-up shows.

The adored Queer Eye star is flying down to tour his one-person comedy show, Road To Beijing. Van Ness doesn’t give away too much, but he says to expect lots of talk about the Olympics and gymnastics – like, literally.

Jonathan Van Ness will literally do a floor routine, mid-show, to Aly Raisman‘s 2016 floor routine music.

“Which turns out to be this Russian naval theme song,” he explains. Let your imagination run wild, my friends. He also does a little improv and changes costume not once, not twice, but three times.

“There’s not a tonne of improv, but when I do it, I call that a hard left,” he says. “All of a sudden I’m doing a torrent of stream of consciousness where I’m like, ‘Oh my God’, I don’t know where that came from. And this happens from time to time.”

If you haven’t guessed already, JVN’s brand of comedy is “very high energy”.

“I’m very much a storyteller,” he says. “The show is pretty quick-paced – whenever people bring their 10-year-olds, I’m like, maybe you need little earmuffs, but it’s very fun! It’s very high energy and I don’t think it’s unnecessarily vulgar. But it’s definitely – you’re going to LOL a lot.”

Not to mention, Van Ness has added some Aussie spice to his show, just for us.

“I have two things prepared differently,” he teases, “I do like a lot of Olympic recapping. There is one very iconic Australian Olympian who is under the radar and deserves more celebration due to this role that she played in this one thing, but I can’t spoil it now.”

He’s also going to recap something about “that vintage prime minister of yours”.

Tour aside, the radiant being is just really keen to re-immerse himself in “the beautiful energy of Australia”. It was only a year and a bit ago that he, and his Queer Eye family, came to Australia to film a special episode in Yass, NSW. But he was only Down Under for four days.

“It was really in and out,” he says of his time here, “so I’m just excited to be there for two proper weeks.”

When I ask JVN if he ever expected to return to Australia for a whole stand-up tour, he answers no.

“But like, how amazing,” he beams. “My expectations have been so blown out of the water by my career. I’m just getting my head around calling this my career, ‘cos I’m so used to being a hair colourist and I love doing hair and I love styling hair. All of this is just massive icing on the cake.”

Said career includes his Emmy-nominated series Gay of Thrones, his podcast Getting Curious, a divine cameo on Netflix’s figure skating series Spinning Out, and his New York Times best-selling memoir Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love. Lord, I didn’t even mention Queer Eye. Queer ! Eye !

And with the whole year ahead of him, what is Jonathan Van Ness most looking forward to in 2020?

“The election,” he says simply and definitively. “The horizon of a new president of the United States.”

And that’s the tea.

Tour Details

Thursday, 20 February — Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, QLD

Friday, 21 February — AEC Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Saturday, 22 February — Plenary Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Tuesday, 25 February — Riverside Theatre, Perth, WA

Friday, 28 February — First State Super Theatre, Sydney, NSW

 You can suss out all the details / grab your tickets on Ticketek.

Image: Getty Images