Shane Jacobson

Shane Jacobson (born 18 March 1970) is an Australian actor, director, writer, and comedian, best known as the "Dunny Man" for his performances as the eponymous character Kenny Smyth, a plumber working for a portable toilet rental company, in the 2006 film Kenny and the spin-off TV series, Kenny's World. In 2006, he won the Australian Film Institute's Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for that performance.[1] He currently presents Little Big Shots, on the Seven Network, based on the American series of the same title created and produced by Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres. In 2019, Jacobson became a judge on Australia's Got Talent.

Shane Jacobson
Jacobson in 2013
Born (1970-03-18) 18 March 1970
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Actor
  • entertainer
  • director
  • writer
  • comedian
  • producer
Years active1999present
Felicity Hunter (m. 2018)


Jacobson began his career on the stage at the age of 10 with amateur theatre and the Melbourne Gang Show. At 18, he began his comedy career with regular theatre restaurant, musical theatre, stand-up and MC gigs. He was also hired to play to corporate functions, impersonating business icons and luminaries.

In 1999, Jacobson received a regular segment on Melbourne's Gold FM radio station, called The 60 Minute Challenge. He also created the character voice of Sergio the Hairdresser, who featured regularly on Gold FM's Breakfast Show. Jacobson's focus eventually moved towards the camera and he began acting in music videos, short films and television commercials whilst continuing to perform audience warm-ups for major TV networks.

In 2006, Jacobson starred in the Australian mockumentary film Kenny as Kenny Smyth, a Melbourne plumber who works for plumbing company Splashdown. The film was a critical and financial success, and is considered to be Jacobson's break-out role. In 2008, he reprised the role for Channel Ten's short-lived TV series Kenny's World.[2]

In 2007, Jacobson filmed two Australian feature films Cactus, directed by Jasmine Yuen-Carrucan and released in cinemas in May, and Newcastle, directed by Dan Castle and released later in 2008.

In April 2008, he began his role of Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the major stage production Guys and Dolls. For this role, he won a 2008 Helpmann Award for "Best Supporting Actor in a Musical".

On 24 April 2009, Jacobson guest co-hosted Australian television program The Morning Show with Kylie Gillies, while the program's regular male co-host Larry Emdur was on holidays.

In 2009, Jacobson co-starred with Paul Hogan in Charlie & Boots, an Australian film in which Boots (Jacobson) takes his father, Charlie (Hogan) on a road trip to fish on the northernmost tip of Australia because of something his father told him they would do one day, when he was a kid. It had the best opening weekend for any Australian film in 2009 when it was released on Father's day. The film was shot on location and features many small towns in country Australia.

Jacobson was co-host of the short lived car show Top Gear Australia with Steve Pizzati and Ewen Page which ran for two seasons from 28 September 2010 on Nine Network to 13 September 2011.[3]

In June 2011, the Herald Sun revealed that Jacobson would be starring in the TV mini series Beaconsfield, the story of the Beaconsfield Mine collapse, playing the role of Brant Webb.[4] It aired on Sunday 22 April 2012.

In 2013, Jacobson co-hosted the first season of The Great Australian Bake Off an Australian reality television baking competition.[5]

In 2018, Jacobson joined the voice cast of Thomas & Friends, voicing an Australian steam engine called Shane.

Jacobson also starred as Luce Tivolli in the 2013 ABC drama The Time of Our Lives, which ran for two seasons (2013/2014).

In Mid-2018 Jacobson hosted Little Big Shots Australia for Channel 7.

In 2019 Jacobson became a judge on Australia's Got Talent alongside Lucy Durack, Nicole Scherzinger and Manu Feildel. The talent show was hosted by Ricki-Lee.


During his youth, Jacobson was a Scout[6] with 1st Keilor, 15th Essendon and Snowy Morcom Rover Crew. Jacobson credits Scouting shows, including Melbourne Gang Show and Bayside Showtime as first piquing his interest in the performing arts.

After two decades, Jacobson returned to Scouting in 2015, in a ceremonial position, as Scouts Victoria's Chief Scout.[7] The position of Chief Scout of Victoria had been held previously by Governors of Victoria. The position was offered to Jacobson as a high-profile former Scout with the star power to promote Scouting to Victorian and wider audiences.



Year Title Role Notes
2006KennyKenny SmythAustralian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2009Charlie & BootsBoots
2010Santa's ApprenticeSanta ClausVoice role
2011Surviving GeorgiaJohnnie
2012The Bourne LegacyFactory manager
BeaconsfieldBrant WebbTV film
Jack Irish: Bad DebtsBarry TregearTV film
Jack Irish: Black TideBarry TregearTV film
The Mystery of a Hansom CabDetective Samuel GorbyTV film
2014Jack Irish: Dead PointBarry TregearTV film
The DressmakerAlvin Pratt
2018The BBQDazza
Guardians of the TombGary
Brothers' NestTerry
That's Not My Dog!Himself
Ladies in BlackMr Miles


2008Kenny's WorldKenny SmythLead role
2010-2011Top Gear AustraliaHimselfCo-host
2013–2014The Time of Our LivesLuce TivolliMain cast (21 episodes)
2013It's a DateHugoGuest role (Episode: "Should You Date on the Rebound?")
2014Fat Tony & Co.Detective Inspector Jim "Big Kahuna" O'BrienMain cast (9 episodes)
2015 Open Slather Various roles Main cast
2016Jack IrishBarry TregearMain cast
2017-presentLittle Big ShotsHimselfHost
2018Jack IrishBarry TregearMain cast
2018-presentThomas & FriendsShaneUK/US voice
Recurring cast
2019Australia's Got TalentHimselfJudge


Year Title Role Notes
2008Guys and DollsNicely-Nicely Johnson
2014Mother and SonRobert BeareAdaptation of the TV show
2018The Rocky Horror ShowThe Narrator


  • Jacobson, Shane (1 August 2013). The Long Road to Overnight Success. ABC Books. ISBN 9780730499985.
  • Jacobson, Shane (24 July 2017). Rev Head. ABC Books. ISBN 9780733338168.


Jacobson has won several awards:


  1. Hilton, Samuel (12 December 2006). "2006 Australian Film Institute Awards". Ion Cinema. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  2. Vagg, Stephen (18 August 2019). "Australian Movie Stars". Filmink.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. Devlyn, Darren (24 June 2011). "Stars prepare to be buried alive in the mini-series Beaconsfield". Herald Sun. News Limited. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Famous Scouts:Shane Jacobson". Scouts Australia.
  7. Doyle, Robert. "Tweet by Lord Mayor of Melbourne".
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