COMEDIAN Dave Hughes was happy to give up the 4.30am starts when he made the switch from radio back to the stage.
He also stood down from his hosting gig on Channel 10's The Project, vowing 2014 will be the year he returns to his first love - stand-up comedy.
When Hughes first dropped out of university and was trying to make a name for himself, he was often presented with a choice - stay at home and sit on the couch or perform on stage for free.
He always chose the latter.
"I've never been bored on stage. It keeps you on your toes," he said.
Hughes is well-known for his deadpan, laconic style of delivery.
He is touring the country throughout the year with plenty of stopovers in regional towns, with gigs in Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Tamworth, Dubbo and Orange scheduled for the next six weeks.
In tow will be his wife, Holly, and three small children all under five.
They often join him on tour.
"I like to get into the town a little early, walk around and soak up the atmosphere," he said.
"You can't just get up on stage and say "I love Newcastle" - people want to hear the local references."
Hughes said he planned to continue on the stand-up circuit and keep his television and radio roles on the backburner.
"I'd like to do it for one more year and see how I go," he said.
■ Dave Hughes performs Pointless at the Civic Theatre on Friday, May 30. Tickets are $44.90 for adults and $34.90 for concession. To book go to ticketek.com.au or phone 4929 1977.