For the next three weeks we get to laugh, giggle and awkwardly snort as the best of New Zealand’s comedy talent and international visitors tell funny stories, sing silly songs and generally remind us all not to take ourselves too seriously.
I’m a huge fan of comedy – a couple of years ago I made it to 13 shows during the festival! This year the NZ International Comedy Festival turns 20 and I think everyone should celebrate by getting out of the house and seeing what’s on offer.
I know some people are afraid stand up comedians might pick them out of the audience, or don’t want to see anything that might offend them, so here are my comedy tips for nervous beginners:
· See some local comedians. Long gone are the days when NZ comedy was considered cringeworthy and you’d only buy tickets to see an international. I go for a mix of both and some of the shows by local comedians have been my favourites.
· If you don’t want to be mocked from the stage – don’t be late, don’t get up and down during a show, and don’t heckle. People are there to hear from the comedian, not from you. It’s also wise to not sit right up the front wearing an ugly shirt, talk through the show, etc. Surely all these things (especially the ugly shirt part) are just good manners?
· Ask friends with similar senses of humour for recommendations.
· If you’re not enjoying a show – relax! They’re mostly only an hour long. And book for something else immediately! Get back on the bike, etc.
· If you don’t live in Auckland or Wellington, check out the Comedy Convoy, which is going to heaps of centres around New Zealand.
· Television is a great way to get a taste of comedians – the biggest night of the comedy calendar is this Friday with the Comedy Gala and then the best bits will be screened on TV3 so you can check out snippets from heaps of the comedians and book tickets for the ones you laughed most at!
Shows I’m already booked in for (you’ll notice a strong musical comedy theme):
· Steve Wrigley in Kevin: The Musical – my favourite show last year and I’m very excited that it’s back
· Brendon Green: Everything is meaningless and nothing matters, lol
· Jason Byrne: People’s Puppeteer
Also on my must see list:
· Rose Matafeo: Scouts Honour – the rising star of New Zealand comedy/television presenting
· Axis of Awesome – watch this crazy awesome video
I’ve been reliably informed that I need to see Bombs Away: A Musical, Jamie Bowen, Greg Behrendt, Andrew O’Neill, Revolver Circus and David O’Doherty too.