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Hero image for Jon Bridges & Paul Yates - Funny As Interview

Jon Bridges & Paul Yates - Funny As Interview

Funny As Interviews – 2019

Jon Bridges and Paul Yates met at university in Palmerston North, before performing with comedy group Facial DBX (see this Funny As interview). In this conversation they talk about their first TV gig Away Laughing and more, including:

  • Being picked by Gibson Group producer Dave Gibson to work on his new TV sketch show Away Laughing 
  • How the failure of 1995 comedy series Melody Rules caused networks to avoid Kiwi TV comedy for many years — "The question became 'Why aren't we funny on TV? Why aren't New Zealanders funny when we make a comedy?'"
  • Writing for What Now? being Bridges' most "joyous time" working in comedy because "it wasn't meant to be a comedy show but we just made comedy, and there were no gatekeepers telling you 'the audience wants this'"
  • How Flight of the Conchords' American TV show marked a turning point for Kiwi comedy — and Yates' memories of the duo's infamous, abandoned TVNZ special
  • How panel show 7 Days helped Kiwis embrace televised comedy — "7 Days opened up the television audience to a whole bunch of really funny comedians"

Note: Bridges and Yates join the rest of their Facial DBX colleagues in this Funny As interview

This interview was recorded for 2019 TV series Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy. All audiovisual content is copyright to Augusto, and may not be reproduced. Publication of Funny As extended interviews made possible with funding from the NZ Lotteries Grants Board.