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James Nokise - Funny As Interview

James Nokise - Funny As Interview

Interviews - 2019

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Samoan-Welsh-Kiwi James Nokise got into stand-up young, won his first break on Pulp Comedy within a year, and later commuted between NZ and the UK to perform both stand-up and theatre. Among the topics he discusses here are:

  • Growing up between the affluent Wellington suburb of Whitby, and his father’s Samoan church community
  • Getting his first break on Pulp Comedy alongside a plethora of talented performers, and getting  cocky onstage
  • How a night drinking with overseas comics Ed Byrne, Glen Wool and Lewis Black convinced him that he needed to pursue comedy as a career — and how fellow comic Eteuati Ete convinced Nokise's dad to let him
  • "Accidentally" writing his first play — by writing a comedy show that wasn’t funny — and being nominated for a Chapman Tripp Theatre award
  • The 2011 breakthrough success of political satire Public Service Announcements, and the new generation of satirists that have emerged since the play was first performed  
  • Struggling with stand-up in the United Kingdom, the UK  success of fellow Kiwi comedians, and how sports stars Tana Umaga and Stephen Fleming helped get him free drinks

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.