Ginette McDonald has directed cop shows, produced kidult classics and won awards for her dramatic acting. Yet she has long been associated with a single role: Kiwi gal Lynn of Tawa.
When people think of Ginette McDonald, they often think of one of New Zealand’s most defiant and famed purveyers of Godzone English, Lynn of Tawa. But for McDonald, Lynn is only one part among many. Alongside an acting career which began when she was still a teenager, McDonald has also worked as a producer, director and presenter.
Rosemary McLeod devised sitcom All Things Being Equal and iconic 80s TV soap Gloss. Best-known for her outspoken columns, she talks in this extended Funny As interview about battling sexism in the 1970s, and more, including: Gloss being the most fun she had in her television career, and laughing uncontrollably with producer Janice Finn Being told her voice was too deep for the radio, because it would "make men think of bedrooms" Falling into journalism after submitting a piece to the Sunday Times about a weird weekend spent with hippies Memories — comedic and emotional — of her time in Australia writing and script editing sitcoms for the ABC Hating women being portrayed as passive and witless in 1970s TV comedies, which motivated her to write more complex parts (e.g. Ginette McDonald's character in sitcom All Things Being Equal) Finding her schtick of "offending and annoying" people, when she started writing and cartooning about feminists in The Listener
Comedian turned producer Paul Horan interviewed more than 100 people for the Funny As series. In the 100th interview for the show, he finds himself in the hot seat. Horan ranges across Kiwi comedy history as well as his own, including: How making John Clarke laugh was like qualifying for the Olympics — and how the distinctive voice of Clarke's character Fred Dagg was influenced by horse racing commentator Peter Kelly His theory that David Lange's beloved "smell the uranium" joke from 1985 may have influenced New Zealand's emerging comedians How comedy festivals provided a valuable education for Kiwi stand-up talents — from talking with visiting comedians after a show, to witnessing Bill Bailey spin "an extraordinary routine out of the most absurd idea" How Facial DBX (Horan was a member) transformed "from a group of stupid students, through to performers, through to people who ran a venue" (Auckland's Classic Comedy Club) Feeling "extraordinarily proud" to be part of the Kiwi comedy tradition — an art form that forged its own path and thrived despite criticism and a lack of government support
Starting in the late 1980s, Matt Elliott was a pioneering Kiwi stand-up comedian. He has gone on to write 1997 book Kiwi Jokers: The Rise and Rise of New Zealand Comedy and a 2009 bio of Billy T James.
Purveyor of good grammar and master of words, Max Cryer has had an extensive career in the New Zealand entertainment industry.
Joe Musaphia had a hand in writing New Zealand's first sketch show, first sitcom, and first movie musical. The prolific playwright talks in this Funny As interview about his love of comedy and other topics, including: Writing and helping out on New Zealand's first musical Don't Let It Get You — "I had to write some of the songs as well. I didn't enjoy it. I was way out of my depth." Feeling flattered that comedian Billy T James loved his presenting on 1960s kids show Joe's World Recalling a police officer being so nervous on Joe's World that he swore live on-air Having a "ball" writing and acting in 60s sketch show In View of the Circumstances Learning how to act, to enhance his writing
A Week of It co-creator David McPhail is a verifiable Kiwi comedy legend.
Close to Home first screened on TV One in May 1975 and ran for eight years. The popular and ground-breaking series was New Zealand television's first soap opera. It was based in Wellington and centred around the trials and tribulations of the Hearte family. At its peak in 1977, Close to Home attracted a twice weekly audience of one million viewers.