Scriptwriter and playwright James Griffin has been writing for most of his life. Since becoming a scriptwriter in the 1980s Griffin has written many of New Zealand’s most well known and best loved TV shows (including co-creating Outrageous Fortune) as well as the feature film Sione's Wedding.
Comedian turned producer Paul Horan interviewed more than 120 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 Note: Horan is also part of this Funny As discussion about comedy group Facial DBX.
John Clarke was one of New Zealand’s best-loved comic performers. His 1970s farming character Fred Dagg became an icon of Kiwi comedy. Clarke worked as a comedian, actor, writer and director. His satirical television series The Games was an Australian Film Institute award-winner. Although based in Australia since 1977, he lent his unmistakeable comic voice to Kiwi TV comedies bro’Town and Radiradirah. In a departure from our usual ScreenTalk format, this extended audio interview was produced and recorded by Andrew Johnstone and Richard Swainson with the assistance of Hamilton Community Radio and The Film School.
Jon Bridges and Paul Yates met at university in Palmerston North, before performing with comedy group Facial DBX (see this Funny As interview).
The multi-talented Jim Hopkins started as a serious debater, but inspired by a more comedic style of debating, brought it to New Zealand shores.
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.
Initially unsure of how to make a career in comedy or the arts, the politically minded Jo Randerson has become a writer, performer and theatre director.
South African-born Urzila Carlson got her break in Kiwi comedy in 2008, after a workmate entered her in a stand-up competition.
Laura Daniel has appeared in and written for Funny Girls and Jono and Ben, and been Billy T nominated for both her own stand-up and duo Two Hearts (whose Funny As interview is here).
A Week of It co-creator David McPhail is a verifiable Kiwi comedy legend.