All female stand-up show Girls Gotta Eat took Auckland by storm in 1990. The show gave women a chance to laugh at themselves in a supportive environment. Actors Vicki Walker (Away Laughing), Fiona Edgar (Brokenwood Mysteries, Vermillion) and Brenda Kendall (Double Booking) share their memories in this Funny As interview, including: Queues around the block for the monthly show (which began as A Girls Gotta Eat) — "everyone felt safe laughing their heads off. There was no boorish heckling, none of that stuff" How the involvement of The Topp Twins helped draw crowds to the venue, Ponsonby pub The Gluepot How one male performer per show was allowed — including Kevin Smith Brenda Kendall recalls how she started in stand-up at Sweetwaters music festival How Fanny Business, another female-only group, followed after Girls Gotta Eat Note: Vicki Walker talks more about Girls Gotta Eat, as part of her solo Funny As interview.
Roger Hall began his take over of the Kiwi stage in 1977 with Glide Time. Later the play inspired Gliding On, the first local sitcom to become a major hit.
Jon Bridges and Paul Yates met at university in Palmerston North, before performing with comedy group Facial DBX (see this Funny As interview).
In the early 90s Vicki Walker acted in sketch show Away Laughing, and helped launch women's stand-up group Girls Gotta Eat.
Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story author Helene Wong grew up in 1950s Aotearoa, and has worked in the arts as a performer, writer, and film critic. She discusses her varied career in this Funny As interview, including: Growing up with radio comedy, being the class clown at school, and realising that you could make people laugh with voices and accents The university capping review being a revelation and a liberation — presenting an opportunity to deal with issues and being more than just "prancing about on the stage" How the introduction of television meant being able to see politicians — "their physicality, their flaws and their body language" – providing wonderful source material for satirists Working with Roger Hall, John Clarke, Dave Smith and Catherine Downes on university revue One in Five, and mimicking three-screen promotional film This is New Zealand to open the show Working for Prime Minister Robert Muldoon in the 70s as a social policy advisor – despite spending “the previous few years having a lot of fun satirising him”– and feeling that he had a "kind of dark force field around him" Reaching a turning point in comedy about Asians in New Zealand; Asians have started to "take back the power" and "as opposed to encouraging audiences to laugh at us, we’re now getting them to laugh with us"
Hori Ahipene became a 1990s comedy fixture after working on Skitz, The Semisis (the first Pasifika sitcom) and bilingual comedy show Radio Wha Waho.
Stephen Stehlin is the longtime producer of TVNZ's weekly magazine show Tagata Pasifika, which targets Pacific communities in New Zealand. He has also worked on a number of other factual TV shows like Koha, Māori Battalion - March to Victory and When the Haka Became Boogie. Stehlin was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008 for services to Pacific Island television and the arts.
The Manawatu has provided fertile ground for New Zealand comedic talent, including producing six-person comedy group Facial DBX.
Tarun Mohanbhai has performed comedy onstage, on-screen and in the theatre for over two decades.
Actor and director Murray Keane's first big acting role on screen was in 80s TV series Peppermint Twist. Since then he has appeared in Away Laughing, and movies Braindead and Chunuk Bair. In the 1990s, Keane expanded into directing, working on popular drama series Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons and Go Girls.