Actor and stand-up comedian Rhys Darby is arguably best known as hapless Flight of the Conchords band manager Murray.
She always thought she'd become an actor — but comedy poet Penny Ashton says poetry "chose" her. Ashton has toured her solo shows around the world, and in this Funny As interview she covers a range of topics, including: Being a cabaret act — doing a mix of poetry, songs and comedy — and lamenting that there’s less cabaret around in New Zealand than there used to be Producing Rhys Darby’s first solo show and Paolo Rotondo's play Little Che, and meeting poet Pam Ayres Representing New Zealand on a poetry tour of England, and different styles of slam poetry around the world The time a man yelled out "lose weight" during a performance — and the great response from a woman in the front row that inspired a new poem — plus the “new breed of woke bros coming through” Doing 130 shows in 55 towns across five countries between April 2017 and May 2018, at which point she "couldn’t remember what my husband looked like" How tough performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is, how phenomenally beautiful the city is, and how "f***ing terrible" the weather is
The path of comedy folk duo Flight of the Conchords is dotted with failure, dismal corporate gigs, globetrotting fans and Grammy Awards. This extended Funny As interview sees Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie savouring their memories of the early days, and all the TV shows that got rejected along the way. Among the topics mentioned are: Wearing naked suits on the streets of Melbourne while promoting an early show The perpetual challenge of singing and playing guitar at the same time The Wellington stylings of their comedy — and how creative collaborator Taika Waititi throws a mean pizza McKenzie's opinion that Pulp Comedy "wasn't very flattering or helpful" to the comedians who featured on it How they probably wouldn't have lasted if that infamous, rejected show for TVNZ had ever come to pass How the Conchords got their name
Growing up around stage shows and TV studios, Dai Henwood knew from early on that he wanted to be involved in comedy.
Tarun Mohanbhai has performed comedy onstage, on-screen and in the theatre for over two decades.
Amanda Kennedy and Livi Reihana are The Fan Brigade, a musical comedy duo formed over a mutual appreciation of each other’s Twitter accounts.
Stand-up comedian Ben Hurley began in the hotbed of Wellington comedy.
Pip Hall has written for TV's Skitz, Newsflash, Shortland Street and Jonah, penned a string of successful stage plays, and found the time to perform too. The daughter of playwright Roger Hall muses on many topics, including: Getting her first big laugh on stage at three-years-old, and the formative year she later spent watching "maybe 50, 60 shows in London" The talent that came out of the Allen Hall Theatre at Otago University Getting the chance to write for TV, when producer Dave Gibson shoulder-tapped her after a university show Learning from the impressive writing team on Skitz — which included Cal Wilson, Hori Ahipene, Jemaine Clement and David Fane The influence the Me Too movement is having on theatre
Andrew Clay forged his stand-up comedy career in Australia, before returning battle-hardened to New Zealand. The brutality of that environment is among the things he discusses in this Funny As interview. Clay also talks about: Being the dude at the back of the class, trying to make people laugh The lightbulb moment when Australian comedian George Smilovici told him he should be a stand-up comedian Feeling pride when his conservative dad said “you’d be good at that” The “walking off to the sound of your own footsteps” moments of stand-up comedy, and the immediacy of knowing "straight away whether you're doing well” Writing two stage plays, “to try to be funny in a different way” For more of Andrew Clay, check out this Funny As interview with Clay and fellow comedian Mike King.