With a career born from student radio, Paul Casserly shifted his focus from music to television in the 1990s.
Chris Dudman is an award-winning filmmaker with credits in New Zealand and the UK. His short film Blackwater Summer was nominated for a Student Academy Award. Dudman has gone on to direct both documentary (New Zealand at War, The Day that Changed My Life, Zoo) and drama (Oscar Kightley police show Harry, short film Choice Night). Dudman also directs TV commercials, including the popular Pukeko ads for Genesis Energy.
Jesse Mulligan was studying law in Hamilton when his career in comedy kicked off at a stand-up comedy contest. The Project host talks in this Funny As interview about working in radio and television, plus other topics, including: How he "crashed and burned" at the 1995 University Comedy Competition, where Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie and Taika Waititi also performed Getting his break in radio on The Edge in Hamilton — "I learned the lesson that would help me throughout my career, which is that if you're funny, you'll be useful in most organisations" The difference between comedy audiences in Auckland and the capital — "Wellington was a more generous audience" Honing his comedy writing for Jono and Ben and 7 Days
Rob Sarkies' first three movies have all begun in southern climes, then headed in unexpected directions. Scarfies celebrates Dunedin student life, before morphing into a twisted examination of morality under fire. Out of the Blue celebrates community and the ordinary person, while recreating the 1990 killings at Aramoana. Two Little Boys is a black comedy featuring Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie and Australian comedian Hamish Blake.
Producer Pat Cox instigated Kiwiana classic Footrot Flats: The Dog's (Tail) Tale and has produced some of New Zealand’s most iconic commercials, including the long-running Speights 'onya mate', Mainland Cheese 'these things take time', and the 100% Pure NZ tourism campaigns.
Grip Annie Frear trained in television production at the ABC in Australia, and then returned to New Zealand and forged a distinguished film career working on such titles as E Tipu E Rea, Desperate Remedies, The Piano, Hinekaro Goes on a Picnic and Blows up Another Obelisk, and Peach. Frear was the Grip Co-ordinator for the massive production undertaking that was The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
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.
Born in Westport, Jeremy Corbett is a middle-aged 6’2” Leo who likes potatoes, cordless drills and guitars. His broadcasting career began at student station Radio Massey, while studying for a BA in English and Computer Science. Since then, Corbett has developed a successful career in radio, clocking up 16 years as morning co-host on More FM, and has appeared regularly on Kiwi television screens in shows like 7 Days, The Paradise Picture Show, A Bit After Ten, The Gong Show, Pulp Comedy and Deal or No Deal.
Musician turned TV producer turned radio presenter Simon Morris pops up among the Funny As interviews mainly to talk about John Clarke — one of the funniest guys Morris has ever met. Among the topics covered: How Morris and Clarke first bonded in a cafe at Victoria University Clarke's love of the way British comedian Peter Cook combined "low comedy and unbelievably high comedy at the same time...and that was John really" Joining Clarke for a badly-reviewed student extravaganza, where Clarke was one of the only standouts How hit TV show Gliding On (on which Morris directed) utilised the classic sitcom formula of a bunch of characters in a single setting, who irritate one another Working on the TV pilot for comedy group Funny Business, who arrived "just three years too soon" For more on John Clarke, check out this extended interview with Clarke's daughter, writer Lorin Clarke.
Brendhan Lovegrove's comedy has been described as "verging on the psychotic side". He appeared on TV's A Night at the Classic and all eight series of Pulp Comedy. Lovegrove discusses his career in this Funny As interview, including: How he and friend Jason Hoyte (later half of comedy act Sugar and Spice) used to sit on a bench at school when they were eight years old, and make other students laugh Deciding that he wanted to do stand-up after watching an "electric" performance by Alan Brough Feeling blessed that one of his early stand-up gigs "bombed", as it made him work harder Moving to the United Kingdom, and performing at comedy clubs like Jongleurs and The Glee Club Taking a "long time" to feel confident on camera— his first TV appearance (on A Bit After Ten) was "terrible"