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.
With a career born from student radio, Paul Casserly shifted his focus from music to television in the 1990s.
After starting out in stand-up comedy as a university student in Wellington, Guy Williams won a contest to become Dai Henwood’s protege in 2009. He has been working in TV and radio ever since.
Miranda Harcourt got her screen break playing the bitchy Gemma on iconic 80s soap Gloss. Since then the versatile Harcourt has hardly taken a break - directing, teaching, plus acting in prisons, tele-movie Clare, and feature film For Good, among many other roles.
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.
Director, actor and ex-stand-up comedian Danny Mulheron has a take no prisoners approach to comedy — and to interviews. Among other topics, this Funny As conversation sees Mulheron: Doing a foul-mouthed impression of teacher Mr Gormsby — the stand-up character who featured in Mulheron's comedy series Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby Describing finding most of the show's "fantastic" cast of high school students on location in Wainuiomata — "they knew what it was like to be outcast" Recalling how Peter Jackson puppet movie Meet the Feebles was made to be "as grotesque, and stupid and offensive" as possible — and being asked to mock-execute someone, while dressed in his hippo costume Remembering the reaction to pioneering Pasifika TV comedy The Semisis — "We were mobbed in Ōtāhuhu in KFCs, but avoided in Ponsonby" Talking about his dislike of puns, being a "grotesque" actor, and past adventures in Hollywood
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.
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
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