Stand Up comedy is bloody hard to do. I wouldn’t know from experience coz Ive never had the nerve to do it – partly because I’m not that funny, and partly because I’m not that masochistic. But from what I’ve been told by many comedians I’ve interviewed over the years, standup is both the best thing in the world and a living hell.
It’s really quite an odd dynamic really isn’t it? Kind of a double edged sword. We all love laughing, and it’s so much more satisfying with other people, so we sit in a darkened room desperately hoping it goes well, each of us filled with a mixture of anticipation and dread. The dread comes from two things: 1. we’ve all witnessed a comedian bomb and we hope like hell we won’t have to sit through an hour or so of excruciating pain; and 2. we fear we will be the one in the audience the comic wants to ‘interact’ with.
We never really know what we are going to get with a lone comedian – even someone we’ve seen before (either live or on the telly) can deliver a show that’s sub par at times.
Thankfully during this year’s Comedy Festival there is the Best Comedy Show on Earth. It’s a buffet style show featuring 10 comedians flashing their goods for about 10-15 minutes apiece. Last night’s opening showcased a line of local and international comics.
It got off to a roaring start with MC Rhys Nicholson – a brilliant Aussie comedian with a camp but hilarious routine. I could watch him for a full hour – incisive, quick witted and a rapid fire delivery that leaves you exhausted but satiated.
Three others stood out strongly last night for me: Daniel Sloss from Scotland was both charming and naughty, Zoe Lyons (watch my interview below) had me literally crying with laughter, and Tony Woods is just a delight to watch as he disarmingly turns racism on its head with some wicked jokes about all of us.
The other comedians on stage (bar one) gave equally good performances and among the kiwis, Rhys Mathewson gave us a funny romp about ISIS and immigration agents.
The Best Comedy Show on Earth has two more shows to go, so if you want a really good taster of what’s out there, then I highly recommend you go see it.
Watch my interview with Zoe Lyons: