There can be little doubt that Dave McCartney is taking the comedy world by storm. Having just finished his first ever festival show, “Honest Bro…” with Dave Nicholls, which was a roaring success, Dave is still flying high on the well-deserved opportunities he has been offered within the comedy world.
“I was on Ben Hurley’s Next Big Things 2016. Last year I was a Grand Finalist for the Raw Comedy Quest and now I’m doing a festival show. It’s been a real awesome ride.”
Over the years, Dave has grown his passion for entertaining people into a viable career, which is no mean feat (just ask literally any comedian you meet). With a background in acting and theatre work, he found his way into clowning in 2007, and – more recently – into stand up just two years ago. Dave’s self-deprecating yet light material tends to be inspired by the current events of his life.
“It’s stories, it’s entertaining, it’s all about my life. I’m a new dad, I love to talk about my kids, I’ve got two now… My mum comes from a family of sixteen; we’ve got cousins up and down the country. If we have a reunion we need to hire out a town. So I draw comedy from that as well. There are lots of things there and it’s just whatever is inspiring me at the time.”
After congratulating him on his new baby and mentioning how wonderful it is that he can delight and entertain people of all ages, Dave nods thoughtfully and jokingly elaborates on his points of motivation;
“I’m also one of my own inspirations, by the way. I inspire myself. I make me want to be a better me.”
Now that his festival shows have finished, Dave has more time to focus on his other projects. He explains that co-hosting the comedian-driven podcast “Attempted Comedians” with Scott W Long and managing his own entertainment business, Clown Around, is keeping him busy.
The breadth of our conversation wonderfully illustrates how many balls Dave has in the air (pun absolutely intended), and in between talking about his stand-up, comedy podcast, and how well his festival show has been received, we still found time to discuss the important issues – namely, who the best superhero is:
Dave McCartney: I’m running my children’s entertainment empire which is called Clown Around Entertainment so we’ve got clowns, pirates, magicians, fairies, superheroes. They all work for me. Batman works for me. Spiderman works for me.
Me: Spiderman is my favourite superhero.
[Dave Nicholls high-fives me]
Dave Nicholls: I’m so glad you said that.
Me: He’s the best superhero! Batman doesn’t even have any superpowers.
Dave McCartney: His superpower is his credit card.
What’s more, Dave runs the “Live to you from the Apothecary!” stand-up gig in Howick’s ‘The Apothecary’ every couple of months. Featuring some of the best comedians in New Zealand such as Ben Hurley, Brendhan Lovegrove, and Justine Smith, Dave is bringing comedy to Howick in a big way.
With his stand-up sets, podcast, an entertainment company, and a stand-up show in Howick, Dave has a wonderful series of projects in progress. It sounds like a busy life and Dave confesses it can be hard to juggle at times (Ed. Marika, stop with the puns) but his passion for making people of all ages laugh is the driving force.
“I’m a full-time entertainer. If I’m not clowning, I’m doing stand-up comedy, it’s either one of the two… I always loved performing as a kid. I love acting, I love making people laugh.”
Dave’s comedy is currently quite light-hearted but he is well aware of how powerful comedy can be. Underlying themes and issues tend to be well-received by audiences when presented in a humorous fashion, and Dave is only too happy to touch on this point.
“The great thing about comedy is it lowers people’s defensives and people tend to drop their walls and they’re a little more willing to listen to the things you actually have to say that mean something.”
Influenced by prolific comedians such as Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, and Jerry Seinfeld, Dave discusses his love for being on stage and addiction to hearing an audience laugh with him. Whether this is at a stand-up gig or as his alias Bingo the Clown, the laughs are plentiful.
“Making people laugh – that’s my fuel. That’s my drug. Once you get hooked on that, once you get that elation of killing it at a gig, you need to have it again. And then you’ve got to have more of it and the crowds get bigger and the laughs need to get louder. It’s a great thing for me.”
Dave’s background in acting and theatre has laid solid groundwork for his stand-up career which has exponentially taken off. His hard work and passion for entertaining are evident in his brilliantly delivered sets, and his kind, confident interactions with audience members put the crowd at ease. Since progressing from a Grand Finalist in the Raw Comedy Quest to a selected comedian of “Next Big Things” within just a year, Dave has many ventures in the works and will certainly have more to come.
“I’m doing the clowning thing, I’m doing the podcast thing, I’m doing the stand-up comedy thing. I’m loving this now.”
Who: Dave McCartney
What: Host of “Live to you from the Apothecary!”, podcast co-host on “Attempted Comedians”, owner of Clown Around
Where: The Apothecary is located at 27 – 29 Picton Street in Howick.