Some of the world’s best-loved comedians are coming for Kiwi laughs this month, as the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival gets underway.

The festival is the highlight of New Zealand’s burgeoning comedy calendar and sees a mix of international acts and Kiwi pros mixing it up for your amusement.

Here are my personal picks for those who want to get in amongst the comedy, this opening weekend of the comedy fest.

LOCAL ACTS:

Guy Williams – “Why Am I Like This?”

Guy Williams is back with more of his wrong opinions spoken confidently and loudly! His revolutionary quantity over quality approach is “licenced to thrill”. Boy oh boy this is bound to be one of the shows in the year!

“The most unfunny comedian since Seinfeld” – Ivan Lloyd, Facebook

“Almost as bad as Reece Darbie and Flight of the Concords” – Kiwilad, Stuff.co.nz commenter

SHOW INFO: Age restriction R16. Occasional bad language.

You can book tickets here.

John Carr – “Down With The Young Ones”

Despite his unfleekable brows, John Carr is down with the young ones, and at the tender age of 63 he’s ready to talk about it.

Gone are the zimmerframe jokes and the cheap laughs at audience incontinence, Carr lets his raps, rhymes, rhythms and rambling reflections loose instead. Each show features a guest appearance by a up-and-coming comedian of the youthful variety.

“Carr, who has a hugely impressive old white rapper routine, is brilliantly funny” – Waikato Times

You can book tickets here.

SHOW INFO: R16 Adult themes

NEWCOMERS:

Aiken Hutcheson & Graeme Clarke – “Unaccompanied Adults”

Aiken and Graeme do life like a couple of five-year-olds with one of those screeching plastic catastrophes in their mouths, trying to make it look like they know what the toot they’re doing. Come see what is, essentially, their recital. Aiken and Graeme are Unaccompanied Adults.

“Aiken has a good eye for the absurd and is willing to let us laugh with and at him” – Theatreview.

“Every time I watch this guy I piss myself. High octane and very funny” – Brendhan Lovegrove

SHOW INFO: R18 Occasional bad language, Adult themes

You can book tickets here.

Lucy Roche – “Dollars and Sex”

Lucy Roche is a hooker. And proud. Watch her discuss the ins and outs of the sex industry as she tackles topics such as feminism, taxes and why dropping out of uni to become a sex worker was the best decision she’s ever made… she hopes.

“…her comedy has a frankness about sexuality that I found very refreshing… we were laughing constantly with her brute honesty and clever turn of phrase” – Art Murmurs

Winner – Raw Comedy Quest 2016

SHOW INFO: R18 Frequent coarse language, Adult themes

You can book tickets here.

INTERNATIONAL ACTS:

Ed Gamble – “The Best Of Ed Gamble”

Once again The Classic brings the best of a new generation of UK stand up to the Comedy Fest.

Gamble’s humour darts down unexpected avenues paved with elegant turns of phrase.” ★★★★  – The Scotsman

“Consistently funny…be there or be square.” ★★★★  – Time Out

“Pure comedy gold” – Timeout UK 

“An ability to open his mouth and spontaneously say something hysterically funny” – The Guardian UK 

SHOW INFO: R18 Occasional bad language, Adult themes

You can book tickets here.

Daniel Sloss – “So?”

Don’t miss the stunning new show from Scotland’s internationally acclaimed and award-winning comedian!

Winner ‘Best of the Fest’ – Sydney Comedy Festival 2016

“Sloss is a festival highlight. See him” ★★★★ ½ – The Age, AUS

“Dark and mocking humour with a sting… a welcome hour of deliciously dark stand-up” ★★★★- Mail on Sunday

“Funny, intelligent, charming” ★★★★ – Edinburgh Evening News

SHOW INFO: R16 Frequent coarse language, Adult themes

You can book tickets here.

Ismo Leikola – “Observing The Obvious … Still”

Officially named ‘The World’s Funniest Comedian’ at Laugh Factory’s USA 2014 Global search. Finland’s #1 stand up comedian who’s doing the business in the USA, is a big fan of kiwi audiences and we in turn love his unique off-kilter dead-pan delivery.

“He is pretty much the master if this comedy technique” – The Scotsman

SHOW INFO: R14 Occasional bad language, Adult themes

You can book tickets here.

Romesh Ranganathan – “Irrational” (Friday only)

Romesh Ranganathan is heading to New Zealand for the first time with his current show exploring the rationality of his worldview.  Irrational will see Romesh examine the issues close to his heart, and explains why everybody else is wrong about them.

He has the natural swagger of a comedian who knows how to dominate a room” ★★★★ – The Times, UK

“The best yet… efficient, irresistible comedy” ★★★★ – The Guardian, UK

You can book tickets here.

Paul Foot – “Tis A Pity She’s A Piglet” (Friday only)

The weird and truly wonderful Paul Foot aka Professor Ketchup make his NZ debut, joining forces with his camembert piglet to tackle the big issues such as terrorism, Kim Jong-un Kardashian, immigration X-Factor and breakfast.

Winner – Best International Act at Sydney & Perth Comedy Festivals

“Utterly outlandish, but beneath layers of absurdity is Foot’s sharp eye for satire” – Time Out UK

“Truly inspired” – Herald Sun, AUS

SHOW INFO: R16 Occasional bad language

You can book tickets here.

LINEUP SHOWS:

Comedy Allstar Showcase

We kick off the 2017 Festival season at the BMC with one big showcase featuring eight awesome comedians from across the UK.

Chris Martin returns to host the evening and introduce you to some of the UK’s nest Hal Cruttenden, Ed Gamble, Lou Sanders, Adam Hess and Iain Stirling to NZ for the first time.

We welcome back Comedy Fest favourites Jimmy McGhie and Markus Birdman. Come and see them all packed into one big two-hour show, for one-night only, giving you a taste of things to come at the BMC Comedy Club over the following three weekends.

SHOW INFO: R14 Occasional bad language, Adult themes

You can book tickets here.

NZ Comedy Legends: Step Up For The Classic

Local stars replace injured International Comedy Festival guest act.

Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego, Dai Henwood, Te Radar, Andrew Clay, Brendhan Lovegrove and Justine Smith have all made themselves available for the crucial opening week of the festival. They will ‘rotate the strike’ with 3 different acts appearing each night at 8:30pm from Sat April 29th to Sat May 6th.

“It is very rare to have these comedians together in one show these days as they are all very busy elsewhere. It will be a real treat to see Te Radar back on our stage too. But then this is what family are for. Stepping in at a time of need” says an appreciative director of The Classic, Scott Blanks.

SHOW INFO: R18 Occasional bad language, Adult themes

You can book tickets here.

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