And we’re off! The New Zealand International Comedy Festival officially launched on Friday night with the inaugural comedy gala.
This year marks the Comedy Festival’s 21st year and I couldn’t think of a better venue to commemorate this milestone than at the majestic Civic Theatre. Hosted by comedy veteran and 7 Days host Jeremy Corbett, the gala was a laughs aplenty marathon featuring a stellar lineup of 21 local and international comedians.
With just four minutes to impress us and form a lasting impression, Corbett likens the night to speed dating which is a great way to describe it! For the comedy-uninitiated, the gala provides the perfect tasting plate for what is on offer during the festival for the next three weeks.
From gripes about how we rely on smartphones for everything to taboo toilet humor to a skit about a hen’s night gone wrong, there was plenty to laugh about! A stand out for me was Chris Martin who I thought did a brilliant set – I will never look at pugs the same way again! Newcomer James Acaster had the crowd sold from the word “apricots”; I thought his low energy set was an unexpected but welcome change of pace – I really enjoyed his unassuming yet incredibly witty style of comedy.
The locals were natural crowd favorites using good ol’ colloquial Kiwi humor to tickle our funny bone. And of course no gala will be the same without New Zealand’s claim to fame in the comedic world, the wonderful The Boy with Tape on his Face! He did one of my personal favorite bits from More Tape and I was delighted to see that there have been a couple of tweaks since last year’s season.
If you didn’t manage to get a ticket and are gutted you missed out, don’t fret! The event was filmed and this will be broadcast tonight (Sunday) at 8:35pm – or 9:35pm if you have TV3 +1!
I would also like to take this opportunity to plug the TV3 People’s Choice Award. This award coincides with a very cool competition with an über awesome prize – all you have to do is vote for your favorite local comedian – and you and a friend and the comedian you voted for could be headed to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!
It’s going to be a busy and laugh-filled next few weeks and I’m looking forward to every minute of it! For dates, tickets and all things NZICF, head on over to www.comedyfestival.co.nz
Go on, New Zealand. It’s time to Laugh Yourself Silly!