I had a wee chat a while ago with NZ Comedy Legend Brendhan Lovegrove. Over 20 minutes we chatted about all aspects of his careers, and life in the NZ Comedy Industry.
Warning: A little bit of fruity language happens in this interview. I wouldn’t edit it out because it takes away from the emphasis being made by Brendhan, and it sounded too artificial.
An interesting night of RAW last night. The audience was a nice warm crowd, the room looked about two thirds full. There was apparently one student in the room, and there was an unpopular heckler by the name of Glen, who got some special treatment, from our “Fan of Balls” MC of the evening – Billy T Nominated TJ McDonald, who was more than happy to plug his festival show.
The first couple of performers had been on the stage before, and it showed in their act. One chose to open the show with some “Fresh” “gritty” toilet humour. But not the kind of toilet humour you’d normally expect on an amateur comedy night, but the crowd seemed to love it. We also managed to get some international relationship humour in from a comedian who’d been off the stage for about 2 years, making a very strong come-back, the room seemed to love most of what came from this guy’s mouth, and rightly so. He was very funny with a fantastic load of potential.
Third act of the evening was a budding comedian who’s “got the snap, baby”, and he also had something else that held the attention of one particular audience member for most of the evening – a nice scarf. A source of giggling that provided the MC with a fair amount of callback throughout the evening, and always managed to bring the mood of the room back up. This was evidently a tight routine from this comedian who relied on physical gags, and managed to roll them together seamlessly.
Number four was a very animated poultry enthusiast. Not the first supermarket based set I’ve heard, but it all seemed very original. A fantastically tight set by a comedian who looked like he was more nervous than an alter boy on his first soap collecting exercise. He did a very good job of keeping the crowd engaged, and looking like he was having the time of his life, which is all that mattered.
Our first lady of the night managed to put the audience on guard within about fifteen seconds on stage, immediately launching what may have not been intended to be an attack on hecklers, but showed off her prowess of cutting them off at the knees. The next part of the set contained a very safe yet funny dialogue about the courting process. And finally, for the final set of the first half a comedian who was running gear for his Festival show, tightening it up for what looks like it will be an interesting show to see.
Breaking back into the second half, the audience required some Transubstantiation and Political satire to get them back in the mood to see a few more new faces, but when they did come out, the new faces bought with them some great laughs. The first act of the second act wondering to myself “do I touch it?” and then about his big feet, and the sources of his excess skin. Act number two of the second half surprised me. Rumours were that she was a well-known Burlesque performer, who would be performing in character. And though I saw no corsets, there was no trouble picking her out. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but after a few fantastic punch lines that were very well delivered, I’m 100% sure that her previous stage appearances had a part in building the confidence that radiated from this performer.
The next three performers were a combination of potential and overexposure to the work force and hyper sexuality. I can honestly say it’s the first time I’ve heard a comedian dedicate their whole set to sex talk, which may have led to oversaturation of a single topic in one set. I’m not sure whether it’s because that’s all the material that person had, or whether it seemed that the crowd were responding to the jokes and they decided to stay on that path. If it was the latter, a very lucky win on the performer’s half.
Other comedians in the last half looked like they were going to pass out, and could maybe learn to take a few pauses for effect, to let the jokes settle on the audience, and let them react to the material, because some of it was very good. Until they started telling the audiences how smart they are.
The final act of the evening covered some very controversial topics, such as immigration and human resources. I’m not sure how, but I managed to hate that fictional woman called “Helen” in a manner of seconds. He managed to tie a fantastic six minutes of material together seamlessly with some intelligent comments, a sense of variety, and a fantastic command of the audience’s attention. He did also manage to make the MC redundant at the end of the show.
Overall a fantastic night of comedy. A great variety of topics, comedians, and experience levels. I really look forward to seeing a few of the faces over the next few weeks as the heats begin.
Here are the things I picked up on at this week’s RAW show:
On Sunday I’ll put up my conversation with Scott. Scott runs the RAW process and is known as the God-Father of NZ Comedy for a very good reason. Don’t forget you can pop along to the RAW nights at the classic for $5 (or Two for $5 if you both have student IDs). The RAW final