Dec 18

Comedy part II

by in Drawing & Writing

4th act

Why don’t you put your drinks down right now because I’m – about – to drop – a news – BOMBSHELL.

News just in from the Cappedi Coast Paper. Apparently chickens LIKE listening to country music. [no reaction] Well, just like everybody in this room, I was gobsmacked.

To think that chickens would be that…


My first reaction was, it explains a lot. Because for years I’ve been listening to my little bippity-bop jazz records. And those chickens have been listening to country.

No wonder we’ve never seen eye-to-eye.

Look, I don’t know if you’ve if noticed, but I’m a white guy. Pretty well fed, six feet tall, don’t complain.

Look, I don’t know if many people here work in an office. I work in an open-plan office. Which means it’s pretty much a constant invasion of my privacy.

I think, I’ve lost count of the amount of times at lunch time when I’m eating a sandwich quietly at my desk and someone from three desks away will walk up and say to me,

‘Hey Rick, what’s happening, you eating lunch?’

And I’ll say,

‘Yes, you caught me. I’m eating my lunch.’

And they’ll say,

‘Uh, yeah, cool, I ate my lunch seven minutes ago.’

And I’ll say,

‘Well, I guess that’s because it’s lunch time.’

I’ll tell you another reason I don’t like the open-plan office is – does anybody know what the first open-plan office was?

It was Africa.

That is why zebras get killed by lions. I’ll tell you what a zebra’s thinking when it’s being attacked by a lion.

‘This wouldn’t have happened if I’d had my own office.’

Recently my boss bought a marine fish tank to improve our team morale. Which was a mistake because we didn’t have morale to begin with.

But anyway, so, he gets these four marine fish. I think they looked like that ‘Nemo’ fish. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Hang on a second. I’m working my ass off here, and Nemo and his buddies are clowning around at the beach? That’s not fair.’ And I think there’s a strong word for that.

It’s called ‘unfair’,

[no reaction]

I – I was expecting that one to get more of a laugh!

But after a while I started feeling sorry for the office fish, and what happened is, our morale didn’t improve, the fish actually got depressed.

One of them jumped out of the tank and suicided.

And I think it’s because, if you think about it, when the lights go out and we leave the office, guess who’s stuck there? The office fish.

They’re there on the weekends, on the public holidays. It never ends for the office fish, does it? And um – um – that was also meant to have another joke at the end, which I forgot.

[bit that involved a van and homeless people]

So anyway, now I’m just the same old shallow idiot, working in an open-plan office. But now I’ve got a van.

Thank you.


Hot shit on toast!

I just wanna get real for a second before we bring on our closer – or ‘Headliner’, if you’re in the biz.

Um, I was recently chosen to go and do a thing up in Auckland, in Skycity, to be filmed for TV. Because I was, uh – the comedy mafia said, ‘You’re the most promising comedian… in Wellington. No one’s as good as you.’

[stares over the heads of other Wellington comedians]

And then they sent another email that said, ‘In fact, no one in the rest of the country, outside of Auckland, is as good as you. You’re the best comedian, who hasn’t got a name for himself, who doesn’t already live in Auckland.’

Not that it’s a big deal.

5th act

Wellington comedy is shit. And there’s not a lot of people who are passionate about it.

[heartfelt thanks to the guys who organized it]

I’ve lived overseas, I’ve traveled around the world. You can do that when you look like you’re a Mexican.

[comedian = 50% Welsh + 50% Samoan]

A lovely thing about The Lord of the Rings is that I was too ‘beige’, too ‘dark’, to be anything but one of the forces of eternal darkness. When I was in Lord of the Rings I was like, ‘Hey, Peter!’ and he was like, ‘Whoa, put a mask on.”

So I was one of the orcs, like every other Maori or Pacific Islander. Did we complain? No. Because Peter was fat back then, he knew how to feed people. He ate like a Samoan, he fed you like a Samoan.

If you don’t know, Samoa’s a very bigoted country. We are 99% homophobic – Christian, sorry, we’re 99% Christian.

Technically, my father’s a Pacific Islander. And there was this dude at school, he was always trying to pick a fight with me. And he said the most outlandish shit.

And we got into an argument because he looked at me and went, ‘Hey ni—-!’

And I, to be honest, took it as a compliment, because I am like beige as SHIT. So I was like, ‘Thank you.’

So I sent in this joke to TV and said, ‘This is my joke,’ and they came back and said, ‘You cannot say ni—-, you are too white to say ni—-, you will offend Maori and Pacific Islanders.’

And then TV came back and said, ‘Hey man, don’t DROP the joke. It’s a good joke. Just say something less offensive to Maori and Pacific Islanders.”

At this point, I was very curious what that sentence was.

I said ‘OK, what do you suggest.’

They went, ‘Hey. Ni—- is an offensive word, to brown people from all cultures, especially Maori and Pacific Islanders in New Zealand. Say something like….


This 5th guy, the final act, the ‘Headliner’, did two other things that deserve comment.

First, he tried making a joke about a Wellington journalist who was murdered in broad daylight a few days ago for the sake of a few dollars. The crowd reacted immediately, 100% negative, and he said, “What, too soon? Seriously, too soon? OK, too soon.”

That mistake was permissible. Most comedians make a living by toeing lines that we’re not really comfortable with, and in this case he realized he’d gone too far and retracted it directly.

A short while later, though, he’d gotten into politics and was struggling to find anything that unified the group with funniness. Floundering, he asked a man in the front row what he thought about such-and-such politician. The guy, who was bearded and had been laughing with all his weight the the whole night, was suddenly nervous. He didn’t know the politician, he said, and added, “You’re asking the wrong guy.” The comedian couldn’t hear him and asked him to repeat. The man tried to smile and said, “I said you’re asking the wrong guy.”

There was no joke left. The comedian was stuck on stage, looking at him. He said,

“Hey, has anyone ever told you that you look like a rapist?”

The crowd laughed. The joke was about 40% true. The front-row man smiled tightly and tried to laugh along, looking at nothing.

The poor guy.

He’d taken time out of his Thursday evening to go support some local comedy, and this is what he got.

Antje looked over at him throughout rest of the act, and, up to the end, he’d lost his smile. He’ll remember that “joke” forever.

Granted, front rows are dangerous. But that was a shit move by a desperate comedian who should’ve eaten the awkwardness himself, on stage.


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