When you land in a new country you have to make a BIG effort to meet people, which isn’t easy when you have NO history, no friends, nuffin. We’ve met some lovely people who have given us their homes, meals, and friendship, and they have been a life saver in some many aspects. And then we’ve met Daiv and Lisa, two brits, who are down-to-earth and NORMAL! People who it isn’t an effort to be with. There are others (you know you are). Anyhow, I am digressing AGAIN, so lets get back on track… Daiv and Lisa suggested what turned out to be Daiv and Lisa’s Comedy Weekend. When they mentioned it, we were probably going through a little bit of a difficult patch (moving to a new country can be a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs and friggin’ loop-the-loops, and I think we were struggling a little with the enormity of where we were. To clarify, we love it here, we really do. Talking to friend, there are peaks and troughs when sometimes you are grieve for your life back in your homeland, and other moments when you are high on the excitement of all your new experiences. Gah – I’m digressing again.

We were a bit down, and sometimes a belly laugh can work a treat, right?

So – GIG Number 1 …

There were 3 acts, and adolescent who was NOT funny, then another who was ace (I can’t remember his name, but his was good <—–what were you expecting, I ain’t no comedy critic). And then we had Ewen Gilmour (The Westie) who was absolutely belly wrenchingly funny, in a oh-my-goodness-my-belly-hurts kinda way. He was funny, he was a RUDE, in a I-wouldn’t-take-my-mother-to-see-him-kinda-way…. He really was a seasoned pro, who totally interacted with the crowd. He had a VERY VERY drunk heckler, whose speech towards the end was barely legible, who he sorted out. It was a while ago, so I can’t remember much of the content, but I just remember laughing SO much. Ewen’s wife died a while ago, and he even pulled that into his act, albeit briefly – cathartic for him maybe, but respectful and funny all the same.

The gig itself was in an old village hall jst outside Auckland, which was quite quaint and had a school hall feel about it. The gig was a fundraiser, and it was  BYO, bring your own food and nibbles. Some of the contigent did that, but definitely pre-loaded (consumed a lot of booze before going out). Hence, the heckler, a few wobbly folk, and someone collapsing in their seat. I think there would have most definitely been more havoc after we left. There was a game of heads and tails part way through the night, where someone asks a question, you answer by putting your hands on your bo-tom or your head. Last man standing wins. I found this hilarious, that this kind of thing happened in a comedy gig. I found it funny it a good way, chilled out, we don’t care, Kiwi kind of way.

And now Gig Number 2…

This was at the Vic in Devonport at seemed to be a lady-eez night (see the poster here)

First up, Leah Panapa, who was pretty awesome. I honestly, can’t remember much of the content (it was a while ago…) but we certainly got our belly laughs. There was talk of vajazzles and such (don’t look it up mum!), and the audience was constantly engaged and bombarded with good gags. And then (this took me by surprise) this was her FIRST gig! She didn’t seem rough around the edges, but looking back she was grasping a wine bottle on stage…. Anyhow, FLIPPIN MARVELLOUS

Next up, Justin Smith – what a hoot! Her biography reads, “a line with a flicker of the eyes that has been tearing up crowds for more than ten years…” Yup, no surprises there. She a well-polished pro. You could tell no-one dared heckle her, as we all knew (pretty quickly into the gig)she would eat us up and spit us out again. Justin raced through her act in machine gun-rapid style, constantly side-tracked by ad libs and picking on audience members (I slouched in my seat for this one). Hilarious.

And finally, Urzila Carlson (that’s Ursula…). If I’m honest, by this point by cerebral function was waning, there had been too much funny stuff for my brain to cope with. Urzila was good, VERY good for someone who has only been going for 4 years. I’d like to see her again so I can get the full effect of her comedy wrath. Needless to say. Top Notch.

Oh, and then last but by no means LEAST, well actually, in my opinion,the BEST act of the night was Paul Ego who was the compère of the evening. Paul ad-libbed his way through the show, and was frickín’ hilarious. Again, sorry, I can’t remember any of his gags (but I would breach copyright to repeat any right?) Paul has gigged in the UK, and I am sure worldwide, and he is also on very funny TV show over here called 7 days. He was crude at times, yet quite charmingly crude – if that isn’t a dichotomy too far. Before we leave Auckland, we definitely need to see Paul live. I’m hoping he does live gigs… I briefly met Paul before the gig (I opened the door for him….), and although I do have a tendency to get star struck (I had seen Paul on TV so knew he was fairly well known in these parts…), he came across as a very normal bloke and very unassuming. Maybe that’s a kiwi thing.

And that was Dave and Lisa’s comedy weekend… a great suggestion, and a belly laugh of a time with some lovely people and excellent comedians. A great introduction to New Zealand comedy.

Auckland is most definitely my favourite Big Little City.

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