{{ 'Go back' | translate}}
Njus logo

Humor news | Njus New Zeeland

Review: Funny As is the definitive historical document of New Zealand comedy

Humor The Spinoff

Tara Ward reviews Funny As, a series that documents the history of New Zealand comedy, and manages to be a key part of that history in its own right.Kiwi comedy has come a long way since Fred Dagg first fell out of a Land Rover, and new documentary
'Tara Ward reviews  Funny As , a series that documents the history of New Zealand comedy, and manages to be a key part of that history in its own right. Kiwi comedy has come a long way since Fred Dagg first fell out of a Land Rover, and new documentary series Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy  is about to prove how far that really is. Over five episodes, Funny As  tracks the development of comedy in Aotearoa, from the early days of John Clarke and Lynn of Tawa, to the giddy heights of Rose Matafeo’s 2018 win at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for her show Horndog . In fact, it’s worth watching the first episode just to hear Peter Williams enunciate the word “horndog” in a One News  bulletin. Matafeo’s win kicks the series off, and she’s the starting point for episode one’s dive into the ‘secret history’ of women’s comedy. The secret is out, and it’s a joy to see so many funny women jammed into one hour of primetime television. From Cal Wilson to Hanelle Harris, Justine Smith to Roseanne Liang, the Topp Twins to Laura Daniel to Madeleine Sami, the first thing Funny As  does is remind us that New Zealand is blessed with an abundance of creative and intelligent women. Ginette McDonald aka Lynn of Tawa (Photo: Supplied) Funny As  takes us back to the early days of Kiwi comedy, when Lynn of Tawa was performing in front of the Queen, the Topp Twins were busking activists, and there were barely any women on the stand-up circuit. There’s no shortage of shitty stories about how women were treated in the male-dominated comedy world, and it’s both heartbreaking and infuriating to hear Ginette McDonald speak about being offered a role in a 70s feminist TV comedy on the condition she lost two and a half stone, or Rosemary McLeod recalling the public abuse she faced over her work in The Listener . “I had to be better than anyone else,” Vicki Walker of the 80s comedy collaborative Girl’s Gotta Eat says of her stand-up days. It’s a theme that runs through this episode of Funny As : women in comedy had to work twice as hard to be taken half as seriously. But if female comedians struggled to be heard in the past, they’re loud and clear in Funny As . We’re treated to a longer look at the work of the Topp Twins and Ginette McDonald, who each created iconic comic characters that are now part of New Zealand’s cultural history. Rose Matafeo and Michèle A’Court  discuss how stand-up gives them a unique form of creative control, while Urzila Carlson talks about the impact of the #metoo movement. “It’s better being a woman in comedy at the moment,” she says, and reckons comedians need to adjust to the shift in audience expectations. “Change your shit, read the room.” God, I love Urzila. The iconic Topp Twins (Photo: Supplied) I especially loved how Funny As  showed the power of women creating comedy on their own terms. It takes us back to glorious 80s classics Marching Girls  and Gloss, the first New Zealand TV dramas to put women’s stories front and centre. It looks at the rise of digital web content like Baby Mama Club  and Friday Night Bites , a format that encourages fresh comedy voices and multicultural perspectives to shine. There’s also a quick glimpse at the impact of gems like The Jacquie Brown Diaries , Funny Girls  and The Breaker Upperers, all comedies with female characters who are complex and messy but still bloody funny. Because above all, a documentary about comedy should be funny, and Funny As  doesn’t disappoint. The interviewees are warm and witty, and the archival footage from ye olde comedy days is a treat. I learned a heap about comedy thanks to Funny As , and gained a new appreciation for the bravery and bloody-mindedness of these amazing women who kept getting up on that stage when everyone around them was telling them to get off. I’d have loved for the entire series of Funny As  to be about the women of New Zealand comedy. Their stories are compelling and important, and it feels like we just skimmed the surface. But it’s a cracking start to the series, a fast-paced, punchy watch that will knock plenty of nostalgic funny bones. Funny As premieres tonight at 8.30PM on TVNZ1 and runs for five episodes.'

Challenges and joys in bishop’s first year

Humor NZ Catholic Newspaper

by Jeff Dillon Despite a somewhat challenging year — which he could hardly have envisaged when he started — the leader of Dunedin diocese, Bishop Michael Dooley, still managed to joke and smile when looking back over his first 12 months in charge.
'by Jeff Dillon Despite a somewhat challenging year — which he could hardly have envisaged when he started — the leader of Dunedin diocese, Bishop Michael Dooley, still managed to joke and smile when looking back over his first 12 months in charge.He recalled that he had a strong sense of foreboding when he was initially contacted by the Apostolic Nuncio, who wanted to see him.He had also sensed what the meeting might be about.Despite his initial concern at the prospect, he did feel there was a deeper call and decided to say “yes” to being the seventh Bishop of Dunedin.Keeping that information to himself, until it was officially announced many days later, was difficult.But when it became public, it was a great relief and, with the number of calls and messages he received that day, it became a very uplifting and positive experience.His 18 months as vicar-general prior to becoming bishop was a helpful introduction to understanding the administrative side of the diocese.He gained an insight into the diocesan finances and he managed to get his head around that.But there were a lot of other aspects that were completely new.He noted that the change in his relationships with people and priests took a bit of getting used to.The responsibility for making decisions — as there was no one else to whom the buck could be passed — became more apparent.But there was an advantage in that he could play his part in getting things dealt with quickly and fairly.No honeymoon There was no real “honeymoon” period after assuming the mantle.Within about a month, the local media attention on the sexual abuse issue suddenly flared up, and he was fielding a barrage of questions from journalists about the handling of historic cases.He acknowledged that it was stressful because he was new to the job, and he had to come to terms with how he should respond.He came to the conclusion that he had to be honest and to be himself and not rely on prepared statements.He learnt that it was better to trust his own judgement and deal with the issues with his own wisdom and caution.He acknowledged that, generally, the journalists have been respectful of that.He accepted that journalists play an important role in bringing things out into the open and holding people accountable.At the time of the media attention, an intended royal commission was to deal only with abuse in state institutions, but Bishop Dooley had strongly backed calls for religious institutions to be included in the investigation.He certainly concluded that it was his responsibility now to oversee a safe Church and to make sure processes were in place for any complaints.While he had been aware of the historic cases before he became bishop, there had been a “culture of silence”, with people unwilling to talk about what had happened and understandably so.But with the publicity had come the opportunity for some victims to come forward and to talk to him as the bishop.He has so far had about six to ten in-depth discussions with local victims, while others had contacted him by email and left it at that, with no wish to take it further.The conversations had been “fruitful”. The people involved had all come of their own volition and were grateful for the opportunity.Bishop Dooley is very aware that this is a “long haul process”. The royal commission will take years to work through its task, with a final report scheduled for early 2023. “It is long and slow, but at least it is done properly.” At this stage, he sees the issue occupying much of his future time as bishop.He is certainly striving to deal with any historic matters that apply to Dunedin diocese.He anticipates that, in due course, he will have to appear before the royal commission.Schools Besides dealing with the demanding issue of historic sexual abuse matters in the diocese, Bishop Dooley has had a chance to enjoy his role as the leader of the southern Catholic community.One of his joys is when he gets to visit the various Catholic schools, meeting welcoming pupils and supportive teachers. “We’ve got great schools,” he observed.He recently visited the 26-pupil school at Bluff, which is the southernmost Catholic school in the world, and he enjoyed the experience.Getting out and visiting the different parish communities throughout the diocese was also an enjoyable aspect. “Each place is quite different and, even though they are quite small, there is always a small group of people with strong faith who keep things going.” Dunedin diocese is a geographically dispersed region of small faith communities.One of the things that surprised him about his duties was administering the sacrament of Confirmation in parishes.Initially, he was unsure how he would feel going into an unfamiliar parish.However, he has found Confirmation ceremonies to be a very uplifting experience and he enjoys doing that now.Ensuring the pastoral care of parishioners in such a dispersed diocese of small faith communities is one of his concerns, looking to the future. “Are we making sure that people are connected to the Church and receiving some type of pastoral care?” He added “so I have to look to the future and make sure that we have priests to celebrate the sacraments in those areas and have parishes organised so that parishioners can care for each other”. Bishop Dooley is contemplating what can be done to build up the faith communities.Finances Financial concerns have been a significant issue for Dunedin diocese for a number of years, but Bishop Dooley believes that the problem has been tackled and things are now tracking in the right direction, with the processes that have been put in place.He sees preaching the Gospel in today’s society as the biggest challenge.It is not so much that people are “anti”, but rather that they have not seriously thought about the Gospel. “Quite a few people see the Church as irrelevant and they haven’t thought about it any further”. Despite the challenges and the testing times during his first year, Bishop Dooley is firm in his view that he is happy to have taken on the position.He certainly feels more comfortable with his role after his first 12 months.He has received encouragement and support from within the Catholic community, but also from other denominations, which has been positive. echo $variable; . The post Challenges and joys in bishop’s first year appeared first on NZ Catholic Newspaper .'

Nathan takes on the comedic world

Humor Times

By Hannah Williams Local comedian Nathan Wilson has been making waves in the comedy community as he pursues a career in the funny business.Raised here in East Auckland, Nathan has always been involved in the arts, whether it was his school’s
'Nathan Wilson has been performing his act at Auckland’s popular comedy club, The Classic.By Hannah Williams Local comedian Nathan Wilson has been making waves in the comedy community as he pursues a career in the funny business.Raised here in East Auckland, Nathan has always been involved in the arts, whether it was his school’s production or a laugh with friends, he was born for the limelight.A talented comedian, Nathan has always found it ”easy being on stage” as he enjoys “being up there in front of everybody,” he strives to make a name for himself in comedy.But despite having an interest in comedy, it was a push from friends and a trip to New York that got him to go professional. “It’s something I wanted to try, I had a completely different set of priorities and then I had a mid life crisis and realised I had no interest in what I was doing or wanted to go in that direction, “I’ve always loved drama and acting and have always been a big fan of comedy however I thought I was no good at writing, but my friends all encouraged me and I went to America and saw a lot of comedy there and that inspired me to come back and give it a crack,” he says.When he stood on stage he knew it was the place he needed to be and he decided then to give a professional career in comedy a try. “From the first time I did it, it was like wow, a switch went off in my head like this is where I want to be, this is great, this is what I want to do, It’s sort of like the perfect in between for me,” he says.Since he started his career a year ago, Nathan knew he wanted to get it out East, as “there’s no open-mic styled gigs” and it’s “an untapped market” that he wants to snag up before anyone else.Aimed at young people, his new show will have a “mix of fresh talent and semi-pros,” with “guaranteed laughs” for everyone.It seems Nathan career is only going up from here and it’s likely you’ll one day be seeing him on the big screen whether it’s for acting or comedy, his name is one you’ll want to remember.To check out Nathan and some of Auckland’s up and coming comedians, head down to Local laughs at Applejacks, Highland Park tonight (Thursday June 27) at 7:30pm for a night of fun, laughs and beer. . The post Nathan takes on the comedic world appeared first on Times .'