Comedy Festival Interview: James Nokise

Another ex-pat this week; well kind of. James Nokise, half Samoan and half Welsh, has been living and performing in the UK for the last couple of years, but returns home this month with his new show, “Beige Against The Machine.” We caught up with him on the eve of his opening season at the Dunedin Fringe Festival

Describe your festival show in 6 words.

Samoan Welsh comedian promises fun times

Why are you doing a festival show?

I've got an hour of new stuff, and I wanted an excuse to pop home for a bit.

What would be your dream comedy line-up?

Billy T Hosting, Sammie Davis Jr. opening, Richard Pryor Closing, - That might be a bit creepy though

What kind of comedy do you most like to watch?

Silly stuff, fun stuff, you know?

What kind of comedy do you least like to watch?

Comedy poetry; when it’s good is fantastic, but that's really rare. Really rare.

What's the funniest thing that has happened in NZ so far this year?

Jesse Ryder screaming 'I am NZ cricket!' at emergency staff. I love it. You really are buddy. Really really.

What's the highlight of your career to date?

The NZ Comedy Gala was fun, but having actors perform a show I'd written to 800 people in London's Hackney Empire was pretty special.

And the lowlight?

I had to walk on stage at an English sport Uni's orientation 30mins after the All Blacks lost to France...

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given as a comedian?

They've paid to come and laugh, they want to laugh, so stop worrying and make them laugh.

What's the one piece of advice you would give to someone doing their first ever gig?

Have fun, it's what this is all about.

Who are your favourite NZ comedians?

To watch? Lots man. The London Kiwis: (Pitcher, Hurley, Darby and Jared Christmas) are all really on form right now. But in NZ I'm looking forward to seeing what Cori Gonzles-Macuer, Jeremy Elwood, Sam Wills, Michelle A'Court, and Vaughan King are doing.

Where is your favourite comedy venue?

It's either the Belfast Empire or the Wellington Comedy Club (San Francisco Bathhouse). Both big boozy rock venues.

Where's the oddest place you've performed?

Hmm... A tent, at the back of a Pub, in the middle of west England.

What would you say to someone who tells you they "don't like stand up comedy"?

Depends how drunk I am when they say it. Sober, it's cool. Drunk, we might have to argue. You don't have to like stand-up, it's not a religion. But like religion, if you don't like it, just avoid it. Don't corner someone who’s into it and offload, just write a blog or something.

What song do you walk onstage to?

It changes a lot, right now it's Dizzy Rascals 'Old School', but someone brought me on last week to Chris Brown, “Hearts all over the bloody world”?!

What is the one thing that would best help the future of NZ comedy?

Letting comedians write TV Comedy. The top comics in NZ can hold their own with the best in the world, how many Conchords and Darby's have to fly through TVNZ's grasp before they get that?

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?

Are you really Samoan and Welsh? No one's ever asked and it keeps getting tempting to change it and see if anyone notices.

James Nokise – “Beige Against The Machine”


The Comedy Club / Hutton Theatre - 8:30pm

Tues April 8th - 12th. Tickets from The Fortune Theatre.


Classic Studio - 10pm

Sat April 19th and Weds 23rd - Sat 26th. Tickets from Ticketek.


The Bluenote Bar - 7:00pm

Tues April 29th - Sat May 3rd. Tickets from Ticketek.

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