Comedy Festival Interview: Jeremy Elwood

Award winning NZ comedian, and regular Getfrank contributor, Jeremy Elwood opens his festival campaign a little earlier than most this year, with a week at the Dunedin Fringe Festival before the NZ International Comedy Festival kicks into top gear. He takes this chance to do some shameless self promotion, and ask himself some not-so-hard questions:

Describe your festival show in 6 words.

You really had to be there.

Why are you doing a festival show?

Hopefully because I have something to say! It’s an all new show, based around everything that’s been happening in the last 12 months. At least, that’s the plan.

What would be your dream comedy line-up?

Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Doug Stanhope, Richard Pryor and Mort Sahl in a “Joke The Vote” tour in support of Barack Obama. 

What kind of comedy do you most like to watch?

Anything with a point. Personal or political, I don’t really mind, but please, say something other than “Look Sire, your jesters pants are too big!”

What kind of comedy do you least like to watch?

General hated. Racism, sexism, bigotry of any type. Grow the fuck up.

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

It’s a toss-up between Jesse Ryder single-handedly reviving interest in NZ cricket and ACT getting back in the news with party pills and Roger Douglas. You can decide for yourself which of the latter I feel is more harmful to your health. 

What’s the highlight of your career to date?

Standing ovations on three successive nights, in Singapore of all places. 

And the lowlight?

Going on at 1am in an Ashburton beer hall, following a band who “played” cardboard instruments to a backing track of 80’s pop hits. 

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

“Nice Shift”. Said by an MC in Glasgow after a particularly great show; it’s always a reminder that at the end of the day, it’s just another job.

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

Just enjoy yourself, and do what you came here to do – whatever that may be.

Who are your favourite NZ comedians?

Michele A’Court, Grant Lobban, Chris Brain, Mrs. Peacock – pretty much anyone who stays original. 

Where is your favourite comedy venue?

Either The Stand in Edinburgh, The 1NiteStand in Singapore, or the San Francisco Bathhouse in Wellington.

Where’s the oddest place you’ve performed?

At a forward observation base on the border between East and West Timor. 

What would you say to someone who tells you they “don’t like stand up comedy”?

What, all of it? That’s like saying you “don’t like music” or “you don’t like food”. If you really have tried every kind there is, fine, if not, get back to me in a decade or so.

What song do you walk onstage to?

I get really anal about that, actually! Right now I’m trying to track down the Crystal Method track from “The Shield”, but failing that it’s usually Rage Against The Machine.

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

A doubling of the NZ population, a dedicated comedy channel on Sky, and more self imposed quality control all round. 

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

Hey, is that your private jet I saw on my way in?


Jeremy Elwood’s “12 Steps”

Dunedin Fringe Festival

April 1-5, 8:30pm

Comedy Club, Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

Tickets from the Fortune Theatre

NZ International Comedy Festival

Wellington, April 29 – May 3

San Francisco Bathhouse, 7pm


Auckland, May 6 – 10

The Transmission Room, 8:30pm


Tickets from or

More info at and

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