The Improv Bandits - comedy festival interview

With the 2008 NZ International Comedy Festival due to open on April 18th, we'll be interviewing a number of the acts involved over the next few weeks.

Many people may think the comedy festival is solely about stand-up. Think again! 2008 will feature plenty of stand up, but also comedy theatre, music, kids shows, and of course improv. The Improv Bandits have been around for years, picking up awards here and overseas on the way. Founding member and lead bandit Wade Jackson stepped up to the plate for first swing at our questionnaire:

Describe your festival show in 6 words.

Funny risky improv comedy that rocks!

Why are you doing a festival show?

Because NZ needs to see damn good improv

What would be your dream comedy line-up?

Anything with Eddie Murphy in it

What kind of comedy do you most like to watch?

I love physical comedy like Buster Keaton and Charlie

What kind of comedy do you least like to watch?

Smutty comedians who are trying too hard to be funny

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

Hmmm, this is election year right, so the best is yet to come

What's the highlight of your career to date?

Lots of highlights - winning the world champs in Chicago, the home of improv would be near the top

And the lowlight?

Um... probably the first time we had to cancel a show due to low audience numbers at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2000

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

I've had lots of good advice over the years – I particularly liked 'don't hurt fluffy animals' – nothing alienates you from the audience more than this

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

Treasure the moment

Who are your favourite NZ comedians?

Mike Loder

Where is your favourite comedy venue?

Athenaeum in Chicago was awesome – 1,000+ people

Where's the oddest place you've performed?

On a bus

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

Get your ass along to our show then

What song do you walk onstage to?

'Alright' by Tadpole – adapted to suit our intro

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

NZ TV executives taking more of a risk on creating NZ comedy. It would start with them getting out of the office and down to the shows

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

Rats – you just asked it!

The Improv Bandits will be performing from April 22-26th, at the Herald

Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland. 9:30pm shows, tickets $25 from Ticketek -

(09) 307 5000,

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