Natalie Cyra talks to stand up comedian and 7 Days head writer Nick Rado ahead of his new gig Live, Laugh, Love for the New Zealand International Comedy Festival this month.
What can audiences expect from your new show, Live, Laugh, Love ?
The audience can except to see (apparently) “A bloody brilliant hour of lifestyle guru comedy” Radio 1 Critic, Dunedin Fringe Festival 2017. Six years ago before I met my wife I was a bloke who loved sports, drinking beer and watching sports drinking beer. Now married to a yoga instructor somehow my world is Pinterest, occasional chairs & vegan leather couches. In a year of political instability and the threat of World War 3, you can expect my show to tackle the big issues like Kale chips, Kombucha and over priced scented candles.
As a comedian, what does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me will start with the sound of my toddler getting up at some ridiculously early time in the morning. I then pretend to be more asleep than my wife in the hope she will get up first. A champion breakfast is consumed with my beautiful family, then I gleefully bound (reluctantly) off to the gym to pretend to work out and ultimately feel less guilty in paying way too much for the membership. We then get back home around midday, put my son down for a nap, cross our fingers and pray to several religious Gods that he goes to sleep, then try and write some hilarious award winning stand up for 2 – 3 hours. Finish writing, hang out with my family for the rest of the afternoon, grab a ridiculously healthy dinner from my gorgeous wife around 5ish, then say goodbye to the family around 6pm, drive to my gig with intentions of listening to recordings of any bits/ gags I’m working on at the moment but usually end up listening to some podcast about how to stop procrastinating. The gig starts around 8pm then I usually finish around 10:30pm, drive back home, grab an extremely high calorie and low nutrient takeaway and destroy any good work of healthy eating and gym work I’ve done during the day, then head to bed. Repeat.
What do you think is going to be different about the NZ International Comedy Festival this year?
This year’s festival is going to be great, there is a plethora of amazing Kiwi comedians as well as very funny international acts who you may not have heard of but because the NZ International comedy festival is a curated festival, that means that everyone who performs and has a show in the festival is very very good. Comedy is always subjective but I would suggest taking a punt on some new comedians you may not have heard of because in a couple of years you will be paying eight times as much to see them, and that’s not just because Ticketek will up their ‘booking fee’. They are actually that great.
Do you have a favourite or most memorable on stage moment? Perhaps you had a crazy heckler?
My best memory on stage was at The Classic Comedy Bar on Queen Street in Auckland, I was MCing one rowdy Saturday night. Among the audience were two stag parties, a hen’s night, a birthday party and a shy 18-year-old called Billy who was sitting in the front row with his parents. In the show I started bantering with Billy’s parents and, in front of the whole crowd, his dad said, “Billy isn’t very good with the ladies, that’s why he’s out with his parents on a Saturday night.”
“A bloody brilliant hour of lifestyle guru comedy” Radio 1 Critic, Dunedin Fringe Festival 2017
The crowd and I thought this was a bit harsh, so I wanted to stick up for poor old Billy. Now, stag parties often give the stag a list of challenges, and when I asked the stag what was left on his list, he yelled out, “Collect a bra!” Then a woman from the hen’s night said, “We need a pair of guy’s undies!”
I said, “Okay, this is what’s going to happen: the stags will donate a pair of undies and the hens will donate a bra, and Billy will collect the bra.” Billy and the hen disappeared around the corner. The audience started a “whoaaaaaaa” type chant as if a cricketer was running in to bowl a delivery in a one- day international. Billy returned to the room holding the bra above his head like he had won a world-championship wrestling belt. The crowd started chanting, “Billy, Billy, Billy.” The stag party guys lifted him up on their shoulders and paraded him back to his seat.
It was the funniest, most uplifting and weirdest gig I’ve ever done. To make the evening even better, that night in the crowd at her brother’s birthday party was a beautiful girl called Sophie. On February 8 this year we celebrated 3 years of marriage. People often ask my wife how we met. She says, “A stag do, a hen’s party and an 18-year-old boy walked into a comedy bar …”
Do you have a certain person or comedian who is your biggest inspiration?
Lily the Big Save Furniture lady, even though she’s terrible at her job and keeps ordering way too much stock she still keeps going. A true inspiration.
What other gigs are you looking forward to seeing?
Paul Foot, Andy Zaltzman, Romesh Ranganathan, Tarun Mohanbhai, Raybon Kan, James Nokise. Steve Hughes.
We have a double pass to Nick Rado’s opening night at Q Theatre, Auckland to be won. To enter, click here . Nick Rado in Live, Laugh, Love , The Loft, Q Theatre, Auckland, 9th – 13th May, 7pm. The Fringe Bar, Wellington, 16th – 20th May, 7pm. Tickets $20/$18. Groups 4+ $15 available at www.nickrado.com or www.comedyfestival.co.nz