Comedy Festival

comedy-festival-2014It seems like it was just yesterday that 7Days began bringing us the laughs on Friday nights. However, it’s been 5 years!

The 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival is the fifth year TV3 has sponsored the nationwide event that features the best local and international comedians, branding the channel the Home of Comedy for the duration of the Festival.

The partnership between TV3 and the NZ International Comedy Festival began in 2009, the same year the network launched hit panel show 7 Days.  Five years of laughter later, the Festival continues to go from strength to strength, and TV3 has established itself as the Home of Comedy, dominating Friday night viewing with record audiences for 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (now in its third year).    Continue reading »

Canadian actor and comedian Tom Green has arrived in the country to take part in the New Zealand Comedy Festival.

It’s the first time Green has brought his stand-up comedy to New Zealand.

Auckland: Skycity Theatre – Wednesday 1st May
Wellington: Opera House – Sunday 5th May
Christchurch: Aurora Centre – Monday 6th May
Book at Ticketek 0800 842 538 Continue reading »

With an opening quip to Auckland audiences that he was the only cast member of Flight of the Conchords to return the NZ International Comedy Festival’s phone calls, Arj Barker held Auckland and Wellington audiences in the palm of his hand this past weekend.

With the NZ International Comedy Festival 2011 now underway, it was Barker who was asked to host both Auckland’s Visa Comedy Gala (which screened on TV3 this past Sunday, winning its timeslot again other television networks) and the Visa First Laughs event in Wellington. Both shows proved a testament to Arj’s storied comedic path – keeping audiences elated and even, in some respects, stealing the show.

It wasn’t as if the California native-slash-Perrier Award Winner (“Best Newcomer” 1997) had to steal the show either. Arj’s season at this year’s festival kicks off Thursday 5th May at the SKYCITY Theatre with Eleven; an hour of the inventive stand-up comedy for which he is known and loved.

Join Arj as he fearlessly tackles 11 of the most controversial topics around, including 3D movies, Death, Google Maps and prawns. If you’ve seen him before, you know you won’t be disappointed.



4 May, 8:30pm

The Opera House

111-113 Manners St, CBD

0800 TICKETEK (842 5385)

Adult: $36.50 Conc $33.50/ Group 10+ $33.50



Thu 5 – Fri 6 May, 9pm


Level 3, cnr Wellesley St West & Hobson St, CBD

0800 TICKETEK (842 5385) 

Adult: $36.50 Conc $33.50/ Group 10+ $33.50


(From a press release)

As the SKY Tower lit up “comedy yellow” on Friday 29 April, the NZ International Comedy Festival was off to an incredible start!

The Visa Comedy Gala, NZ comedy’s “Olympic Opening Ceremony” of sorts, played to a sold-out crowd of over 2,000 on Friday evening at Auckland’s ASB Theatre. The celebration was filmed for a TV3 special, which was turned around in record speed, hitting the airwaves just 48 hours later! The transmission on Sunday 1st May won its 8.30pm timeslot in the key demographic, with a 29.1% share of the 25-54 year-old audience.

Auckland’s season officially got underway with 23 shows opening on Saturday; 12 of which completely sold out! An audience of over 3,800 turned out to see what’s on offer at this year’s opening weekend.

Wellington wasn’t shy about the comedy proceedings this year either. Visa First Laughs promised to blow the roof off the capital’s Opera House, and did just that – the live show completely sold out, once again setting the pace for Wellington’s season.

…And this is just the first week of the Festival! With another two weeks in both Auckland and Wellington left to go, alongside the nationwide Comedy Convoy tour, there are many more belly laughs to be had!

(From a press release)

TV2 have sponsored the Comedy Festival for years, and now TV3 are sponsoring it. Does TVNZ not sponsor anything anymore?

Maori TV Jumps on the Comedy Bandwagon

The NZ International Comedy Festival is delighted to announce Maori TV as the new sponsor of the prestigious Billy T Awards. Maori TV is the third network to join the Comedy Festival whanau; increasing the national coverage of New Zealand comedy.

The Billy T James award is in remembrance of New Zealand’s legendary Maori comedian, who remains an icon of inspiration in our nations comedic and entertainment history. The awards are now in their eleventh year and are a proven benchmark for emerging comedians. Erina Tamepo, Producer – General Programmes at Maori Television explains that Maori TV “completely supports the notion of nurturing new comedic talent”. Maori TV will film the nominee’s individual shows and their festival finale performances at Last Laugh which will go to air as part of the Billy T Season. They are also generously providing the cash award of $5000 to the talented 2007 winner.

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This new sponsorship of the Billy T’ Awards presents an incredible opportunity for exposure not only for the nominees but for the NZ comedy industry. Festival Director Hilary Coe hopes “that this will be a long standing association and we are excited and heartened by Maori TV’s partnership with the Festival in developing new talent”.

Alex Hawley (Wellingtonian winner of the 2006 National RAW final)
Grant Lobban (The Classic’s Ticket Guy takes to the stage as The Comic’s Comic)
mrs.peacock (musical comedy duo, two times winner ofthe NZ Comedy Guild Award for “Most Offensive Gag”)
Jamie Bowen (Melbourne Comedy circuit regular, 2006 Billy T nominee, former member of GARY)

The 2007 Billy T judging panel includes
Andrew Szusterman – Station Manager for C4 Television
Nigel McCulloch – The Down Low Concept (producer of Off The Wire, Pop Goes The Weasel & national winner of the 48 Short Film Competition)
Louise Hunter – BLP Ltd (Producer of Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran…)
Dai Henwood (star of C4’s “Insert Video Here”)
Jon Bridges (ex Ice TV, all round good guy)

The Billy T Award is part of the 2007 New Zealand International Comedy Festival, which plays:
Auckland 4 – 27 May
Wellington 7 – 26 May
Nationwide Comedy Convoy 21 – 26 May

Other NZ International Comedy Festival televised events:
Crunchie Comedy Gala: TV2 will screen on Wednesday 9 and Friday 11 May at 9.30.
AotearOHA: TV3, screening TBC.