Here is a story of my experience from one of the shows from the NZ International Comedy Festival 2017.

Walking into the ASB Theatre, I was instantly blown away by the scope of its interior. I really felt like I was in for a special evening looking down onto the stage. And man, for the most part, I wasn’t let down!

Right from the start, the host Urzila Carlson had us giggling with her self-depreciating humour and deadpan delivery. From there, it was pretty much hit and miss. While I thought that all of the acts were good, it was the international comedians that had me laughing the most. I don’t know why but the Kiwi comedians just didn’t do it for me. Maybe it was their style or the material they were using, I couldn’t say.

Highlights of the evening came from comedians I had never heard of before but are now firmly on my radar. These included Iceland’s Number 1 funny man, Ismo Leikola, and Scotland’s Ed Byrne. While, as mentioned, I was not as impressed with the Kiwi comedians on the night, Australasia’s best was still on display with comedy group ‘Aunty Donna’ and ‘Freakin Dangerous Bro’ stealing some of the night’s spotlights.

All of the comedians had the courage to poke fun at issues, ranging from being overweight, same-sex marriages, being homosexual in the 21st century, and even the perils of imported food and a banana (I won’t spoil the joke for you). I laughed more than I expected to and apart from some of the jokes falling flat, I can’t find much to really complain about. There was one problem though and I’m afraid for me it really let down the whole night.

It was the seating inside the theatre. They were so small and uncomfortable that by the end of the 3+ hours show, even though I enjoyed myself, I was happy to finally leave. Instead of being able to relax and enjoy, I was being consistently reminded of the small and cramped seat. Seating issue aside, I would have to say that so far I can see the International Comedy Festival is a huge success. I’ll just have to remember to bring a pillow with me next year!


  • Great venue.
  • Diverse line-up of national and international talent.
  • Urzila Carson is the funniest person on the planet!


  • Seats were small, cramped and uncomfortable.
  • 3+-hour event may be too much for some people.
Words by Kerry Lee.