It’s time for the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, and now that the brief Twitter war between Peter Dunne and Kiwi comedians has died down, James Nokise thought he’d ask several comedians their favourite political targets Illustration by Annabelle Archibald

Shots Fired

Political Animal_MayAdrienne Truscott (2013 Edin­burgh Fringe Pan­el prizewinner)

I would’ve said [Tony] Abbott, because his tone-deaf­ness makes it so easy, and after the George Bush years an Amer­ic­an could basic­ally recycle the same jokes with a quick name change! But that’s too lazy, and for my pur­poses Bill Cosby’s hubris is a pretty rich source for satire at the moment.”

Ask­ing For It

Tue 5 May – Sat 9 May @ 8.30pm

Fringe Bar

Thom Adams (Writer: Pub­lic Ser­vice Announce­ments)

When you really explore the world that the main­stream media (or any media, really) depicts, it’s bat-shit insane! All of the ways we look at the world around us — the news, talk shows, even adverts — they’re all this dis­tor­ted reflec­tion of real­ity which is so much fun to explore. The world is absurd, and comedi­ans should embrace it.”

Who Dunne It? — Pub­lic Ser­vice Announcements

Tue 12 May – Sat 16 May @ 9pm

BATS Theatre

Tim Batt (2015 Billy T James Com­edy Award nominee)

Fam­ily val­ues polit­ic­al parties and organ­isa­tions. Basic­ally, if you have the word ‘fam­ily’ in your name, I assume you are doing some very yucky stuff. The amount of red-in-the-face blow­hards that get caught out for doing dis­gust­ing stuff to vul­ner­able people is pretty mind-blow­ing. Also, by exten­sion, tel­ev­an­gel­ist preach­ers in Amer­ica. They’re the most entertaining/dangerous people around.”

Tim Batt Explores the Human Condition

Sat 25 April – Sat 16 May @ 8.15pm

Monte­cristo (Auck­land only, sorry)

Jen O’Sullivan (Improviser/producer)

There’s this idea that people like Paul Henry, Mike Hosk­ing and Sean Plun­ket are rebels, bravely just say­ing what everyone’s think­ing, when really they’re simply regur­git­at­ing the hard­line status quo atti­tudes of con­ser­vat­ism while cheers-ing them­selves on their thought lead­er­ship. Of course they’re prime tar­gets for satire — someone’s got to crash their party.”

Def­in­itely Not The Babysit­ters’ Club

Tue 28 April – Sat 2 May @ 7pm 

BATS Theatre

Comedi­an Deconstruction

Fri 1, 8 and 15 May, Sat 2, 9 and 16 May @ 10pm 

Fringe Bar

Of course this column, among oth­er things, is an excuse to explore my favour­ite tar­get — politi­cians. From Win­ston Peters grand­stand­ing up in North­land to Peter Dunne’s battles with rel­ev­ance. From Labour’s battles with Labour to John Key’s battles with his own memory. Hav­ing just returned from trav­el­ling the world, I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting on stage and show­ing audi­ences a few of the more enter­tain­ing parts of Aus­tralia and the Unites States. It’s refresh­ing just how ridicu­lous our politi­cians can be in the grand scheme. And also how ser­i­ously we take these elec­ted offi­cials. I heard a friend in New York explain­ing to Amer­ic­ans that Win­ston is the Barack Obama of Kiwi polit­ics. Think about that for a second…

Next month, some actu­al ser­i­ous issues — but for now, I hope you’ll go out and sup­port loc­al com­edy, invest­ig­ate over­seas acts you might not have heard of, and enjoy a decent laugh at those in power.

James Nokise

Big Words

Tue 12 May – Sat 16 May @ 7pm

VK’s Com­edy and Blues Bar

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