Comedian of the Year 2069

Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

09/03/2023 - 11/03/2023

NZ Fringe Festival 2023

Production Details

Zach Mandeville - Writer, Director
Angelica Blevins - Artist, Producer

Zach Mandeville

Short: An hour-long comedy show for the Fringe Fest, by Zach Mandeville
Location: Cavern Club
Dates: 9/3, 10/3, 11/3
Tickets: $10

Description(taken from link above):

Take a journey through the cosmos…of comedy?! Fresh off a successful Fringe run over a year ago, Zach returns for a totally new set with totally new schticks and kicks! Enjoy up to an hour of rib-splitting comedy, surreal stories, future visions, strange facts, and even stranger fictions.

Zach is a standup from Wellington via NYC. He was part of last year’s award-winning show “Quadruple Entendre”. His work has been described by Simon Sweetman as “so well honed, so sharp, so funny, and in particular it was the type of comedy I love – a fantastical thread of storytelling that was all at once cerebral and absurd – that I would watch his Netflix special immediately” (

This year he brings a new set with his singular mix of sincerity, nonsense, surrealism, science fiction, and good old-fashioned rambles.

Zach Mandeville - Performer, Sound Artist
Angelica Blevins - Props and Arts, Catering

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,


Sincere, surreal, nonsensical, and packed to the brim with science fiction and speculation

Review by Wesley Hollis 10th Mar 2023

If you’re looking for comedy and storytelling that is out of this world, then I’ve definitely found the show for you. Comedian of the Year 2069, starring Zach Mandeville, features a fantastic mix of surreal comedy and science fiction tales. With deep dives and interesting facts relating to the past, present and particularly future, this show will have you hooked for an hour and leave you wanting more.

The stage at Cavern Club is set up with a microphone stand, a couple of TVs behind the stage, and a table full of books. When Zach arrives on stage, he encourages us to read a book at any time we like throughout the show, though admits this could be awkward and that the books are mostly there for stage dressing. Certainly, they hint at the night of extraordinary tales that is to come.

The TVs are used a little during the show, first showing us a cartoon blue sky background and a welcome to the audience when the performance starts. I enjoy the pictures we are shown during one particular story, with art from Zach’s talented wife Angelica. I only wish that we got to see more artwork throughout the night, as I think it is a beautiful and effective visual aid to the show.

The show kicks off as Zach introduces himself and lands a few jokes to warm up the crowd. There are no questions or audience interactions in this show, just the chance for people to kick back, get comfortable and enjoy the night.

Zach mentions that a lot of tonight’s material is new and that some of it he wrote on the way to the venue. That said, all of the material feels polished and well written and I find it admirable that Zach is unafraid to try new things on stage. All of his jokes and stories are delivered in a relaxed and confident manner – when it comes to being an audience member at one of his shows, you truly are in safe hands.

While Zach jokes about being a rule breaker when it comes to keeping comedy topical and relatable, he does have plenty of jokes about modern life, especially being an millennial. All of his material is fresh, delivering new takes on relatable moments and discussing subjects I have never seen discussed in comedy before. He goes deep on every subject he covers and his jokes (as well as his stories) are filled with rich detail.

There are some epic tales in tonight’s show as well as epic jokes. This show is a treat for science fiction lovers like myself. Zach has a true talent for world building, and his characters have a wonderful sense of humanity to them even if they aren’t human. There are plenty of funny moments, and some tragic or serious moments as well. These stories will make you think about the future of mankind – what is on the horizon for us tomorrow? Is there hope for us? Perhaps you’ll even come away inspired to write some stories of your own.  

The ad for this show promises some good old-fashioned rambles, and that’s certainly what you get. But far from being aimless, these rambles help to build towards a bigger picture. In fact this show is everything it promises to be: sincere, surreal, nonsensical, and packed to the brim with science fiction and speculation. It’s a comedy show with a point of difference that is well worth checking out. What does the future hold for you? Are you destined to leave the planet and establish a colony somewhere on Mars? Or are you destined to watch Comedian of the Year 2069 before Fringe 2023 comes to a close? As fun as a trip to Mars sounds, I hope you’ll make some time for this show before you go.  


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