Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

08/05/2012 - 12/05/2012

NZ International Comedy Festival 2012

Production Details

“Funny, erudite and effortlessly delivered.” The Scotsman, UK

Irish-American comedian Des Bishop will perform in New Zealand for the first time when he brings his brand new stand up show to this year’s New Zealand Comedy Festival in May.

Undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic forces on the international comedy circuit, Bishop will bring Des Bishop Likes to Bang to Auckland’s Herald Theatre for five nights only.

After moving from Queens, New York to Ireland as a 14 year old, Bishop has crafted a highly successful career as a stand up comedian since the late 1990’s. Audiences warm to the openness and honesty of his presenting style, evidenced in the worldwide success of his most confronting and personal show to date, My Dad Was Nearly James Bond, a memoir of his late father. He has since released a book of the same name inspired by the stage show, and RTE in Ireland aired a TV documentary under the same title. 

In addition to his live shows and the documentary above, Bishop has released another three TV series on RTE in Ireland – The Des Bishop Work Experience (2004), Joy in the Hood (2006) and the award winning six-part comedy documentary series In the Name of the Fada (2008) – as well as four stand up DVDs. He is also a Festival regular on Network Ten’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala when performing in Australia.

Be charmed by Bishop’s restless imagination and insightful comic observations this May. 

“Charismatic, sincere, eloquent and always seeking the angle.” Chortle

Edgy material, snappy never sappy, Bishop has judged this one beautifully.” êêêê  The Age 

As part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2012 

Dates:  Tues 8 – Sat 12 May, 7pm
Venue:  Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland
Tickets:  Adults $28.00, Conc. $25.00, Groups 8+ $25
Bookings:  0800 BUY TICKETS(289 842)

Duration:  1 Hour

For a full lineup of performances, booking details & more information, visit  

Dirty jokes perfectly formed

Review by Reynald Castaneda 10th May 2012

There’s something endearing about Des Bishop and it’s making it really hard to not like him.  

Sure, his one-hour show Des Bishop Likes to Bang needs a bit more cohesion and focus, but for some reason, its randomness works for it. The show feels like a casual Friday night at his flat with a couple of takeaways. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.

With material inspired from personal experiences, from teenage alcoholism to his battle with testicular cancer, it easily breaks the barrier between himself and the audience as it also indirectly gives him license to push the envelope. And boy, does he like to push envelopes.

Yes, the show gets dirty fairly quickly. In the age of post-Apatow comedies, this sort of material could have easily felt generic and dry, but it doesn’t. Bishop’s jokes are perfectly choreographed; it’s like watching a lion wait patiently before going for a kill. Bishop definitely knows, and relishes, foreplay. 

That said, the show ends in an awkward anti-climax. Asking volunteers to help him produce a hip-hop hit on stage, the New Zealand references feel rather forced and disjointed from the rest of the show. [Bishop is Irish-American and this is his first season in NZ.] 

Luckily, Bishop has an eye for which audience members to involve in the act, showing a degree of comic timing and wit without the confines of a script. On the show that I went to, his volunteer almost stole his thunder but Bishop was quite cool enough to control the situation.

There’s a lot of personality in Des Bishop Likes to Bang, and that’s probably why, even with its shortcomings, it’s hard not to like the guy. The New Zealand-specific references might need a bit of a rethink, as it distracts the audience from what he does best – deliver a good joke. 


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