Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

08/05/2013 - 11/05/2013

Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

15/05/2013 - 18/05/2013

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


This year’s NZ International Comedy Festival will feature a new addition in the form of a dedicated late-night bad taste show. 

The show is the brainchild of award-winning comedians Reuben Lee and Ed Caruthers. Lee says the motivation for the show came from wanting to make better use of an untapped opportunity: “When you look at what makes most comedians laugh, it is always horribly demented and sick stuff. The Festival is great because we have all these great comedians performing different styles of comedy. Why not just throw them in a room and encourage them to say all the twisted stuff which really makes them laugh? Sick is cathartic.” 

Caruthers adds: “We’ve both noticed, when gigging over the last few years, is what really makes us laugh is crossing taboos. When a comedian is brave enough to try to get belly laughs out of subjects like abortion, cancer, kiddy-fiddling, AIDS – or combinations thereof – it can be something beautiful.” 

Plus I keep winning the award at the NZ comedy awards for most offensive material, so I thought we may as well embrace it,” adds Caruthers. “So I must be doing something right. And wrong.” 

Hosted by Lee and Caruthers, The Bad Taste Hour will feature a revolving line-up of comedians from the festival performing their sickest, darkest material. The show runs at the Basement Studio in Auckland from 8-11 May and the Cavern Club in Wellington from 15-18 May. 

As part of the 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival 


Date: Wed 8 – Sat 11 May, 10 pm,
Venue: The Basement Studio, Level 1, Lower Greys Ave

Date: Wed 15 – Sat 18 May, 10 pm
Venue: Cavern Club, 22 Allen St 

Tickets: $14 – $18 booking fees may apply)
Bookings: 0800Ticketek   www.ticketek.co.nz

For the sweetest deals and hottest comedy news throughout the Festival head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz 

Mission quite tough under the circumstances

Review by Maryanne Cathro 16th May 2013

The venue: The Cavern Bar on Allen St.
The Mission: Four comedians deliver what they consider to be their most offensive jokes. 

Ed Caruthers and Reuben Lee front this noisome foursome, possibly buying time for Nick Gibb and TJ MacDonald who must have walked fairly briskly to get there after their show at the Fringe Bar.

Taste is a strange thing, bad taste even stranger. Given what passes for humour among most stand up comedians these days, a show devoted to bad taste jokes really does set the bar pretty high, or is that low? Four comedians take a run at their 15 minutes on stage with very different strategies.

Reuben Lee chooses members of his family to ridicule. Misses the mark for me, as it is not given much in the way of context. But his stage dive off the 15cm high stage was funny.

Nick Gibb tells tales of embarrassing but defining moments in his life, from an incident in a line outside a club to the perils of carefully planned spontaneous sex. Clever and funny and cohesive, if a little safer in his choice of bad taste humorous targets.

TJ MacDonald is a much better laugh this time around – last time I saw him he was trying to do his act while downing 10 shots of tequila. Recently returned to Wellington and looking a lot less bloodshot around the eyes, even so late at night, his humour is more engaging with moments of intellectual sparkle. While he rambles about a bit, it is an interesting journey through funny one liners and audience interactions.

Ed Caruthers by his own admission is a one line deliverer. Unfortunately in the context of bad taste, this leads down some very dark alleys of eww, and not all present are willing to follow.

It’s a tough gig: a small audience late on a week night for a show targeting the worst taste in humour. I think under the circumstances, everyone present did their best to have a good time, both on and off stage.


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