Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

25/04/2014 - 03/05/2014

Foxglove Queens Wharf Ballroom, 33 Queens Wharf, Wellington

13/05/2014 - 17/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details

A stalwart of New Zealand comedy, Jeremy Elwood returns with his 35,673rd show Auckland (25, 26, 29 April – 3 May) and Wellington (13 – 17 May) as part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival. Though this may be an exaggeration. Bringing his unique brand of insightful, intelligent comedy, a Comedy festival isn’t complete without seeing the annual instalment from Jeremy who consistently creates killer material with a turnover rate to be envied. Creating an hour of new material every year is not something most comics can do. This, however, is what Jeremy thrives on.

In the last year Jeremy has toured to Australia, the USA and his native country Canada. Regularly performing around the world and all over New Zealand means Jeremy is always match fit – comedy is like a muscle, the more you work it the better it gets, and this is like watching an elite athlete of comedy. Forget the ten thousand hour rule, he passed that long ago.

You’ll know Jeremy from his performances on TV3’s 7Days, the Comedy Gala, Funny Roots and a host of other TV performances (he’s even done the obligatory Shortland St stint). His acerbic wit combined with a charm that comes from years on the road makes him a crowd favourite. His is intelligent, irreverent, thought provoking comedy.

Jeremy really does knock it out of the park” –

Fresh, original and thoughtful material that you won’t see anywhere else” –

If you like your comedy to challenge you, this is the one for you. Oh, and there will also be dick jokes.

As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to

AUCKLAND Dates: Fri 25 & Sat 26 April, Tue 29 April – Sat 3 May, 8.45pm Venue: Vault at Q Theatre, 305 Queen St Tickets: Adults $25, Conc. $22, Groups 8+ $22 Bookings: 09 309 9771 //

WELLINGTON Dates: Tue 13 – Sat 17 May, 7pm Venue: Foxglove Ballroom, 57 Customhouse Quay Tickets: Adults $25, Conc. $22, Groups 8+ $22 Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) //


Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

A good, raucous laugh

Review by Maryanne Cathro 14th May 2014

I always enjoy Jeremy Elwood, he restores my faith in male stand-up comedians. He is funny, irreverent and sweary while also managing to be passionate, informed and intelligent. I appreciate that this also puts off some comedy goers, which is fine as when audiences self-select for comedians they appreciate, everyone wins.  

Great stories of his experiences in Las Vegas, being in San Francisco at the perfect moment in history; keen observations on what constitutes current events in New Zealand, the state of politics, the endearing behaviour of old flatmates. 

The beat poet on film is different and original, and Tourette’s is great, so why not. It does break the continuity of a live show a little, but the element of a conversation between Elwood and the screen is kind of fun. The Tourette’s poem about what it means to grow older very much nails the experience, for me anyway.

We have a great laugh together, Elwood, the audience and me; and on the 14th, a New Zealand Sign Language interpreter will be working the show: only two such shows in the whole festival. Having been present last year for Michelle A’Court’s NZSL translated show, it was a great extra level of humour for everyone involved even if you don’t understand NZSL. 

If you find the Neanderthal droolings of so many male comedians tedious, but still want a good, raucous laugh, Elwood hits the spot.


Maryanne Cathro May 15th, 2014

Good on you Ben for calling me out, I'm glad you did as it means we can qualify the generalisation thoughtfully (which I did not when left to my own devices). Part of the problem with being a reviewer is that we are not really 'audience' in the truest sense - it's not uncommon for me to be sitting in a show being the only one not laughing at the joke. Also often the only sober person there, given the job at hand, which may explain a thing or two! And in my reviews of said comedians, I've made it clear that the audience was enjoying the show. In the review of Jeremy's show above I made that point in the beginning. Comedy is like any other performance genre in that there are different types for different tastes. As reviewers, we get to see a broad range of styles and I am looking for quality, not just things I enjoy myself. But I reckon if we sat down and went through what we both think is genuinely funny, we'd have about an 80% overlap, if not more.

I wish it were true that experience is the key here. I could name at least two very famous kiwi comedians whose work I find boorish and tedious, and if anyone can be bothered going through the backlist of my reviews they will find out who I mean. Whereas I was lucky enough to see Rhys Mathewson at the tender age of 18 and he was wonderful then too.

I was very lucky (actually I put my hand up and shouted Pick Me Me Me!) to review Robbie and Sam's show last night. So clever! And I have enjoyed, though have never got to review. the other comedians you mentioned.

So, I hereby qualify my drooling Neanderthal comment to say, "If the last male comedian you saw was a drooling Neanderthal, don't give up on them, there are plenty out there who have evolved." ;-)

Ben Hurley May 14th, 2014


Thanks so much for your response. Thanks also for the compliment. I too have seen the mediocre comedy of which you speak and, yes, most of it is male. I also agree that's just a numbers game. We all want more female comedians and I'm not sure what the solution to that problem is. I just think that the vast majority of comedy, performed by either gender, at this festival is thoughtful and respectful of all of society. Im embarrassed you have experienced otherwise. I hope you can get in to see some other shows this weekend so that your opinion might be turned. May I recommend Tom Wigglesworth, James Acaster and Stuart Goldsmith or Sam Smith's and Robbie Ellis' show this week. I think you'd like them. 

I have read a lot if criticism of "male comedians" of late and it does get my back up. I know there is a problem with some that think that blatant offense is the key to success. However, I think they are mostly inexperienced comics who have the wrong idea. I also think they are in the minority. All the comics you mentioned you liked are all experienced, older, wiser and take a more thoughtful approach to the art. 

If nothing else, I'm glad we discussed this. 


white male comedian with a beard

Maryanne Cathro May 14th, 2014

Hello Ben!! I do have the advantage as of course I know your work far more than you know mine.  Funnily enough, you are my SECOND favourite kiwi male comedian, and I don't think your work is drooling or neanderthal at all. I mean, a few years back when I was down to write a review for your show in the Garden Club I think it was, I got turned away as it was SO sold out, there were no seats for reviewers! Yay! I did say something very complimentary about your appearance in that year's group show though. Whatever you are doing, NZ loves it.

Actually, you are second equal with Jarred Christmas, and Rhys Matthewson and Raybon Kahn, even though those first two are ship jumpers, they are still kiwi boys, yeah?

I've seen a lot of very mediocre and seriously unfunny comedy, mostly from guys but to be fair that's a numbers game, and a lot of it is based on a perceived agreement on the part of the  performer that the audience will find their derogatory generalisations about groups or types of people, funny too. And that using lots of swear words is in itself amusing. Which of course it can be, but only when done well. :)


Maryanne Cathro

Middle-aged Female Wellingtonian.

Ben Hurley May 14th, 2014

I don't know you Maryanne, but I'm fairly certain you don't like generalisations made about you based on your gender or profession. 

Parts of this review are ill informed, hypocritical, sexist and just down right offensive. 

All the the parts about Jeremy Elwood being intelligent, funny and having a great show are, of course, correct. 

As as a male comedian, I must be lumped into this category of 'Neanderthal droolers'. I must be, I'm a male and a comedian. You're a woman who lives in Wellington. What generalisations should I make about you having never met you? Or would you object to those sort of assumptions?

I think the statements you've made about "so many male comedians" may just have come down to naivety. So, I challenge you this, name me enough male comedians that 'drool like Neanderthals' that warrant this kind of disgusting generalisation. It needs to be a lot. More than 50% at least. Then an example of the material used that made you make this judgement about their art.

If you can't, I would like a retraction of your odious sentiment. 

I also urge you to attend any of the other shows by male comedians in the comedy festival this week as I am confident you wouldn't be able to make this statement after you have actually experienced enough of something to make an informed judgement. 

I know you think you are fighting the good fight but comments like this, causing gender conflict, even from the oppressed group, set back your feminist cause 30 years. 


Ben Hurley

Prehistoric Salivator 

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Delightfully insightful and full of wit

Review by Nomi Cohen 27th Apr 2014

The comedic icon Jeremy Elwood is back with a new solo show that promises at the very least, some food for thought. 

Famous for his guest appearances on 7 Days, it feels as if he is stuck in the familiar format. A lot of his material consists of his opinions on various headlines. Although most of his commentary is not only intelligent but insightful, I am expecting to see something different than what he brings to the table on the hit TV3 show.

Don’t get me wrong, I am entertained by this. At the very least his opinions are interesting and most of the time funny, particularly as he takes a stab at New Zealand’s hard hitting top stories, reminding everyone what a big deal it was when Jin the Otter escaped from Auckland Zoo.

In saying this, I feel his clear intelligence may be wasted on some of the crowd. This becomes very apparent as a group of hecklers in the front row, give him the opportunity to show his improvisational prowess. He should be highly commended for his brilliant handling of the less than ideal interruptions. He handles them with grace, indulging their interjections from the very beginning during his warm welcome.

The welcome itself does start off in the normal format with cheering and polite formalities, but following this we turn our attention to the projector where we watch a beat poet that Elwood has discovered and “couldn’t afford as a warm up act”. This is strange for me. Definitely not what I am expecting, and not particularly amusing but an interesting idea. However it does make one question what one should expect from a stand up comedy show as the beat poet is re-introduced later on.

A lot of his show feels disjointed and unpolished despite the material being of a high professional standard. In saying that, Elwood, like a kid at Christmas,  is clearly delighted to share some of his personal experiences throughout the show. Each story lights up his face as he recalls his old flat mates in Dunedin or his tour in Las Vegas, opening each precious present and sharing it with the audience. 

It is a shame that due to the hecklers, the Saturday night house was robbed of his closing passage but the ever-valiant Elwood rolled with the punches and went full gear with the hecklers finishing off his show with excitement and witty flair. 

On the whole I feel Elwood’s solo show is definitely worth attending even if it is just to experience this classic doing his thing. It is delightfully insightful and full of wit and, for the most part, full of laughs. But do be prepared to use that little bit of extra brain power to keep up with his sharp mind.


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