The Elliot Stables, 39 Elliot St, City, Auckland

11/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

Polson Higgs Comedy Club, XII Below Bar, Dunedin

18/03/2010 - 21/03/2010

The Garden Club, 13b Dixon Street, Wellington

04/05/2010 - 08/05/2010

Production Details


Ever had a thought? Jeremy Elwood has. He’s had lots and lots of thoughts. Lately he’s been thinking about thinking which, frankly, is a house of mirrors. Fortunately he’s an incredibly talented comedian and has taken his bent on things to explore the nature of thought, ideas and inspiration. He’s taken on the job of exploring the nature of thoughts, how do we differentiate the good from the bad, the well thought out from the ill advised? And then Jeremy makes it all funny. Really funny.

In the last year we’ve seen Jeremy, with his thoughts, as a regular guest on TV3’s 7Days as well as AotearoHA The Tikki Tour Edition and also on TV2’s Comedy Christmas Gala. He has also has a weekly blog on  where he shares his thoughts on the political landscape, perfect fodder for a comedian who’s thinking about the nature of thinking.

His previous shows “Rock Plus Roll”, “Passport Control” and “12 Steps” have garnered praise from both audiences and reviewers.

Elwood did a magnificent job” – Christchurch Press

Jeremy has become known for his natural talent when it comes to topical comedy, his ability to quickly see the funny in a news stories or current events is second to none in New Zealand. This skill is what has propelled Jeremy to the forefront of comedy in this country and has him in demand from Invercargill to Auckland.

If you like your comedy with substance, if you like to be challenged, if you’re over dick jokes** then Jeremy is the comic for you. Having performed all over the world from Australia, Canada, Brittan to Singapore for over a decade Jeremy has mastered the art of stand up, something which has served him well in his chosen career.

This show is social commentary wrapped up in comedic insight, and served with a healthy dose of hilarity. Forget the difference between cats and dogs, forget how bad plane food is, comedy has grown up and Jeremy Elwood is delivering it.

*Proud purveyors of Fine Comedy, keeping it Notorious since 9.15am
**NB – May contain one dick joke. But it’s a goodie.

Dunedin Fringe 
Dates: Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 March, 9pm
Venue: Polson Higgs Comedy Club, XII Below Bar
Tickets: Adults $18, Conc. & Groups 10+ $14
Bookings: Ticket Direct, 03 477-8597,   

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010 

Dates:  Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 May, 8.30pm 
Venue:  The Garden Club, 13 Dixon St, Wellington
Tickets:  Adults $25, Conc. & Groups 10+ $23
Bookings:  Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK,
Show duration:  1 hour 

Dates:  Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 May, 8.30pm 
The Elliot Stables, 39 Elliot St, City 
Tickets:  Adults $25, Conc. & Groups 10+ $23 
Bookings:  Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK,
Show duration:  1 hour

He gives a damn which makes him worth it

Review by John Smythe 06th May 2010

Despite his being a ukulele-hating (I love them!) smoker (why pay all that extra tax to suffer ill health and shorten your life?) who is dismissive of whimsy and burlesque (both are fine by me), Jeremy Elwood delivers a compelling, thought-provoking hour.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree with him or not, the point is he chews on gristle that matters. And he doesn’t shout into the mic, either, which is a bonus. He talks to us; engages us.

A standard “Who’s from here?” then “Who’s from elsewhere?” opening orientates him to us and vice versa. And because he’s unlikely to have many more from Zimbabwe it won’t be a spoiler to say – as a tiny taste – that he instantly tells her, “OK, you’ve got real issues over there so while I’m talking about New Zealand’s problems, you can just laugh at us.”

He’s fast on his feet with a good brain in his head and a strong moral compass to steer himself by. And his material is well thought out and thoroughly developed. That’s why I like him and his ilk.

Between his ‘prologue’ and ‘epilogue’, aligning with some primordial law of nature, he has structured his show into seven parts, each with a heading that anchors his rant to something of substance.

DEMOGRAPHICS covers worrying trends in generalising and compartmentalising, including but not limited to advertisers. PATRIOTISM takes us to a Facebook group called ‘I’m Pretty Sure New Zealand Is The Best Country In The World’, which Elwood deconstructs nicely.

PEOPLE leads us into the relative realms of Good and Bad. POLITICS plunges us into modern media practices.

RELIGION takes the biggest slice of time with passionate rants on fundamentalism, those who call evolution ‘A Fairytale for Grownups’, the smugness of atheists, the rights of gays to suffer marriage and military service, and – the biggie – the Catholic Church (a favourite target this season).  

LEGACIES makes us think about what we might leave behind while IMAGINATION honours the extraordinary capacity of humankind to explore and create beyond the known. His scope is wide ranging yet it is comprehensively organised and pitched to relate to our everyday experiences.

Elwood ends his hour will three simple rules that – without spoiling his ways of saying them – encourage us to value life’s learning opportunities, think twice about stuff and give ourselves and each other space.

I like a person who gives a damn and Elwood certainly does. That’s why it’s well worth spending and hour with him.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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Skilled comic artist also impresses as thoughtful humanist philosopher

Review by Sharon Matthews 27th Mar 2010

Jeremy Elwood is a man. He is a man who feels he thinks too much. Tonight our comedian is wearing a white t-shirt and black trousers, teamed with black pointy shoes. I feel confident about his masculinity as he is drinking beer on stage and making jokes about Hamilton. 

However, my initial prejudice proves totally confounded, as – apart from a minor struggle with his computer at the beginning – Elwood gives us a polished intelligent performance.

Unexpectedly, Elwood’s show is an extended comic argument for the right of the individual to avoid categorisation, and to be seen as more than merely a demographic number. Ironically, it becomes apparent that I need to look beyond my initial judgment of him as a stereotypical male comedian, and recognise him as that truly individual thing: a comedian capable of transforming a meditation upon old age into an extended plea for the serious consideration of euthanasia. 

I especially enjoy his warning about advertising companies who use patriotism as selling point. As he reminds us, New Zealand is still a fantastic country, but no place on earth is 100% pure.

Now, this is quite complex stuff for a late night comedy show, so to enable those confused (me) or drunk (the guy up the back) audience members to follow his thought processes, Elwood has augmented his show with audio-visual material. The power-point presentation has very helpful subtitles, but also reveals Elwood’s enjoyably anarchic sense of the visual ridiculous, particularly in the photo montage highlighting the similarities between the Hollywood and Mosgiel city signage.

I hadn’t realised until I came here tonight just how important it is not to sit at the front tables in a comedy show, as random audience members are quizzed as to their origins, and the answers are used as illustrations for racial punchlines. The gentleman who hails from England is thanked for the invention of alcohol, syphilis, and Gallipoli. While it always seems unfair to judge an individual based on their nationality, I think that these are quirky takes on the standard stereotypes. I am particularly impressed by the way that the location and occupations of the audience become part of a narrative.

Elwood asks different audience members a series of questions and weaves together, during his monologue, the answers to his questions: the equivalent of balancing the heavy ball of the central rehearsed comic routine in one hand, while at the same time juggling very fast a series of random balls thrown at him by strangers.  

Elwood segues from the opinions of those people who write letters to the newspaper on the evolutionary struggles of stranded whales (I wish I could explain this reference to you, but as I lack the ability, you will just have to go to the show), into politics. Quick John Key bash, then on to extended take on religion, with particular reference to those “bat-shit crazy” American fundamentalists.

But Elwood constantly thwarts my attempts to anticipate and categorise his comedy. He sets up a topic, such as male hierarchy in the Catholic Church – you know, that organisation that discourages contraception, run by men who don’t fuck – leading me to expect some post-feminist rant. However, the point he wants to make is that overpopulation is what is going to get us, betraying the environmentalist heart hidden behind the jokes. An easy target for stereotypical humour was glanced at, prodded at a bit, and then extended in an unexpected manner.

Elwood is a comedian who doesn’t care what religion you believe in – if it makes you happy and feel good then go for it – but this doesn’t mean you can fuck with someone else’s life. I learn something too: apparently Destiny Church opened in Dunedin and then closed immediately!

The show ends on a plea to take pride in yourself and Paul-the-policeman [see Irene Pink review] – still sitting close to the front – gets involved again, as an example of someone who can be proud of what he does. He obviously has a face that calls for audience participation (and there is a possibility neither he nor his wife will risk a live comedy show again).

Spoiler alert:
Elwood skilfully collects all these seemingly unrelated strands into a summary proposing three very simple rules which would allow humanity to co-exist in peace. Firstly, allow failure. Secondly, question everything you are told: no-one is born homophobic, people are born open minded. Thirdly, take a step back and think before you react; don’t loose it just because someone spills a drink on you.
Alert ends.

Thank you Jeremy Elwood. I didn’t get all your jokes particularly the one about the Welsh soul singer (?), but the show is full of energy, intelligent, and relevant, with a thematic complexity that I hadn’t expected.

I recommend this show wholeheartedly. Elwood is an immensely skilled comic artist, and at the same time a very thoughtful humanist philosopher.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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