Simon McKinney - SPECIAL

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland

13/05/2016 - 14/05/2016

Flick 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival

Production Details

Created and performed by Simon McKinney


NZ’s best character impressionist Simon McKinney’s finest material finally gathered together on two very special nights for one spectacular DVD record.

Back home for a limited time after packing out venues around the globe, Simon’s fun and generous style of quirky comedy charms one and all. His impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bert & Ernie, Elmo and ‘that movie guy’ have always made him a crowd favourite, but it’s his impersonations of the everyday folk like ‘the kiwi lady’, ‘that drunk guy’ and his international accents that connect him with his audience and give him true global appeal.

Two nights only!

Tickets will sell fast so don’t miss out!

Please note: Shows will be filmed for DVD release and is a Best Of format.

Winner – Best Male Comedian 2010, NZ Comedy Guild Awards Winner – Reilly Comedy Award 2010, Variety Artists of New Zealand FRED Award nominee 2011, NZICF

“Simon McKinney is a New Zealand Comedy Gem” – TVNZ

AUCKLAND Dates: Fri 13 & Sat 14 May, 8:45pm
Venue: Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive
Tickets: $26.50 – $28.50 (service fees may apply)


Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,

1 hour


Review by Nik Smythe 14th May 2016

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and Simon McKinney’s Special is the quintessential case in point, in that his hour-long set feels like about half that.  I gather the title refers to the fact that his show is being filmed for a forthcoming DVD.  Not on the first night though; instead we’re privileged to witness a kind of preview night in which he loosely plots out the routine to be ready for tomorrow night’s shoot.

You could be forgiven for not knowing that he’s celebrated as ‘New Zealand’s best character impressionist’, especially given he’s been away for years ‘filling venues across the globe’.  But he’s back home for a limited time to record this DVD special (and lend his screen acting chops to TV3’s puppet comedy The Moe Show) and any opportunity to see him in action is well recommended.

Simon’s smooth, relaxed style and tone hark back to the days of raconteur entertainers before it was even called standup; his snappy three-piece suit and blond quiff have me thinking ‘Tintin Bond’.  His affable, approachable personality has the crowd on-side all the way, and he barely even swears, so really in the present day comedy climate his old-fashioned glib charm is something of a unique selling point.

Dabbling very lightly in celebrity impressions, for the most part, his anecdotes involve an eclectic cast of recognisable character tropes.  Even as he smartly exploits blatant stereotypes – obtuse Americans, humourless Germans, unintelligible Australians et al, you just can’t get mad at the cheeky rascal.  His high-register female voices are particularly credible, and his observations on men and women’s comparative typical behaviour when drunk are roundly applauded as spot-on and hilarious. 

Occasional mutterings to himself about what’s working or not, and even abandoning a couple of gags when he flubs the set up notwithstanding, there’s no denying McKinney’s quietly formidable prowess as an observational standup character comedian.  


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