STEPHEN K AMOS: What Does The K Stand For?

Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland

25/04/2014 - 03/05/2014

Opera House, Wellington

04/05/2014 - 04/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details

Fresh from Stephen K Amos‘ new sitcom radio show for BBC4 (UK), What does the Kstand for? revolves around his hilarious childhood stories. Expect big laugh out loud moments with plenty of heart, irreverence and quirk in Auckland (25 & 26, 29 Apr – 3 May) and Wellington (4 May) as part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival.

Stephen K Amos has charmed and entertained audiences all over the world with his natural, assured delivery and his honest, original material. He can find the funny in some of the most unexpected places.

The last few years have seen Stephen steadily become a household name performing all over Australia & New Zealand and appearing on our television screens for The NZ International Comedy Gala and Australia’s Thank God You’re Here, Spicks & Specks, The Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala, Great Debate and Good News Week

In the UK he has recently starred in a number of popular TV shows including Have I Got News For You (BBC One), Mock the Week (BBC2), The Royal Variety Performance (ITV) and Celebrity Masterchef (BBC2). 

Amos is set to delight in an evening of big laughs, fun, warmth and audience interaction from the master of feel good comedy. 

An eloquent and inherently charming performer, Amos has the distinction of being simply hilarious too. It’s this kind of triple threat that defines great stand-up comedy and, indeed, makes (Amos) an A-grade affair. Highly recommended.’ –

 ‘His material is impeccably crafted, his comic timing skillful and, throughout the show, his delivery remains conversational, amiable and relaxed as he strolls through local and global topics.” 4.5 STARS – Herald Sun

 ‘The guy is a comedy genius’ 2013 – Westmoorland Gazette, UK

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 

Dates:  Fri 25 & Sat 26 April, Tue 29 April – Sat 3 May, 7pm
Venue:  Rangatira at Q, 305 Queen Street
Tickets: $36 – $38 (booking fees may apply)
Bookings:  09 309 9771 // 

Dates:  Sun 4 May, 7pm
Venue:  The Opera House, 111-113 Manners St
Tickets:  $36 – $38 (booking fees may apply)
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (842 538) // 

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

He’ll be back

Review by Maraea Rakuraku 05th May 2014

At the beginning of the show Amos warns we are heading down Awkward Street and we are, via a 101 lesson in heckling. There’s also the usual impressions and accents. 

The way he shakes his face reminds me of the Mangalores in the film Fifth Element or an adorable St Bernard that could turn on you in a heartbeat, like Cujo. Take your pick. He’s got the Australian accent down pat and variants of English locales. He riffs that our accent is just like the South African one, just not so evil. That gets a laugh and not the ‘I can’t believe you said that!’ kind, either.  

Amos has a reasonably impressive current affairs knowledge of New Zealand but when an audience member replies he works at New World, he has every right to look dumbfounded and reply, “What the fuck is New World?” That, gets a laugh. “I mean, I could google machine it but, where does that name come from?” Thankfully he hasn’t seen those lame-as, embarrassing playing-vegetable New World ads that were on a while back. Like the Australian racist lollies incorporated into his routine and the meat raffles of North England I can only assume he would report to the world, our vegetable playing tendencies. Groan. As it is, he’s horrified to discover we sell meat raffles here too. Though he turns that particular punchline around, as we look dumbfounded back at him by describing our reaction, “Like a new puppy seeing it’s reflection in the mirror for the first time.” Pretty accurate really.   

It does become a little too awkward when Amos starts hitting on some of the closer racist truths in New Zealand. You can almost feel the audience pleading, please don’t go there.  The audience-participation sexuality clapping exercise eases that a little, but not much, as a sole clap for “If you’re bi-sexual” echoes around the Opera House. I mean really? Liars. This IS Wellington.  If the audience had been a bit pissed and it wasn’t a Sunday night or “school night” as Amos accurately states, I’m sure the conservative politeness would have kissed the kerb.

There is something about having us reflected back to ourselves by others that’s funny and there is a degree of confidence and sophistication international comedians bring to the circuit. I like a gig where it’s reliant on the comedian’s observations and ability to include the audience but not in a mean spirited way, though Sam from last night’s gig may be finding it a bit too much. I know the woman heckling from the back seems to disagree. Perhaps my pushing at boundaries is someone else’s mean spirited. Later in the show Amos does elicit a “boo”, followed by dead silence when he pushes it a bit too far. But all in all, he is having a good time and we are comfortable enough to let him know when we’re not. 

This is Amos’s last gig in Aotearoa. Given the response to him and his obvious love for the country, he’ll be back and when he is, see him, and not only because, like he said, “Sunday night in Wellington – there’s fuckall else to do anyway.”


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Crafted, polished, interactive and funny

Review by Johnny Givins 26th Apr 2014

Q Theatre foyer was abuzz last night as the Comedy Festival show filled three spaces with multiple shows. The audience was younger, louder, and more casual – more like a rock concert feel – than the usual Q theatre crowd. The bar was packed, very busy, and there was a feel of anticipation of a fun night for all. 

I go to the Stephen K Amos show in the largest room: Rangatira.  In a three piece suit Amos arrives onto a typical stand up stage with mike, stool, water and a pool of light.  He is very comfortable on stage and instantly starts to play with the audience.  Before his first gag he is heckled:  “You’re late!” from a man in the front row.  Amos doesn’t miss a beat and spends a hilarious two minutes putting this man down. 

He not only explains how the comedy works, but lets the audience know he is in charge and anything goes!  It is brilliant improvisation as he explains the different sort of laughter and silences that the audience creates.  “That laugh was me, I did that…  That silence was you!”

Amos is a Nigerian-born British comedian.  He is also a gay man but not a gay comedian. He has been entertaining audiences around the world at festivals, comedy venues and on radio and TV since his debut in 2001.  He was presented with the Best International Comedian in the NZ Comedy Festival in 2007 and has just spent the last month gigging in Australia.  This is his 5th visit to New Zealand.

Although his set is made up of topic clusters, the joy of his performance is in the interaction with the audience.  He weaves gags around our accent, marmite, racism, bum hair, and his family.  He quickly establishes the “big black cock” as a foundation for gags. He personalizes the show by selecting different members of the audience for different jokes and returns to them frequently when the need arises.  He used two 18 year olds with continuous hilarity.

I was expecting shock humour of some sort, but Amos is no shock jock.  He uses very little profanity; the sex gags are wonderfully non role specific and could apply to gay or straight relationship.  It is a mark of the times that a gay comedian doesn’t have to scream sexual orientation in his set. 

Amos is brilliant at accents picking up audience voices and telling stories with great timing in a variety of regional sounds.  His moments of facial reactions, held for just enough time to get the gag, are a highlight. 

It is a one hour show with no real gut-busting highlight or standing ovation territory.  Stephen K Amos is a great ‘host’, walking us through well-crafted jokes and stories drawn from his wealth of life experiences. 

Crafted, polished, interactive and funny; a black gay stand up of international quality … and a big back cock! 


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