The Best of the Billys 2010

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

01/05/2010 - 01/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

They’ve all been there, done that and got the (coveted) yellow towel; and now they’re coming back together for a night to celebrate some of the best local talent. It’s The Best Of The Billys.
Debuting during the 2009 programme, The Best Of The Billys brought together recipients of the golden towel for a sell-out show marking classic highlights and historical moments of New Zealand comedy. At this years show 7 of the best Billy T Award winners will entertain you with their comic genius.
Host Ben Hurley is not only the winner of the yellow towel but also the coveted boot (The FRED Award); not content with being a big name in the UK comedy scene, he has moved back to NZ become a familiar face through his appearances on TV3’s hit satirical-news quiz 7Days.
Dai Henwood needs no introduction. But just in case, the tiny-but-mighty funny man was a breakthrough performer in Pulp Comedy, then going on to helm cult C4 television series Insert Video Here and Roll The Dai/ Roll The Dai Outback. Last year saw Henwood release his first stand up DVD/CD, Dai Another Day, which has recently achieved Gold sales.
Cori Gonzalez-Macuer’s unique style of comedy has seen him perform all over New Zealand, Europe and as far as the Middle East. Picking up 2006’s Billy T Award Cori went on to become a writer and presenter for C4’s, Jono’s New Show, which earned him a 2008 Qantas Film and Television Award for “Best Entertainment Show”.
Star of TV show Off The Radar, Te Radar’s illustrious career in the local comedy scene has seen him not only pick up the celebrated golden towel, but a mainstay of classic television show Pulp Comedy for six seasons and a columnist for the NZ Herald – without any aversions to provoking comment or causing a little outrage.
Described as a “chauvinists’ nightmare Jan Maree went from stand-up comedian hoping to score free beer in 1994 to performing a wide range of live shows, which earned her the 2001 Billy T Award for “It’s In The Bag”. Combining true-life graphic to volatile social slaughter, Jan has been compared to Billy Connolly “if he had been born a Croatian woman.”
His wits are razor sharp from 4 years on the UK Pro Comedy circuit where he is now a regular headliner and host; Brendhan Lovegrove’s widespread appeal has seen him become a student favourite, managing to frighten and delight audiences with his manic presence and caustic, sometimes misanthropic wit.
Last year’s triumphant return of Chris Brain (NZ), had him picking up the 2009 Billy T Award. Chris is frequently cited as “the comedians’ comedian” and a favorite of angry men everywhere, casting his sharp eye over everything and taking no hostages with his barrage of comedic bullets.
The Best Of The Billys plays
SKYCITY Theatre, Cnr Wellesley and Hobson St., Auckland CBD
Saturday 1st May, 8:30pm
Tickets: Adults $45, Concessions and Groups of 10+ $39.50

Bookings through TICKETEK – 0800 TICKETEK (842 5385) or (service fees will apply)  

A mixed night

Review by Karyn Cushen 03rd May 2010

The Best of the Billys showcases previous winners of the Billy T Award – New Zealand’s most prestigious comedy award for the last thirteen years – and as such is usually a pinnacle event on the New Zealand International Comedy Festival calendar. This year was set to be no different, with a legendary line-up that included Dai Henwood, Te Radar, Jan Maree, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Brendhan Lovegrove and, 2009 winner, Chris Brain.
The night began fantastically with MC Ben Hurley entertaining the audience, which included, of course, the witty interrogation of all latecomers and the denigration of Americans. In a word, Ben Hurley was fantastic, he bantered with the crowd, heckled with the hecklers and made impressive jokes about old men, Jafas and cat attacks.
However, as the acts progressed, it became quickly apparent that a number of the line-up had failed to progress any further since they received the Award, which apparently recognizes outstanding potential and commitment. This is specifically in regard to Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, who made it quite clear that he did not want to be there and presented a twenty-minute set of disjointed two-line jokes.

For me, it was the stand-up comedy veterans, like Te Radar and Brendhan Lovegrove, that impressed me the most. Their material was observational, relying little on the low-brow humour (which included subjects like bestiality, underage sex and ‘blow jobs’) that the majority of the line-up preferred. 

It was a mixed night of comedy that overall was highly enjoyable. 
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.


Jerome Chandrahasen May 4th, 2010

If you'd like to give disjointed unthemed comedy another try, UK comedian Milton Jones ,

Canadian Stewart Francis ,

and locals Guy Williams ,

and Nathan Winters 

would be a good place to start.

Karyn Cushen May 3rd, 2010

Hi Joseph, thanks for your comments,

Firstly, in my experience a successful stand-up comic will organise their jokes thematically, so around a topic or an experience, with each joke seamlessly transitioning to the next. On Saturday night, Cori’s set had no structure, it comprised a handful of standalone jokes that were not, in my opinion, the calibre of a Billy T Award recipient (think a coffee-table joke book). This lack of quality, coupled with his reluctant disposition, made his set quite painful to witness.

Secondly, I thoroughly enjoyed Ben Hurley, Te Radar and Brendhan Lovegrove, and in parts enjoyed Jan Maree, Chris Brain and Dai Henwood, therefore, in a broader sense, "it was a mixed night of comedy that overall was highly enjoyable".

Thanks again for your comments.

Joseph Harper May 3rd, 2010

Woops. Well caught Nic.

Nic Farra May 3rd, 2010

 Deflamatory is my new favourite word.

Joseph Harper May 3rd, 2010

"twenty-minute set of disjointed two-line jokes." Sounds amazing. What was bad about it? I think it's "Cori" also. This review is weird. How can you say the majority of the line-up was utilising "low-brow" material (which is clearly meant in a somewhat deflamatory way) then follow that immediately with calling the night "highly enjoyable"?

[Cori is correct - my bad subbing, now fixed. Thanks. ED]

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