TJ McDONALD: A Mâori Ate My Great Granddad (NZ)

The Classic Studio, 321 Queen St, Auckland

11/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

04/05/2010 - 08/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

Wellington’s only Billy T Award nominee  
TJ McDonaldis Wellington’s only chance for bringing the Billy T Award back to the capital. In becoming the sole Billy T Award nominee from Wellington, TJ McDonald joins a list of previous nominees that includes Ben Hurley, Dai Henwood, and the Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement. 
His provocatively titled show ‘A Mâori ate my Great Granddad’ explores the weird and wonderful world of his family history – from drunken doctors who fought Hitler, to grave digging mental patients. Though he has performed in every NZ Comedy Festival since 2005, this will be TJ’s first solo show. 
A regular on the New Zealand comedy scene since 2004, TJ has recently completed his third festival performance with sketch group The Comedy Cure, made the grand final of Radio New Zealand National’s Stand Up and Be Counted comedy series and performed at the 2009 Christmas Comedy Gala at Skycity Theatre.
Dates: Tues 4 – Sat 8 May, 7pm
Venue: Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian Sts, City
Tickets: Adults $18, Conc. & Groups 10+ $15
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK, 
Show duration: 1 hour
Dates: Tues 11 – Sat 15 May, 8.45pm
Venue: Classic Studio, Level 1, 321 Queen St, City
Tickets: Adults $18, Conc. & Groups 10+ $15
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK, / 
Show duration: 1 hour  


Funny, astute and intelligent

Review by Lillian Richards 12th May 2010

T J McDonald – a Billy T Award nominee – has crafted a very well put together show. It’s coherent and clever, intelligent and friendly and whilst it deals with personal material it is not just an hour of self-therapy.

I have to admit to finding all things more amusing and/or more interesting when in a foreign accent (maybe excluding German, no offence, just an idiosyncrasy of mine) and so I sometimes find a Kiwi act painful and have to dress it up in a foreign tongue.

Not so with this one buddy, not so. Here I could enjoy the casual insouciance of McDonalds humour indeed just because it had that touch of international wit about it. Although he doesn’t roll his r’s there is a hint of ‘not afraid to admit intelligence’ about the show that so smacked of other cultures, you know, ones where it’s not ‘gay’ to possess a working knowledge of politics or have a vague grasp of history and geography.

That’s not to say that the show isn’t Kiwi. It deals almost exclusively with achingly important national topics such as cannibalism, colonialism and alcoholism and even the nature of ism’s themselves.

A very funny, astute and intelligent show: I highly recommend you go.


John Smythe May 15th, 2010

I’ve been in shock for a couple of days … Now this review has provoked a new forum entitled Has Cultural Cringe reinfected NZ?   

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Candid commentary

Review by Suzanne Edwards 05th May 2010

TJ McDonald has this year been nominated for the prestigious Billy T James award. His show A Maori ate my Great Grandad got the sold out audience laughing and gawfing early on.

TJ’s self depreciating style strikes an immediate cord with the audience as he feeds into the Kiwi psyche with stories we can all relate to. Tales of mental illness as well as lazy and grumpy ancestors make you wonder how his genes ever made it through but I am glad they did.

Explanations of why we can’t use cellphones on planes, an understanding of how ‘concentration’ camps could come in handy and general tales about life in NZ keep the audience entertained throughout.

TJ’s candid commentary manages to deliver belly laughs while avoiding being either PC or offensive. 
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