Comedy Underground, 305 Queen St, Auckland

13/05/2009 - 16/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


There’s ‘ha ha’ funny. There’s ‘ROFL’ funny (google it). And there’s ‘snigger turned snort’ funny. But comedians Urzila Carlson, Jarred Fell and Steven Boyce would like to think of themselves as ‘knights of the triangle table’ funny after being crowned New Zealand comedy’s best newcomers.

Urzila Carlson was released from South Africa in 2006, where she is believed to have once made a turkey giggle. After bragging about this to her new kiwi mates, they dared her to enter the RAW comedy quest. She made it to the finals and decided to stick to the funny business. Mainly so she could brag back to her mates. And rightly so, because she’s already won the NZ Comedy Guild’s Best Newcomer award and the Andrew Kovacevich Cup.

Steven Boyce is an "up and coming hot shot and Tom Cruise lookalike with a delightful Fro". This will be his 3rd year of comedy festivals, his 2nd year of Uni and his 2nd year on the pro circuit… he thinks. One thing he is sure about is receiving a Highly Commended at the 2008 RAW comedy quest finals and nomination for the NZ Comedy Guild’s Best Newcomer award.

Jarred Fell, magician extraordinaire. After only two years on the comedy scene, he’s received many ‘ROFL’ ovations. It turns out if you excel at a bunch of hobbies like acting, singing and dancing, just combine them together into one performance along with magic and alla-kazaam! You’ve got an entertaining comedy extravaganza that wins you a finalist at the 2008 RAW comedy quest and nomination for the NZ Comedy Guild’s Best Newcomer award. If he works on his magic, he could make Trikes a sellout!

You wouldn’t dare miss these three together live! Why? ‘Cause trikes are cool.

Dates:  Wed 13 –  Sat 16 May, 10pm
Venue:  COMEDY UNDERGROUND, Wallace Trust Gallery, 305 Queen Street
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (842 5385)
Tickets:  Adults $15 / Conc. $12 / Groups 10+ $12 


Their only way is further up

Review by Venus Stephens 18th May 2009

Saturday night on Queen Street and the square is teeming with Comedy Fest goers and the like, out with the same intention as I: to have a laugh and see what the night will bring.

At the busy street front entrance to the Wallace Trust Gallery, home to the Comedy Underground, a queue is patiently waiting to gain entrance into Trikes, tonight’s showcase of NZ comedy newcomers: Urzila Carlson, winner ‘NZ Comedy Guild Best Newcomer 2008’, and Steven Boyce and Jared Fell, both nominated ‘Best Newcomer 2008’. Trikes is on its last night and the queuing curious are a good indication that this comic sandwich of stand-ups have roused interest from their antics. 

Once inside, our chosen vantage for the show is within my safety parameter; far from threat of humiliation. Comedians can melt your self esteem and leave you wanting a shower, as we are about to see in the misleading baby face visage of Jared Fell.

Fresh faced and athletic, he seems personable and sweet. Hell no! This ‘book’ is ‘Gardening’ on the cover and ‘Porn’ inside. Fell’s stage persona is the antithesis of nice, and throughout his cleverly executed set he gets full dollar use of his props, abusing them in more ways than one.

Fell’s set is laced with traditional tricks corrupted to his style and quirky jokes. One about Sth Auckland has me laughing, then protesting in earnest (I’m from Otara, we’re not all bad). At random Fell lets off maniacal screeches that startle even those relaxed by a preshow  drink. He’s a sick little puppy (I’m the classic pot calling the kettle black) and I really enjoyed his performance, in a twisted; I’ve gotta check my boundaries kind of way.

Next up – the filling in the sandwich, metaphorically speaking – is the voluptuous Urzila Carlson. Having recently emigrated to NZ from South Africa, she has taken to Kiwi life with aplomb. Despite an abrupt ‘Go Home racist’ encounter while performing in Hamilton, Carlson, in her distinctive accent, revisits her garrulous first encounters on settling into to her new life.

She touches on personal relationship choices and her foray into the NZ comedy scene, whilst treating the audience to funny accounts of food sins and loves. I’m endeared to Urzila because she has a voracious and self deprecating humour that thrives on bad habits that most women stress about.

Steven Boyce, last up, is a rosy cheeked 19yr old Uni student, with razor wit and ‘you went too far that time’ candour. I understand his bravado; when in my late teens I had the uncanny knack of being completely without a sense of social propriety and Boyce is no different. His humour dances around his child-to-adult life so far and the attached experiences of working in inner city Auckland.

A light-hearted comment grazes perilously close to offence; a two second quip he employs in his set about sexual assault wins only nervous chuckles. While I can excuse this as naiveté. I hope Boyce will exclude this quip from his routine.  The subject of sex is cool in comedy as long as the sex is consensual.

Faux pas aside, I am livened by Boyce’s realisation he’s just revealed he has taken drugs while his Dad is in the audience. It’s funny to watch as he tries hopelessly to dilute the story and his part in it. I don’t know if it’s part of his gag but he looks nervous enough. As an anti climax, somehow the blame falls back onto South Auckland where the aforementioned drugs come from. Every city has a fall guy.

All in all, they’re a tour de force these three, and if tonight’s performances are a gauge of their comic future then their only way is further up.

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