Comedian Richard Meros has a crush on Helen Clark. And he's out to convince us all of her merits too
It's hard to tell whether Richard Meros is joking or not. Surely no one really wants Helen Clark to take them as her young lover?
Yet Meros which is actually a pseudonym seems terribly serious about his comedy festival show On The Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me As Her Young Lover.
Indeed, Meros claims the show was never intended to be part of the comedy festival. He just wants New Zealanders to realise the potential of our dear leader and help create a better New Zealand.
"We genuinely think New Zealand could be a better place."
And he genuinely believes Helen Clark is the person to make that change come to fruition.
"Helen Clark is being held back by her party and democracy," says the satirist, who compares his comedy to that of Jeremy Wells' current affairs satire, Eating Media Lunch.
Using logic as the cornerstone of his argument, Meros presents an hour-long PowerPoint presentation to help put forth his view. The comedy, he claims, is incidental.
"People think it will be preposterous but they go away thinking it's actually quite logical," he says.
The show, which he describes as a manifesto for the Rogernomics generation, was originally intended for other 20-somethings, who grew up in a "cult of individualism". But it has found a much wider audience, striking a chord with the Grey Power sector, who Meros believes are drawn to the intellectual humour.
"It's very different from the rest of the comedy festival schtick," says Meros, "Because it's funny."
The comedy may be more intellectual than other festival offerings, but knowledge of the inner workings of political systems is not a pre-requisite to understanding and enjoying the show.
"The only background you need is you must know who Helen Clark is. If you don't know who Helen is, it's probably not the show for you."
The Prime Minister has yet to come and see the show, though she is sent a videotape of every performance. Several of her aides have seen it, however, and rumour has it Peter Davis has been recommending it to friends and colleagues.
So just what is it about Clark that Meros finds so captivating and why did he write an entire book upon which the show is based exploring the possibility of becoming her lover?
"Her eyes are the crystal blue of the Kawerau River. She is very beautiful and witty," he says without so much as a trace of a smile.
"She is a very rational woman. It would take more than chocolates or flowers to woo her. The show is designed to appeal to that rationality."
Meros will tour the show nationwide until the election, at which point he says it will become redundant.
As for the possibility of a sequel, Meros says it is unlikely. "There's no way I would do this about John Key. And if all goes well, I'll never have to work another day in my life."
On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover is on at the Classic Basement until May 17, 7pm. Tickets from Ticketek.