Laugh it up in the silly season

This week's live Comedy Christmas Cracker gala features 13 of the funniest people from Ireland, England, Australia and New Zealand converging on the SkyCity Theatre for one night only. On the eve of this comedy feast, TimeOut asked British star and host of the show Jason Cook, along with Irish charmer Des Bishop to spill a few of their festive secrets.

Jason Cook (left) and Des Bishop are set to make us laugh in a Christmas comedy special on Friday night. Photos / Supplied
Jason Cook (left) and Des Bishop are set to make us laugh in a Christmas comedy special on Friday night. Photos / Supplied

JASON COOK
What's your best one-liner Christmas cracker joke? Life is like a box of chocolates - finished too quickly by the clinically obese. I always wondered why my Christmas cracker business folded after just one year ...

Do you perform stand-up at your family Christmas gatherings? No, but I do report on what my family have said. In a sense Christmas dinner is like the weirdest gig ever where there are 14 comedians and no audience, each member of the family fighting to be the loudest and funniest. Like a big festive clown fight.

What's your favourite part of Christmas? Giving my wife the extraordinarily expensive present I have worked on for her that she isn't expecting. There is an art to it, but the look of delight and surprise on her face is what it's all about. After the Gucci watch, I could do no wrong for about two weeks. I love that watch ...

Would you rather have a summer Christmas or winter Christmas? I've never had a summer Christmas, but part of Christmas Day is ingrained in me that everyone should have a cold, sniffling over the Christmas pudding.

I do the Christmas pudding in our family, I soak it in brandy for about six hours before lighting it. Watching a table full of people over-fed with a brandy glow on them is a joy. They look like huge, badly dressed oompa loompas.

Have you been good enough for Santa to visit this year? The amount I have been working, if he doesn't come, I'm going up to Lapland with a gun and will get my presents from his cold, dead hands.

What will be on your wish list? I love Star Wars stuff, so anything Star Wars-y really. There is a Jedi bathrobe you can get which I've got my eye on.

Complete this sentence: T'was the night before Christmas ... And this year my new daughter will wonder why daddy is slurring his words in a knitted jumper so bad they could use it as a colourblind test.

What does Christmas mean to you? Family together, food, drink, hangovers, mad Gran forgetting everyone's name, mother sweating over the stove, more drink, the Queen's speech, falling asleep just after the Queen's speech, waking up at 7pm with a hangover to pick over a turkey carcass while forcing more and more unwanted beer into my face, suggesting we all go to the pub for about an hour before abandoning the idea as it is fairly obvious no one can move. Then an interrogation about how much Gucci watches ACTUALLY cost and an explanation of all the other things we could have bought with the money "if you weren't such an idiot".

DES BISHOP
What's your best one-liner Christmas cracker joke?
What did Adam say the day before Christmas? It's Christmas, Eve!

Do you perform stand-up at your family Christmas gatherings? No I don't because the jokes are all about the people who are there and my brothers wouldn't heckle, they would just punch me.

What's your favourite part of Christmas? I would say the anticipation of falling asleep knowing you are going to open the presents in the morning. It fades as you get older of course, but you can still look forward to everyone's fake reactions to how much they like each gift.

Would you rather have a summer Christmas or winter Christmas? I have never had a summer Christmas so it still seems odd to me. Though since it's the celebration of the birth of Jesus I am pretty sure it was hot in Bethlehem that morning.

Have you been good enough for Santa to visit this year? I have not been good at all but I go to confession on Christmas Eve. It's one of the great things about being Catholic.

What will be on your wish list? Like any white middle-class thirtysomething, whatever new Apple must-have product will be on the list. It makes me feel better about myself. It puts the "I" in me me me.

Complete this sentence: T'was the night before Christmas ... And all through the house people were fighting over who lost the scissors and tape for wrapping.

What does Christmas mean to you? Getting together with the family and indulging in some serious nostalgia and also watching my nephews starting the journey all over again.

LOWDOWN

What: Comedy Christmas Cracker

Who: Hosted by Jason Cook (UK), and featuring David O'Doherty (IRE), Wil Anderson (AUS), Des Bishop (IRE), Tom Gleeson (AUS), Brendhan Lovegrove (NZ), Jeremy Elwood (NZ) and including NZ's Simon McKinney, Rhys Mathewson, Urzila Carlson, Matt Mulholland, Terry Frisby and Vaughan King.

When and where: This Friday at SkyCity Theatre, 8pm. Tickets through Ticketek.

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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