Weekend Rewind: Our comedy festival stars before they were stars

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As the 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival prepares to kick off next week, NZ On Screen’s Nicky Harrop takes a flash back look at some of the local stars from the line-up in their earlier days.
TV3's 7 Days will host a live show recording as part of this year's festival. Photo / Doug Sherring
TV3's 7 Days will host a live show recording as part of this year's festival. Photo / Doug Sherring

The NZ International Comedy Festival has provided Aucklanders (and beyond) with a sidesplitting laugh fest for going on 23 years.

During that time, the festival has helped launch and foster the careers of numerous local comedians, many of whom return to feature in this year's line-up.

And many of these veteran live performers have also worked on television, with some of their performances dating back quite some time. Let's enter the TV comedy flashback zone.

Brendhan Lovegrove has been a festival fixture since its beginnings, and is back with a brand new show this year. Here, semi mockumentary series A Night at the Classic sees him go behind-the-scenes of a Pro Night at Auckland's Classic Theatre. While gags abound on-stage, backstage, it's no laughing matter.

Warning: contains R18 content.

Watch A Night at the Classic here:



You can also see Brendhan Lovegrove as host of this episode of early 2000s stand-up comedy series Pulp Comedy. Among others, he gets to introduce the young Taika Waititi doing a stand-up set as his Gunter the German joke teller character. Waititi isn't performing at the Comedy Festival, but he is quite busy with another artistic endeavour at the moment.

You can see Taika Waititi, Brendhan Lovegrove, and more in this episode of Pulp Comedy:



Rhys Darby is another established local comedian returning to this year's line-up. This Pulp Comedy episode from 2000 sees him in great form, delivering an inspired tyrannosaurus rex impression, and showcasing the talent that would soon see him go global in the Flight of the Conchords' HBO series.

Watch Rhys Darby in Pulp Comedy here:



TV3's 7 Days will host a live show recording as part of this year's festival. The popular series debuted in 2009, taking an irreverent look at weekly news for an impressive eight seasons to date. This very early episode features stalwarts Jeremy Corbett, Dai Henwood and Paul Ego, plus guests Ben Hurley and Rhys Darby, while former MP Darren Hughes features in "politician in the hot seat."

Watch a series one episode of 7 Days here:

Embed 7 Days - Series One, Episode Three



In addition to his 7 Days duties, Dai Henwood also hosts the recently launched NZ version of game show Family Feud. One of New Zealand's most awarded comedians, in this comedic short film he weighs in on the honour of another Kiwi legend, the humble gumboot.

Watch A Kiwi Legend here:



The festival sees Michele A'Court curate Mum's the Word, celebrating mothers in all their glory. In this NZ On Screen ScreenTalk interview, A'Court charts her life story from young What Now? presenter to multi award-winning comedian, columnist, and most recently author.

See Michele A'Court's ScreenTalk interview here:



- NZ Herald

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