My happy place: Nick Rado, comedian

Nick Rado's happy place is when he is making everyone else laugh.
Nick Rado's happy place is when he is making everyone else laugh.

Imagine a dream working existence - a job with no 9am starts, where the earliest you have to be at work is 7.45pm. To get a day's wage the longest shift you have to do is two hours. Every time you show up for work your boss buys you a drink. When you walk to your desk everyone in the building sincerely cheers and claps you. Reception is a fully licensed bar.

That's my happy place - the Classic Comedy Bar in Auckland, the greatest place to work in the world.

People always say to me: "You're a comedian? Don't you get nervous?" Sure, you pace up and down backstage because you want to do a great job and make the audience laugh as hard as they can. But as soon as I walk on to the Classic stage all the nerves go, all the tension lifts and it just feels like home.

My best memory of the Classic was when I was MCing one rowdy Saturday night. Among the audience were two stag parties, a hen's night, a birthday party and a shy 18-year-old called Billy who was sitting in the front row with his parents.

During the show I started chatting with Billy's parents and, in front of the whole crowd, his dad said, "Billy isn't very good with the ladies, that's why he's out with his parents on a Saturday night."

I thought this was a bit harsh, so I wanted to prove him wrong. Now, stag parties often give the stag a list of challenges, and when I asked the stag what was left on his list, he yelled out, "Collect a bra!" Then a woman from the hen's night said, "We need a pair of guy's undies!"

I said, "Okay, this is what's going to happen: the stags will donate a pair of undies and the hens will donate a bra, and Billy will collect the bra."

Billy and the hen disappeared around the corner. The audience started a "whoaaaaaaa" type chant as if a cricketer was running in to bowl a delivery in a one-day international. Billy returned to the room holding the bra above his head like he had won a world-championship wrestling belt. The crowd started chanting, "Billy, Billy, Billy." The stag party guys lifted him up on their shoulders and paraded him back to his seat.

It was the funniest, most uplifting and weirdest gig I've done at the Classic. To make the evening even better, that night in the crowd at her brother's birthday party was a beautiful girl called Sophie. On February 8 this year we got married.

People often ask my wife how we met. She always says, "A stag do, a hen's party and an 18-year-old boy walked into a comedy bar ... "

- as told to Bronwyn Sell

- Herald on Sunday

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