Aussie funny guy Chopper has Rotorua on his Hitlist

Australian comedian Heath Franklin is bringing his character Chopper to Rotorua. His show The (s)Hitlist will be at Rotorua's Civic Theatre tomorrow night. He tells The Daily Post a bit about himself and being Chopper.

When did you get into comedy and why?

I got into comedy at uni. A friend convinced me to try out with him for a comedy show there. It was a bit weird when I ended up getting in and he didn't.

Were you the funny kid at school?

I was always on detention. I had after-school detention for almost a year straight. Once I didn't have detention and they wouldn't let me leave, they assumed I was trying to sneak off.

When did you take on the Chopper character and why?

I watched the Eric Bana Chopper film over and over, it was dark and funny.

I guess when everyone else was quoting Austin Powers I was the creepy guy quoting Chopper.

How different are you to the Chopper Read character?

Everyone always tells me how young I look when I'm not in character. When I first started doing the character I would gripe about something as myself and no one would care but if I did it as Chopper people loved it. So I guess the main difference is Chopper is more interesting.

What is the funniest situation you've found yourself in as Chopper?

Being denied entry to my own gig because the people at the door didn't believe I was Chopper.

Do you ever forget to change out of your character?

Sometimes. The guys I'm touring with probably look for the off-switch when I'm trying to crack jokes in the car on the way home from a gig.

What can Rotorua audiences expect from your show?

It's a brand new show called The (s)Hitlist. It's like the exact opposite of that TV show My Name Is Earl. Karma seems like it's taken the year off, so I'm giving it a hand.

What are three things (that you want to share) people don't know about you?

I love Kiwi music. I always come home with a huge stack of CDs, I always love recommendations from people.

I'm getting into Twitter, so say g'day. I originally thought it would be a confusing pain in the neck but it's okay.

My ideal Sunday is spent at home with my pants off watching action films (from the late 80s/early 90s renaissance of action films) and eating Indian food.

What is the funniest thing about you?

My dog is named after Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in Predator. I also have weird stumpy Hobbit feet.

Why should Rotorua people come to the show and what message do you have for them?

Because I had a great time there last year and I'm looking forward to doing a gig there again. It's a completely new show from last year. We're also asking people to submit things that they want to put on The (s)Hitlist over Twitter (@RonnJohnChopper) and Facebook and I'll put them in the show.

The (s)Hitlist is on at the Civic Theatre from 7.30pm tomorrow. Tickets through Ticketmaster.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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