The New Zealand International Comedy Festival begins this weekend bringing local and international comic heroes to our stages. Here, Rhys Darby talks about his forthcoming shows.

Your show in 10 words or less:

Autobiographical stories, jokes, physical theatre and dance about the Armageddon.

Will we have heard any of the jokes before?

Not unless you're my wife.


Give us your best sales pitch. Why should we go to your show instead of saving our money for a big night out when Flight of the Conchords play in July?

I would be more angry with you if you missed the Conchords gig! If you can afford to see two shows this year, treat yourself to a night of Darby.

What is your pre-show ritual?

A group hug, a prayer, a seance, a quick game of Last Card and an energy drink.

Is dying on stage a rite of passage for a comedian or something to be avoided at all costs?

It's definitely a rite of passage. It should happen at least once, even if you have to orchestrate it yourself.

Are members of the audience fair game? Or should they be treated with respect at all times?

They are paying customers and so as long as they show the artist respect then they should get it back "with bells on".

If you were a superhero who would you be?

Captain Awesome. I'd fly with a jet pack, travel through space and time and live in a volcano.

For those of you who don't have a musical aspect to your show ... how do you compete with all those clever dicks offering the double whammy of musical comedy?

I remember when musical comedy wasn't cool - the 1980s - when Roger Moore was James Bond. No one was getting away with "musical comedy" then. I try to take people back to that era.

Who will you be heading along to see during the festival?

As many shows as possible including Steve Hughes, Jamie Bowen, David O'Doherty and Terry Frisby. I'll also definitely be taking my kids to see the fabulous Mr. Boon!

From: New Zealand
In: This Way to Spaceship
When and where: SkyCity Theatre, 8pm, May 8-12