Armed with a night of comedy, the infamous Chopper will be taking to the stage in Hawke's Bay this month.

For one performance only, New Zealand's biggest selling international comedian is promising to leave audiences with at Napier Municipal Theatre with split sides and soiled underpants

The logie-nominated Australian actor, comedian and writer Health Franklin will be gracing stages across the country as his famous character Chopper in Live From Anzakistan.

Instantly recognisable by the handlebar moustache, aviator sunglasses, all-over body tattoos and short-sleeved shirt, its Franklin's impersonation of the real-life Mark 'Chopper' Read - a hardened Australian criminal who had his ears cut off in prison - that's made him an international comedy hit.


Based in Australia, Franklin regularly makes trips to New Zealand every year, and is a regular panellist on TV3's 7 Days.

It was this bi-nation travelling which first inspired him to create "the world's newest superpower Anzakistan" - where Chopper runs the republic made of the best bits of the two former countries, with "the s**t bits" thrown out.

While some of the idea came from thinking both countries could learn a thing or two from the other, Franklin says it was also "borne out of the idea of me not needing a passport when I go between Australia and New Zealand anymore.

"So I suppose its rooted in basic selfishness really, [and] laziness."

With the Smash Hit of the NZ Comedy Festival back this month for a victory lap, Chopper will be visiting "a swag of towns he missed the first time around".

The tour will follow on from his televised stand up performance - as seen on TV3 - as after it had finished Franklin said he realised there were more topics he would like to explore.

Without giving too much away, Franklin said as well as revealing some of Chopper's technophobia, he would be talking about some of the "softer lifestyle things people engage in these days, grown ups colouring in, men who decide to go out and buy bicycles and lycra when they go through a mid life crisis".

"It's just a kind of the general blanket statement that everyone just needs to sit down shut up and relax a bit really," he said.

When asked what his audience could expect from a night of Chopper, Franklin said they could expect to laugh for over an hour.

"I've been doing this for a job for over a decade now so I like to think that I'm getting better and better at my job the more experience I get," he said.

"I think there's a few bits of material in this show that I would say are close to the funniest stuff I've ever written so they can expect to kick back and relax, and let me give them a good old laugh for over an hour and leave with soiled underpants and split sides and broken funny bones and all that kind of stuff."

Franklin, who has performed in Hawke's Bay before, said he was looking forward to coming back to the region.

- Chopper will be taking over the Napier Municipal Theatre on Saturday 12 November, at 7.30PM.
- Tickets can be found at