Funnyman Mike King is kicking off a northern mini-tour in Dargaville next week.
He will play one show at Dargaville on July 20, moving on to a show at Kaikohe on July 21 and two at Kaitaia on July 22 before moving south to Wellsford for a performance on July 29.
The material in the shows is classed as R18.
Right from primary school, King knew he was a funny guy. However, his two-boy stand-up routine at Whenuapai Primary School with a friend was brought to an abrupt halt when his partner changed schools.
King continued as a solo performer.
After leaving school at 15, he started an apprenticeship as a chef and, while working for one of New Zealand's first licensed restaurant chains, he saw Billy T James perform.
The legendary Maori comedian provided a huge source of inspiration for the young King, who joined the Merchant Navy at age 19 and travelled the world but still harboured a desire to be on stage making people laugh.
Had it not been for a broken leg in 1994, King's comedy may have continued being aired only at friends' parties and cousins' weddings.
At that time he was working as a chef on a Cook Strait ferry and, while the leg was recovering, he went to a comedy club and saw what he believed to be some amazing talent.
But when he returned to the club over the next six weeks he saw the same jokes being trotted out and revised his opinion of the performers.
Betting the barman $400 he would get laughs, King did a six-minute stint on stage and received a standing ovation from the audience.
After the show, he met an Englishman in the audience who argued with him about whether it had been his first time on stage.
In the end the Englishman told him: "If that was your first time, you're going to be famous."
It turned out that King had been arguing with none other than well-known British comedian Ben Elton.
Tickets for the show in Dargaville next week cost $20 and are available at the Kauri Coast I-site, Dargaville and at Sugar Belles Cafe, Maungaturoto.