It's been 10 years since prominent comedy show 7 Days had its TV debut and while hairlines have receded, Paul Ego, Jeremy Corbett and Dai Henwood still bring laughter into Kiwi homes. The trio is now hitting the road to bring their cunning puns live on stage with Whangārei being one of 14 stops on the tour. Northern Advocate reporter Julia Czerwonatis caught up with Henwood, and despite saving his best Northland jokes for the show, he talked about comedy, family and a potential life as a rural postie.
I peeked at your first shows from 2009, you all look a bit younger but very recognisable. What has changed for you since you started 7 Days?
Amazing! We looked so fresh-faced then. Over the last 10 years, everyone had their kids, got married and vaguely matured. When we had our 10th birthday show in August, I watched a couple of the early shows, and wow, we look a lot younger. I think I'm happier now with how I look.
Did you expect 7 Days to last this long?
We just thought it might be a one-off show, maybe half a dozen. None of us would have ever figured that we would be 10 years deep into the show. Travelling around New Zealand solidifies how much people love the show. It makes us feel so special that we have been in people's living room cracking them up for a decade.
Do you think the humour stayed the same?
Humour is very fluid, and what people are finding funny constantly changes. A good comedian has a feel for that. Paul, Jeremy and I and the regulars, Ben [Hurley] and Jeremy Elwood, we are close friends. The show works because it's like talking rubbish with your mates at a party. People like watching that. We've always kept that vibe. Even if we have different guests on, there's still the skeleton of familiarity. I personally think the show has become stronger and better.
Do you still get moments on stage where you struggle to find a good joke?
That's the story of my life, to be honest. I often don't know what to say, so I open my mouth and see what comes out. I have a reasonably good hit-rate. You have those moments where a question will pop up, and I have no idea what I'm going to say. That's the benefit of having six other great comedy minds on the show. Someone will jump in, and they might say something that sends you off on a tangent.
So you tend not to worry when on stage?
When people see the TV version, it has been edited down. We film for a couple of hours and then take out any pauses which makes us look a lot better. Although when you come along to the live show, you'll see that we are just as quick. What I love about the live shows is that no one can edit it so it can get very loose and, to be honest, quite filthy.
You have two young kids, 3 and 6. Do they make you a funnier person?
Having kids has changed my perspective on life. I used to live somewhat loose, rocking around and having a few too many drinks while doing my comedy gigs. Then I met my wonderful wife. We were both keen on having kids and since it has been a step up to the next level. It makes you more aware of the world and gives you another focus. I don't talk so much about my kids on stage, but they have provided me with so much sleep deprivation that it takes me to some pretty weird places.
Has there ever been an alternative career plan to comedy?
Being a rural post person, living in a small community and delivering the mail. That is my fall-back job.
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What's the appeal?
You get to know everyone, and you know a little bit too much about their business. I imagine myself cycling down a sunny country lane, delivering the mail. In my head, it's probably a nicer job than it actually is.
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MediaWorks have announced cuts in production, 7 Days is affected, too. How has the team taken the news?
It's an interesting time. No one really knows what is going to happen at the moment. We were all bummed out that we're doing a shorter season next year with 12 episodes. It runs over three months around the election next year. Then again, this could change because everything is fluid at the moment, and you might get other opportunities. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.