NZICF 2016: Alexis Dubus – A Bl**dy Brief History of Swearing

Alexis DubusIf you want to know where the bl**dy hell your favorite cuss word comes from, look no further – Alexis Dubus has the answers. He even has handy visual aids and an activity sheet you can take away with you after the show.

Part discourse, part open forum with a good serving of expletives as well as related humorous anecdotes to boot, this show, put simply, looks at the ‘science of swearing’. Dubus presents us with the what, why, who and how of the wonderfully offensive and eclectic world of curse words through a well-crafted lecture that both educates and entertains.

Throughout the hour, the audience is taken on a fascinating and in-depth journey of positively swear-y proportions. We become acquainted with our favorite four-letter friends as well as learn some new, and hilarious, cuss words. Along the way a swear captain is elected and even Shakespeare, we discover, had a bit of a sneaky potty mouth.

There’s a lot to like about this show and this is largely due to Dubus’ skill as a gifted wordsmith and adept storyteller. During the show, there is no Fourth Wall – he easily converses with the crowd and it becomes apparent that swearing is very much a shared activity. He is a natural and accomplished orator with an affable disposition that makes him extremely easy to listen to and engage with.

If you’re not, as Dubus puts it, a ‘lover of the swear’, then this show would probably give you an ear sore. But don’t let the profanities put you off; this is a fun and under-stated piece with solid edutainment value.

A Bl**dy Brief History of Swearing is incredibly informative, thoroughly entertaining and just bl**dy brilliant. Just f**king go!


A Bl**dy Brief History of Swearing is on again the following weekend on April 30th and May 1st at the Montecristo, 53 Nelson Street at 5pm. For more details and to book tickets click here.


NZICF 2016: 5 Star Comedy Preview

5 Star Comedy Preview

A show like this is always a treat simply because of the sheer variety of top-notch international acts you get to see. Outside of the comedy gala, this is a great way to get a taste of what is on offer at the festival.

Rich Wilson, the compère for the evening, certainly looked the part when he walked out on stage. Striking just the right mix of charm, confidence and crass, his self-deprecating material had a good smattering of funny and served as an ideal complement in between acts.

Lloyd Langford was first to kick things off. His likable nature and deadpan Welsh brogue paired well with his witty, and often spot on, observations about New Zealand. Next up was Harley Breen who was loud and brash yet skilled in garnering laughs through his clever use of descriptive wordplay to paint a hilarious visual image.

In contrast self-declared ‘little bit posh’ Londoner Jimmy McGhie took to the stage with a more quiet confidence about him. His well-crafted running diatribe about being in his 30s translated brilliantly with the evening’s audience. Meanwhile Angela Barnes’ set about drugs, dressage and dating had some great punchlines and reflected her eccentricity which I quite liked.

George Egg rounded up the first half with something a little bit different. Unconventional cooking demo with a dash of comedy, Egg showed us that elaborate meals are possible within the confines of a hotel room with a bit of creative thinking and a ‘can-do attitude’.

The second half began with Finnish comedian Ismo Leikola who, judging by the raucous laughter, was the clear crowd favorite of the night. His fidgety demeanor worked extremely well with his quirky observations about his home country and New Zealand, all of which packed a comedic punch. Nish Kumar followed with his charismatic, upbeat brand of humorous commentary about the things that amuse and annoy him in life.

Festival favorite James Acaster was next with his awkward yet assured style of comedy that Kiwi audiences have come to know and love. Canadian/Filipino comic Ron Josol – whose audience cheers closely rivaled Leikola’s – closed the night with a highly enjoyable set which included him adeptly poking fun at various Asian stereotypes (read: himself) which had everyone in stitches.

This year’s 5 Star Comedy Preview boasted an excellent lineup of accomplished comedians and was thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. If you want more bang for your buck, this international showcase is unmissable.


Lloyd Langford, Harley Breen, Jimmy McGhie, Angela Barnes, George Egg, Ismo Leikola, Nish Kumar and James Acaster have solo shows at the festival. Check out for dates and to book tickets.

NZICF 2016: 7 Days Live NZ v. The World Special

7 DaysFor those who are already following the long-standing topical comedy satire series on TV3, 7 Days needs no introduction. New Zealand’s version of the UK’s Mock the Week, this special comedy festival edition sees three Kiwi comedians take on ‘the world’, specifically Australia, Wales and England.

7 Days regulars Paul Ego and Dai Henwood along with Rose Matafeo made up the NZ panel while the international side was represented by Chopper, Lloyd Langford and James Acaster. Just like the televised show, the two teams took it in turn to poke fun at recent news stories through various games that are led by seasoned host Jeremy Corbett.

Jamie Bowen was excellent as the emcee-of-sorts, ensuring the crowd was informed of the cues involved with live recordings while also keeping us pumped for the evening’s proceedings. The panel are impressively quick-witted in ‘finding the funny’ in whatever words, images or scenario get thrown at them while also bouncing off each other’s jokes seamlessly.

I felt the first half started off a bit slow and took a while to rev up but come the second half things flowed a lot better. A brief appearance from Rhys Darby with his former band-mate Grant Lobban (together they form Rhysently Granted) to perform in one of the sections was a cool surprise and sneak peek in to what they are about.

Each comedian held their own brilliantly but for me the international corner had a bit more of an edge up. Chopper in particular stood out the most with some of the funniest punchlines of the night. Langford was probably the least vocal of the group but when he did have something to say, it packed a comedic punch. Acaster’s wonderfully awkward persona brought a different yet entertaining energy that complemented the trio nicely.

Overall, while you might not find yourself laughing non-stop from start to finish, more than enough material is dished out to keep everyone entertained. Be warned though, being a live recording session it makes for a pretty long sitting (over three hours) but this is all part of the experience.

The 7 Days format is a clever blend of infotainment meets improv that’s easily enjoyable and just loads of fun. If you love comedy and have always wanted to be a part of a live studio audience, this annual comedy festival special is definitely one to catch.

4-stars 7 Days airs every Friday at 9:30pm on TV3.

Jamie Bowen, Rose Matafeo, James Acaster, Lloyd Langford, Chopper and Rhysently Granted all have solo shows at the Comedy Festival. Go to for dates and to book tickets.