Tag Archives: James Roque

NZICF 18 | Humble

Frickin Dangerous Bro: Humble.

3 comedians bringing sketch comedy back to life.

In the ever evolving world of comedy, both slapstick and sketch comedy, have not been the latest trends, However, the 3 Auckland Lads have persevered, and their new show, Humble is a great a mid-week, 10p.m performance,packed with lots of laughs..

Pax, Jermaine and James have great chemistry and entertained the crowd from start to finish, with their take on a theatre-based sketch show. Whilst this was my first Frickin Dangerous Bro, they have acquired a cult following of fans, mainly from their recent stint on Maori Television.

Starting off with a courtroom sketch they moved onto several micro-sketches, a crime scene and ended with a signature terrorist sketch, all intertwined with organic laughs and chats. Whilst some of the jokes appeared forced and predictable, there was a genuine feeling that the trio wanted to be there, were all having fun and most of all their organic chats were relatable to ever member of the audience. The highlights of the show were the micro-sketches and trio’s ability to roast each other.

It was a great to see kiwi comedians perform with the finesse, the delivery and the attitude of world comics….Humble they are

4 stars

See them tonight and tomorrow.  Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with James Roque

Like so many other Asian children before him, James Roque is a disappointment to his parents. He followed his dreams instead of following the path to become a respected M.D (Doctor of Medicine). Despite that, he has a career to boast about; since making his NZ International Comedy Festival debut in 2013, he’s gone on to perform at every festival since (including his acclaimed and sold out 2017 show), he’s appeared on television, including Three’s 7 Days and Jono and Ben, and he’s a co-founder of Proudly Asian Theatre – a theatre company dedicated to showcasing more Asian-NZ stores on stage. And if that wasn’t enough, he played the lead role in Indian Ink Theatre’s Kiss the Fish, which has toured New Zealand ad USA.  So what if he’s not a doctor; they say that laughter is the best medicine.

We caught up with James ahead of his 2018 NZICF season.

Describe your show in three words or less..
Dope Filipino dude.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
Last year I started pronouncing my Filipino last name correctly for the first time in 17 years and it’s got me thinking about what the immigrant experience is like in the western world.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Out here following my dreams

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Are you asking me if I want to have sex with the entire NZ Comedy industry? How do we even go about that? Seems like a logistical nightmare.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I’m really excited to see Rose Matafeo’s new show. Her last show was my favourite thing in the festival last year, so I’m keen to see what she’s got next. Also, hype for Rhys Nicholson and Phil Wang.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
The scene from 8 Mile when he vomits his mum’s spaghetti before the battle

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Queer Eye!

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Rich Brian – Cold
Kendrick Lamar – King’s Dead
The Carpenters – Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Honestly, probably try to find a way to sleep anyway. Sleep is the best.

World Association:
Comedy – Anxiety
New Zealand – Anxiety
Woke – Anxiety
Adulting – Anxiety
Basic – Anxiety
Trend – Anxiety
Joke – Anxiety

….I’m a very anxious person.

James Roque performs 1 – 5 May at Wellington’s The Fringe Bar and 8 – 12 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre with his solo show. He also performs with Frickin Dangerous Bro 2 – 5 May at Wellington’s BATS Theatre, and 9 – 12 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre. All as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.  Buy your tickets – Legal Alien | Humble


interviewed | 2013 Billy T Nominee Eli Matthewson

For recent drama graduate Eli Matthewson, it all started with a show about Pokemon.  Well, almost entirely Pokemon.  Since taking to the stage he’s won Best Comedy at the Auckland Fringe Festival, he’s toured nationally and on to the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and he was nominated as Best Newcomer at the NZ International Comedy Festival 2012.

In 2013 he’s back with a Billy T nomination and a new show:  Proposition: Great! is a whimsical journey of stand-up and songs through the mind of a young man experiencing a quarter life crises; musing on being an adult when he still enjoys playing Pokémon (you’re yet to hear the last of them!) and drawing felts.

We caught up with the budding comedian:

Describe yourself in three words:
Short, excitable, dinosaurs.

What kind of comedian would you say you are:
The kind that gets so excited and enthusiastic that they accidentally reveal a horrifyingly embarrassing secret about themself.

How did you get into stand up comedy?
I was studying acting and my friend James Roque encouraged me to try a RAW night at The Classic. I did a set that was almost entirely about Pokemon. It was really fun and before I knew it comedy began to take up most of my time.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a comedian?
All Black. I’m pretty sure I’d be an All Black.

Were you always funny?
Maybe more strange than funny – when I was 4 I used to carry the bodiless head of a Cabbage Patch doll with me everywhere I went.

What makes a good joke?
Something that surprises you and takes you off guard, but also has something more to it than just a shock.

Favourite one-liner?
Pick anything Mr Freeze says in ‘Batman and Robin’

Any embarrassing moments on stage?
Once accidentally pulled the top of my pants down in what my friends refer to as “the bum and base moment”.

Favourite festival memory?
Last year at the closing night party there were free Ice-Creams and I ate four.

What are your top picks for this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival?
Hedluv and Passman – Two Cornish Rappers in a Casio Tone, The other Billy T noms – Tom, Joseph, Rose and Pax, James Roque, Joseph Harper and Josie Long.

If I wanted to be a groupie, where am I likely to run into you during the Comedy Festival this year?
Pita Pit at SkyCity Metro -I will eat this most nights (crying)

If someone wanted to impress you, what would they have to do?
Tell me a dinosaur fact I don’t already know.

If you were a roadsign, what would you read?
“Keep Left”

If you were stuck on Gilligan’s island, what three things would you have with you?
Something to play music on. Toothpaste. Whitaker’s Peanut Butter Chocolate.

If you could have superhero powers, what would they be and why?
I’d have super co-ordination – that would show all the teachers that said I was “still developing motor skills” in my school reports.

What gets you up in the morning?
A fresh orange juice.

What are you currently:
reading – ‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen
listening to – Laura Mvula and Angel Haze are my two favourites at the moment.
eating – a marmite and cream cheese bagel
drinking – a ‘cold-drip’ from Douglas Street Cafe – my favourite new way to have a coffee
wearing – all my worst clothes cause I am in the middle of moving house


WELLINGTON – Date: Tue 30 April – Sat 4 May, 7pm | AUCKLAND – Date: Wed 15 – Sat 18 May, 8.30 pm