Jeremy Corbett is performing in two shows this Comedy Festival – 7 Days LIVE! 3-5 May, & the Comedy Convoy; which goes to 12 cities nationwide from 14-20 May.
Q&A With Jeremy Corbett
1. Where did you perform your very first professional comedy act?
Probably at intermediate. I entered the speech competition. The theme was Self Discipline. I pretended that "Self Discipline" was a brand of deodorant. Don’t think it was my strongest set. It was my first introduction to an audience ‘Blank Stare’
2. What was the biggest lesson you learned from that first experience?
Comedy is better in comedy clubs where people are expecting comedy.
3. Is there a subject that you won't touch as part of your comedy routine?
Underarm deodorant. I think most comedians would take up the challenge of making anything funny. Not me. I stopped trying ages ago. I like easy pickings. Low hanging fruit.
4. How much preparation would you do for a comedy festival gig?
I’m a 30 minute comedian.. I can’t sustain an hour. Sorry to the people who watched me as I discovered that. So now I try to do shows with other people. Usually Paul Ego. He’s always available and so grateful to be asked. As a guideline we do less prep than the NZSO and more than a student for NCEA.
5. Ever had a mind blank on stage? What did you do?
Yep. It’s happened a few times. The weird thing is that it’s like my brain is divided up.. there’s one part going “I’ve gone blank.. I’ve gone blank” and this other part that suddenly wakes up, like Piri Weepu and says “I’ve got this”.
6. Which comedian have you learned the most from?
I don’t really watch stand-up on DVD, so I haven’t learned from the greats. I do enjoy live stand-up and that’s always educational. I remember seeing Danny Bhoy a few years ago and he was so good I learned that I should probably quit. When I performed with my brother, Nigel, he taught me to just enjoy it and Paul Ego is a constant reminder that you don’t have to be funny to be a comedian.
7. Has humour changed from when you started to now? In what way?
I don’t know that humour changes much in essence. The topics might change, but the gag remains the same. Comedians have changed.. They’re harder working. It’s weird. They put actual jokes into their routines. I used to just talk nonsense, they’re making me look bad.
8. What else do you do or would you still like to do apart from comedy?
Go into space. Nerd on gadgets. Be a Dad. I want to sit on a board! Y’know.. with all these serious people around an ostentatious table. And we smoke cigars while we mumble about EBITDA’s and PRICE/EARNINGS ratios, then pick up a huge wad of cash and put it into the boots of our Aston Martons.
9. What's your mantra for life?
There’s nothing a good nap can’t solve.