New Zealand Tour Part 1

I’m touring New Zealand with Greg Fleet. Already we have come up with holiday names (mine is Dieter Von Fun Fun), new sayings to describe how great something is (that is the 7th best thing I’ve seen today and the 3rd best thing I have ever smelt) and created new diseases (Narcissistic Dyslexia: every sign you read says your name:  “Great Coffee” became “Greg Fleet”.)  For pure hilarity and possibly “you had to be there” moments, Fleety is the best.

My first gig in Auckland was my first ever gig at the Classic, a venue that has a fantastic reputation back in Australia.  Within seconds of walking on stage to host I felt like I was returning home.  It would have to be one of the most comfortable first up gigs I’ve had at a venue and fingers crossed I will be returning very soon to grace their stage again.  The open mic spots were of a fantastic quality and Jesse Griffin was so funny trying some new material out that he actually forgot to try any of the material.  Instead he was so busy with ad-libbing that his time ran out before he had an opportunity to test his new written words.  Of course Fleety headlined and of course Fleety killed.

The next day Fleety and I flew from Auckland to Queenstown with our tour manager Dave (who is also a comedian by trade) and the acts on the bill: Brendhan Lovegrove, Simon McKinney and Gish.  Simon and I had already met before at the Hobart Comedy Festival a couple of weeks ago and we heartily agreed that our third meeting should be somewhere warm, preferably where we can wear Hawaiian shirts and drink icy, cold daiquiris.  Gish is a lovely guy who oozes charisma on-stage and is a gentle soul off-stage.  Brendhan and I performed a long time ago in Sydney and on Stand-Up Australia.  He is a great pal to be touring the South Island with because he is full of stories and fills us in on the history of each place we visit.

Unfortunately for Brendhan he is a nervous passenger on a plane so Fleety and I did our best to entertain him, take his mind off the flight.  Things were going quite well until we approached the Alps and proceeded to experience the type of turbulence that makes a person want to forget the Peter Weir movie “Fearless” and concentrate on something better like landing.  It turns out this type of turbulence is quite normal.  As Fleety remarked: “No wonder you’re scared of flying, this shit is terrifying!”  I would have laughed except I was gritting my jaw the way Tom Cruise does in the film clip for "Take My Breath Away".

Yes, that mountain is almost eye level with the plane. Yikes!




Queenstown is gorgeous and the gig was first rate.  Afterwards we drank martinis in a bar that had James Bond movies playing on the wall outside.  When we left the bar at a reasonable time the wind blew the light snow off the road giving it a swirling vanilla look that barely suggests how cold it truly was.  We paid a taxi driver way too much for a trip that was way too short but it was probably the best money we spent all night.

It looks like almost unreal it is so beautiful.

Today we took our time and leisurely drove from Queenstown to Wanaka enjoying the sites and the company.  So far the gig has been fun even with one woman who is heckling with non-sequiturs that aren’t clever or imaginative.  We can only hope at half time she walks out into the cold and (while we don’t wish death upon her) catches a cold that knocks her out for the next three months.  Tonight Fleety and I are planning on working on our new series where an Aussie goes back in to time to ruin all the great moments in history.

“Friends, Romans, countrymen…”

“Lend him your ears,” the Aussie interjects.

“I was about to say that…”

“Cheers Big Ears!” he yells while laughing a little like Rodney Rude.

We plan on turning this into a five season series and we know it will be the 49th greatest TV show you’ll see ever and the 13th greatest show you tasted but only if you lick the screen.

Justin Hamilton

Wanaka, New Zealand

19th of August, 2011