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SOL: Jarred Christmas, Kiwi Comedian In London

Special profile:
Jarred Christmas, Kiwi comedian in London.
60 second interview.

From The Streets Of London With Malcolm Aitken

I don't know what stand-up comedian Jarred Christmas is on, but I want some. Jarred, from Christchurch and living and working in the UK, is manic. I mean that in the kindest possible way, and his mania pays dividends. Jarred, 24, is of TV2's Laugh Festival and Court Jesters' improvisation fame and has done very well in Britain. He's got into the finals and semi finals of a series of prestigious competitions here sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, the BBC and Channel Four and Scoop has witnessed first hand his ability to titillate a crowd.

An outstanding aspect of Jarred's boisterous act is its physicality. He must exert enough energy to power a medium-sized New Zealand town with all his jumping around, and he's not afraid to be crude. However, especially with an English audience in mind, he manages to avoid coming across as a real New Zealand bloke who might want to entertain you by trying to ignite his farts with a cigarette lighter given half the chance. There's nothing too Kevin Bloody Wilson about his approach. His routine about sperms going to a boot camp and his spewing your ring out are full on to say the least.

It's a rough and tumble world he inhabits, though…a bad night is a really bad night…Scoop caught up with him…

Scoop: What difference has being an Antipodean [or Kiwi in particular] made to performing as a comedian in the UK?

Jarred Christmas: Not much. Some places like smaller towns haven't heard the accent much and it gives you a bit of a unique edge. Kiwis are well liked over here.

Scoop: What’s your best night in Britain been, where and what was so good about it?

JC: There have been a few real good nights. One that stands in memory was in Manchester, it must of been my night. I couldn't do anything wrong. I got an encore, my first. That makes you think... YES, this is what I'm doing it for. The crowd was lovely.

Scoop: You’ve done a lot of improvisation work in New Zealand…Court Jesters…has this made you an interactive comedian [this is what Scoop's writer picked up on]? Do you respond to the mood of your audience a lot?

JC: Interaction is vital. I have been doing improvisation since I was quite young. You need to gauge the audience and connect with them. I think that improv has helped me a lot, also got me out of a few tricky spots as well.

Scoop: Does the small size of the New Zealand comedy scene mean NZ comedians must travel to do well?

JC: Its tough to make a living in NZ just doing live comedy. You would need to supplement it with radio or TV. To do comedy full time and earn a living, I would say yes, you do have to travel.

Scoop: How do you create your material?

JC: Experiences, I keep my eyes open and try to notice little things around.

Scoop: How do you remember all of your lines?

JC: I improvise a lot. I know the meaning and where I want to go with some jokes and I make my way there. Other times I guess you say something enough, and it sticks.

***** ENDS *****

- Malcolm Aitken is a freelance journalist formerly based in London – and presently on his way home to New Zealand. He can be contacted at

© Scoop Media

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