George Kapiniaris Comicus Erectus The Ethnic Comedy Evolution Interview
Four of the world's best ethnic stand-up comics will take the stage together for the first time in a brand new, side-splitting show for the whole family, from the producer of the hugely successful Il Dago and Il Dago II. Hilariously titled, "Comicus Erectus - The Ethnic Comedy Evolution" audiences in Adelaide and Melbourne can catch it at the Arkabar throughout the Adelaide Fringe Festival (Febuary 24th - March 18th) and various venues as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (March 21st - April 15th).
The all-star cast consists of George Kapiniaris, arguably one of the most recognised faces on Australian television and best-known as Memo from Acropolis Now; international comedy superstar from Australia, Joe Avati, whose massive following in Canada has inspired a new wave of ethnic comics in that territory; direct from the US is Basile - who has garnered a worldwide fan base amongst the English speaking Greek community. Hosting the event will be Turkish Australian comedy sensation Tahir, a favourite with the Gen Ys because of his regular appearances on Fat Pizza, Swift and Shift and Housos.
Evolving from the tried and true wog gags of the 80s and 90s, "Comicus Erectus - The Comedy Evolution" sees each of these comics getting up and performing their hilarious routines about growing up with an ethnic background, whilst setting out to prove that wog humour has moved on from fluffy dice and Monaros. This is "WOG" in the modern era. A surprise finish will see the fab four unite for a finale that is bound to have you in stitches until the very end.
While the show naturally appeals to fans of wog humour: ie, those with an ethnic background who grew up the children and grandchildren of migrants, the diverse crowds that flocked to the Il Dago shows are a strong indication that audiences across the board have caught on, with fans as young a eight and as old as 90 attending. As with Il Dago I & II, "Comicus Erectus - The Comedy Revolution" is clean and clear of profanities, ensuring the whole family can attend and have a belly laugh.
Audiences can expect over two hours of laughter from comics who have well and truly mastered their art, each performer a star in their own right; a unique show featuring comedians who are themselves headliners and worth the ticket price alone. Comicus Erectus The Ethnic Comedy Evolution
Saturday 24th March and Saturday 14th April 2012: Furlan Club 1 Matisi St Thornbury
25th March and 12th April 2012: Abruzzo Club 377 Lygon Street East Brunswick
Thursday 29th March 2012: Clocktower Theatre 750 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds
Friday 30th March 2012: Casa'D'Abruzzo 55 O'Hearns Road Epping
Saturday 31st March 2012: Alexander Theatre Monash University Building 7, Clayton Campus
Sunday 1st and 8th April 2012: Comics Lounge 26 Errol Street North Melbourne
4th and 5th April 2012: Chapel Off Chapel 12 Little Chapel Street Prahran
Saturday 7th April 2012: Dallas Brooks Hall 300 Albert Street East Melbourne
Monday 9th of April: Normanby House 22-24 Normanby Avenue, Thornbury
Wednesday 11st April 2012: Restaurant 5 Eaton Mall Oakleigh
Friday 13th April 2012: Veneto Club 191 Bulleen Road Bulleen
Sunday 15 April 2012: Alexander Theatre Monash University Building 7, Clayton Campus (matinée and 7pm show)
Bookings and more information at: www.comicuserectus.com
Interview with George KapiniarisQuestion:
How did the show, Comicus Erectus - The Ethnic Comedy Evolution come about? George Kapiniaris
: Comicus Erectus came about when I was doing the Il Dago shows with Joe Avati and for ages we had discussed creating a bilingual Greek/English show where we could use Basile in some sort of way; we sent the sensors out and then we forgot about the idea. Basile was still interested and if it wasn't for his encouragement and persistence this show wouldn't have happened. We give all the credit to Basile, basically, for getting this project up and running. Question:
What should audiences expect from Comicus Erectus - The Ethnic Comedy Evolution? George Kapiniaris
: A stomach ache! A stomach ache from laughing too much - audiences have been raving about this show, they say it's funnier than all the shows we've done in the past, funnier than Il Dago I and Il Dago II and any other comedy festival show. Audiences love this show and many people are asking, because Basile is in the show, 'why don't we take this show to America'? Question:
Have you thought about taking the show international?George Kapiniaris
: We've talked about it and Basile is onto it; he is our agent when it comes to taking the show to the States. Basile wants to take the show off Broadway. We'll see
some of us are tentative and some of us are excited, we'll see what pans out
For now we're having a great time and great success stories touring venues Australia wide.Question:
How do you go about writing shows, such as Comicus Erectus?George Kapiniaris
: In terms of group writing, we used a formula we have used over the past couple of years and we all come in with our own ideas for a new standup which depends on who we are, where we are at, what interests us and it has to have a multi-cultural theme or be about growing up in Australia having been from another county or having parents from another country because that's the genre we are in. Once all those boxes have been ticked we have to come up with a brand new routine (that hasn't been thought of on stage before) and in the end we normally do a production that we are all involved in.
This year, we have a 17 song medley that goes over 15 minutes and the theme of the show is Ethnic Evolution as we have evolved ourselves from doing jokes about Monaro's to jokes about hard drives! Question:
The show is described as 'wog humour' how has it changed 'wog humour'?George Kapiniaris
: It has changed because we have changed as people and jokes that used to work don't work now - we have to keep reinventing the wheel. Question:
What do you enjoy most about being on stage?George Kapiniaris
: I enjoy the instant reaction from the crowd, the adrenalin; you might not feel like a doing a show but as soon as you hit the stage, you don't want to get off! Question:
How does that compare to being in front of the camera as we have seen you starring in TV shows?George Kapiniaris
: Camera is really a slow process and you get your reward, eventually, when you see the final product. TV is a slow process but when you perform live there is an instant acknowledgement of what you've just done and you know if you've done good work or bad work from the audience in terms of if they are laughing and applauding or not reacting. I tried something new the other day and it didn't work (laughing); you have to try new things otherwise you'd be doing the same thing over and over again! Question:
Are you working on anything else at the moment? George Kapiniaris
: At the moment I am just concentrating on Comicus Erectus The Ethnic Comedy Evolution.
Interview by Brooke Hunter