Cityscape caught up with former Christchurch lad and funnyman on the rise Eli Matthewson, who returns to the city as part of The Best Comedy Show on Earth Tour with his outrageous new show The Year of Magical F@%king.
You’re part of The Best Comedy Show on Earth – feeling the pressure much?
There's no getting around the fact that this is a lie. Steve Martin and Joan Rivers will not be making surprise appearances at this gig. BUT I can say with full confidence it's one of the best line-ups of NZ comedians I've ever been on. Also, compared to the news right now, I think any comedy show is the best comedy show of all time. Tell us about this ‘magical’ year you’ve had.
Look – I came up with the title for my show 6 months before I ever did it. I'd been reading stats about how little sex millennials are having compared to their parents, and I wanted to try and catch up. Did I? You'll have to see the show to find out. What can we expect from your show, and will your mum be in the audience?
You can expect something equally edgy and innocent. You're never going to be able to think of the movie Frozen the same way again. My mum is always too keen to watch but I just have to pretend she's not there and go just hard. How would you describe your Court Jester days?
Those days were the best! My first paid job as a comedian, I spent so many nights doing shows in the Arts Centre then getting a beer at the Dux, and somehow ending up at late night Denny’s. The Court Jesters is such a wonderful breeding ground for comedy talent, and it's amazing to work with a comedy family – stand-up can be pretty lonely sometimes. How hard is it being a gay comedian?
The most difficult part is how many straight people I turn gay with my evil gay agenda. To be honest, most New Zealand audiences are pretty cool with it! I don't think it limits me in any way. Won't be touring to Uganda any time soon though. You’ve been called the ‘little gay rock star of New Zealand comedy’ – is that the most awesome title ever and does it help getting laid?
I don't know if it helps at all – I met my boyfriend on a plane last year and he had no idea who I was. What will you do when you’re back in the city?
They have this pinball machine at C1 which I'm obsessed with. It's the first thing I want to do whenever I get home. I know Hagley Park is lovely but it's the pinball machine for me. What sort of material has growing up gay in Christchurch given you?
I grew up going to church and had a girlfriend up till I left, so I think there was a lot pent up that explodes a bit now. My days of dating girls definitely provides a lot of things to talk about. What’s the one thing you miss most about Christchurch?
I love all the beautiful little nooks that are close by - Lyttelton and Akaroa. Christchurch also has the best Denny’s in the country, and it helped me become the man I am today!
Eli Matthewson in The Best Comedy Show On Earth Tour
The Piano, September 24