Five Minutes With... Andre King

Andre King
Andre King
Tom Chambers as Bobby in Crazy For You. Picture by Richard Davenport

REVIEW: Crazy For You, at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton

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Andre King will be performing at Tiger Tiger’s Jongleurs comedy night tonight and tomorrow.

We caught up with the New Zealand comic ahead of his visit.

When did you first realise you were funny?

English isn’t my first language. I actually spoke French and Maori before I learned English at age five. I started finding puns everywhere with English that just aren’t available in French and Maori. This amused my parents no end – at first (Bought a bag of soil? That must weigh the earth!). They purchased a compendium of 1,001 jokes, thinking it was good to encourage my interests. As a result, my brain ended-up being hardwired for recalling jokes, I can still recall the jokes I read when I was eight years old. They were pretty terrible, but everyone in this industry starts somewhere.

What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?

I’m really not sure. I’ve been so many of the things I wanted to be already. I was a soldier, a private investigator, a martial artist. These were based on the things I wanted to be as a child, being a fan of John Wayne, Magnum P.I. and Bruce Lee. I’ve had other, less glamorous and more ridiculous, jobs as well. I sold mobile telephones by cold-calling mobile telephones, I drove the ‘Zoo-fari’ Train at Auckland Zoo for a few months and I even worked as a waiter at a buffet restaurant, spending a lot of time saying ‘help yourself’.

Name three things that make you laugh.

My daughters constantly have me in stitches with their Facebook updates. My eldest daughter (14) posted that she was in a relationship and that it was ‘complicated’. Really? Complicated at 14? I showed her what complicated really was when I messaged her new beau ‘I’m not afraid of going back to prison’.

I really love going to see shows where I’m not on the bill, I laugh myself silly when I don’t have any pressure to perform.

But I guess I laugh most at myself. I’m a relatively intelligent guy. Sometimes, though, I surprise myself with some of the daft things I’ve done. Maybe it’s a guy thing?

What’s your favourite one-liner?

Most of mine are probably not appropriate to print, but if you come to the show I’ll be glad to tell you while I’m on stage. My favourite one liner from another act though would probably be Rodney Dangerfield: ‘I used to think I was good in bed... until I caught a peeping tom ‘booing’ me through the window.’

Who’s your biggest hero?

I don’t have just one. I’ve been heavily influenced by a number of really great acts. I love Eddie Izzard’s ability to create genuine laughs from history, Lee Evans’s facial expressions and body movements, Lee Mack’s quick-wittedness and Jared Christmas’s energy in delivering a killer story. There are so many really amazing performers working right here on your doorstep, many of whom you can listen to at Jongleurs comedy clubs all over the country. The guys I work with are some of the finest acts I have ever had the privilege of working with anywhere in the world.

See Andre with Ryan McDonnell, John Ryan, Anthony King and Herbie Adams at Jongleurs Comedy Night, Tiger Tiger Gunwharf Quays tonight and tomorrow. Doors open at 6pm and the show runs from 8pm to 10pm. Tickets cost £15 on both nights or £25 on Saturday for ‘Posh Jongleurs’ which includes a two-course meal. To book, call (023) 9288 2244, email info@tigertiger-ports.co.uk