Deep, dark dad tales


Comic Rhian Wood-Hill’s upcoming Queenstown gig ‘How I Met My Father’ is pretty self-explanatory.

The 26-year-old Kiwi met his biological dad, an ex-Mongrel Mob Samoan, when he was 21.

It was an accidental meeting that made him ponder his identity.

His youth was spent in white, middle-class Timaru — miles apart socially from the life his dad was leading.

Wood-Hill: “It wasn’t a conscious decision [to meet him].

I wasn’t going to try too hard to find him and at no point did anyone stop me meeting him.

It was more like it never seemed it was on the cards.”

Wood-Hill retells the tale at The Sherwood next Thursday.

He reckons it isn’t necessarily a comedy show — but more of a story-telling gig with funny elements mixed in.

“It deals with some pretty heavy shit.

It has a suicide in it and is pretty intense.

It’s maybe 30 per cent comedy but the story is amusing in between the deep and dark stories.”

Wood-Hill’s entry into comedy wasn’t the usual route.

On a night out drinking, while playing pool, a mate pointed out he wasn’t funny.

Instead of agreeing he took it as a challenge and decided to give stand-up a go.

Apparently he was funny after all.

Another reason to have a go was because he didn’t want to get a proper job.

He’d previously chanced his arm at acting, busking and even professional poker-playing.

But when he needed to fund the ‘How I Met My Father’ tour he stepped up and got a job as a teaching aid mentoring at-risk youngsters.

Wood-Hill, who is now based in Te Horo on the North Island’s Kapiti Coast, says gig-goers can expect to have a good time and says it hasn’t “gone bad” anywhere he’s toured so far.

“It is not without its moments of darkness. But it does have a funny start, a funny ending and I will get you through it. It is entertaining.”

Producer Eleanor Strathern, who used to be Wood-Hill’s neighbour, reckons Queenstowners are in for a treat.

Initially she wasn’t sure what she was signing up to as he’d only revealed the gist of the story.

“It sounded pretty wild to me. It is all 100 per cent true … I thought, ‘this is his real life’ which is crazy.

“When I saw the show for the first time it was good. It is not his usual stand-up gig — it is funny but it is also very real.”

She says the show addresses some hard issues like suicide and mental health — subjects that don’t always get air time in comedy gigs.

While it includes strong messages she guarantees giggles along the way.

Catch Rhian Wood-Hill next Thursday, 8pm, The Sherwood. Tickets $10