New Zealand has more comedians than the handful you see revolving around its TV shows, Tarun Mohanbhai says.
The veteran comic – well known himself for his TV work – is opening a new comedy night in Queenstown.
If successful, the Laugh Club will open its doors each month at SkyCity Queenstown Casino.
Queenstown is one stop on a new comedy circuit Mohanbhai is establishing around the country, from Auckland to Invercargill, as he attempts to provide a forum for the country’s top acts.
Mohanbhai says: “TV is great and a fantastic medium but people forget there are a lot of comics in the country other than the eight or so you see on TV.
“We have some of the best comics around.
“Comedy has come to the front of people’s minds with shows like 7 Days showcasing comedians,” Mohanbhai says.
“We want to set up an environment where comics have places to work – like in the UK where there’s lots of clubs.
“At the moment we’re really limited to the comedy club in Auckland.”
Multi-talented Mohanbhai, aka That Indian Guy, has been a face on the New Zealand comedy scene since 1998.
Mohanbhai’s written and produced numerous live shows, such as Corner Shop Confessions and D’Arranged Marriage, and starred in various prime time TV shows including The Millen Baird Show and A Thousand Apologies.
But he says he always returns to stand up.
“I love it. With Laugh Club we’re trying to get some continuity, some regular gigs running in places. We want to make it semi-uniform so people know the show will be of a certain calibre and they will have a good night out.
“If it proves really popular, obviously we’ll come down all the time.”
Mohanbhai will open the evening, supported by multi-award winning comedian MC Nick Rado.
The headliner will be Andrew Clay, who has 20 years of international stand-up experience and also appears regularly in TV show Shortland Street as health board baddie William Nugent.
Catch The Laugh Club’s Tarun Mohanbhai, MC Nick Rado and Andrew Clay at SkyCity Queenstown Casino on Saturday, 9pm. Tickets are $25