Gig of the week: My new trip is so weird and scary

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Funnyman Mike King admits that performing in Queenstown for the first time without being blitzed on drink and drugs will be “weird and scary.” 

The top Kiwi comic recently revealed he used to be hooked on cocaine and booze – but says he cleaned up his act “1065 days ago”. 

King is at the Frankton Ale House on Monday as part of a 19-date South Island tour.
And he says: “This is one of the first tours I’ve ever done straight and to suddenly go out there naked, so to speak, is kind of weird. 

“It’ll be scary because I’ll have nothing to hide behind. 

“When you are full of piss, if things go badly you can always blame the alcohol or drugs. 

“Now I have no one to blame but myself, so it’s kind of raw.” 

King also insists punters in the Frankton audience won’t have to worry about being savaged from the stage. 

“My onstage persona isn’t so macho now – I don’t search and destroy people,” he says. 

“Before, if people didn’t like me I’d go out there and mercilessly kill them. But then you get that sick feeling after you’ve finished, that you are a cruel and horrible bastard. 

“You drink more and do more drugs to feel better and justify what you’ve just gone and done.”
He adds: “What I do now is a lot more constructive.” 

King came to his senses after a three-day cocaine binge in a Hong Kong hotel room that nearly killed him.
He was so obsessed with the drug he says he once even bought a travel agency, believing it would ensure easier access to cocaine. 

“If it ever came to it, I could always jump on a plane and put myself up in a hotel for a few days.
“But I have an addictive personality. I mean, I fell in love with steak and mushrooms 30 years ago and that’s all I eat.” 

The former Game of Two Halves star admits the road back hasn’t been easy. 

“For the first 12 years of my career, I wrote everything when I was stoned,” King says. 

“But for the first 18 months of my recovery, I thought I’d never write anything funny again. 

“I started to think maybe I should just smoke weed so I could carry on writing, otherwise I’d not have a job,” King says. 

“But I stuck at it and when the clouds eventually cleared, thankfully it all started to come back to me.”