Gig of the Week: Tim Shadbolt & Gary McCormick

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Recession depression is a myth – so say a pair of high-profile Kiwi gloombusters.

Christchurch-based TV star, raconteur and radio host Gary McCormick joins Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt for their travelling comedy show A Barrel of Laughs at SkyCity Casino on Saturday night.

It promises to be a celebration of all things positive about life in Godzone, says McCormick.

“We’ve been listening to the people who look on the dark side of life for the last 18 months,” he says. “They seem to have taken over the world and that’s rather boring.

“As Tim and I have found out as we’ve wandered about, people are still going out and having a good time. All people are looking for is permission to enjoy themselves again, thank you very much.”

McCormick and Shadbolt have been battling the establishment from without and within since first meeting at a central Wellington drop-in centre in the mid-1970s.

They next rubbed shoulders in the back of a truck on a protest rally against a racially-selected touring South African softball team.

Despite Mayor Tim now being dedicated to a life of public service and his partner-in-comedy assuming leadership of his own Pull Yourself Together Party, McCormick doubts the pair have mellowed in their mid-life.

“I think what has happened is we’ve got a bit smarter,” he says. “Tim is very cunning at what he does in local government and I’m quite good at pulling levers because I know quite a few people who run things, so we tend to get quite a lot done.”

McCormick says he has only one concern about his Queenstown audience – and it’s environmental rather than political or economic.

“I’m actually worried about the people of Queenstown, largely because they’re encircled by mountains,” he says.

“If I were living there, I’d have a slight sense of panic on an ongoing basis. I just want to see how many people are OK about that – that not too many are getting claustrophobic.

“If necessary I will lead them out through the valleys, to freedom.”

Gary McCormick and Tim Shadbolt bring A Barrel of Laughs to SkyCity Casino on Saturday – $25, seating from 7.30pm.