Roll of the Dai


Dai Henwood’s hoping he’s not going to be performing for his Queenstown audience from a wheelchair.

“Because I’m turning into a psychopath, I’m running the Queenstown half marathon,’’ he laughs.

“I’m doing it the morning of the gig, so I’m sure there’ll be some exhausted running jokes. I just hope I’m not up there in a wheelchair.’’

The beloved Kiwi comedian’s performing at Queenstown’s SkyCity on Saturday night with Aussie compatriot Mickey D.

He’s amping to get back to the resort, after missing his usual Winter Festival gig due to scheduling issues.

“I usually try to get to Queenstown every year.’’

The veteran funnyman, one of New Zealand’s most successful comics, is preparing to celebrate a decade of his hit TV show, 7 Days.

He reckons it’s pretty rich pickings these days, when it comes to finding current affairs to joke about.

Although, he points out, “there’s not much more you can say about Trump’’.

“I think it was [Stephen] Colbert or someone who said it’s hard to write jokes about Trump, because everything he says is so outrageous.

“You just need to quote him.’’

The Friday night comedy show’s featured a wide variety of top Kiwi and international comedians over the years, with Welsh legend Griff Rhys Jones appearing a couple of weeks ago.

Henwood says explaining NZ news to international guests can be tricky.

“They’ve got things like Brexit, and our stories are about sheep getting shorn and things like that.

“You kind of sit back and go, ‘things are actually going OK’.’’

The show’s also given young comics a chance to showcase their comedy chops in front of a national audience.

While some commentators lamented the cancellation of Jono & Ben, saying it’d remove a training ground for up-and-coming Kiwi comedians, Henwood believes the local industry’s in the best shape it’s ever been.

He cites successful exports Rose Matafeo and Urzila Carlson, who are making waves overseas, as well as homegrown shows like Funny Girls.

“In the mid-2000s it blossomed.

“I love to see the diversity in New Zealand comedy at the moment.’’

To catch the Comedy Night with Dai & Mickey, head to SkyCity, Saturday, 8pm, $30