Kiwi comic Guy Williams’ intro to stand-up was awkward.
A uni mate he fancied asked him to a comedy gig. He thought it was a date — it wasn’t.
“It was a whole bunch of people getting together but I didn’t know that … it was a very embarrassing situation, especially when you are 18 or 19 years old.
“But when we got there I probably laughed more than I have ever laughed. I laughed until I hurt inside.”
It cemented his love for stand-up, so when he got cut from the university basketball team, he decided to give it a shot.
He’s playing The Sherwood next week, his first-ever stand-up show below Cook Strait.
Williams reckons it is easier to get to Aussie than the South Island.
The TV3 host is tagging a local gig on to one in Invercargill.
“It’s a bloody nightmare to get there … and Queenstown and Wanaka are so god-damn expensive that I need a good excuse and finally I have managed to wrangle it in the guise of a charity do.
“If they weren’t paying for my flights I would probably never come,” he laughs.
He is a tad worried no one will show up.
Pointing to Queenstown’s international melting pot, he isn’t sure if many non-Kiwi folk will know who he is.
That’s the beauty of online sales — he can view how many people have stumped up for tickets.
Williams, who will perform in the smaller Sherwood room, promises a cosy set.
“Doing a gig to about 40 people is going to be quite intimate but it will also be really good, just real close.”
He doesn’t want that to put people off.
Attacking the audience isn’t his style — unless they choose to heckle him.
The Jono and Ben host says Queenstowners can expect a range of topics including politics, Kanye, white privilege, Trump and freedom of speech.
He gets a lot of material from the world of politics — something he finds fascinating.
Williams, now a household name, says he is as “annoying” as his TV style.
“Most comedians aren’t too much different to their on-stage persona. But I am a little more introverted in my normal life. I think I am loud, annoying and boisterous just like I am on TV and incredibly opinionated.
“I don’t know if I have a really good handle on my own projection — but for someone else, I hope they would say I am funny.”
Catch Guy Williams’ ‘Why Am I Like This?’ show, The Sherwood, Tuesday, 7pm. Tickets $25. R15