Interview: Rhys Nicholson

rhys nicholson interview index
It’s been quite the couple of years for Rhys Nicholson, as in 2018 alone he won the NZ International Comedy Festival’s Best International Show Award as well as the Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer, and so far in 2019 Rhys has gained another nomination for this year’s Helpmann Awards for Best Comedy Performer for Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations, while he also supported Conan O’Brien and then appeared on his tv show. This year will be Nicholson’s sixth stint at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe following his 2018 show Seminal which was applauded by the critics and became one of the top reviewed shows of the festival, and in the UK Rhys has most recently appeared on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and Live From The BBC, as well as on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra, so it’s clear he’s going to be pretty damn famous very, very soon, and you should see him now before he’s playing huge venues. Here he talks about his new show (or at least what the police will allow him to say), what it was like appearing on Conan O’Brien, and how he’d like to implement a Thanos like snap to make the comedy scene more equal.

Comedy To Watch: How would you describe your comedy to someone who wasn’t previously aware of your good self?

Rhys: Pee Wee Herman without the irony.

CTW: And what can you tell us about your Edinburgh show?

Rhys: Look I’ve been told by the police I can’t say much as it’s all an on going investigation, but basically it’s about an hour of me talking about myself. I like my show this year. Usually by the time I’m doing Edinburgh I hate my show and I’m dead in the eyes. Why not come and watch the last bit of light flicker out from eyes?

CTW: What are your favourite things about the festival?

Rhys: I get to see a lot of my friends I don’t always see. Also I have a secret wife and children in Edinburgh so it’s always good to catch up with them. Rhys Jnr is growing upon so fast.

CTW: And are there any aspects you don’t like?

Rhys: I’m not big on mimes.

CTW: You’ve performed stand up since 2009, how do you feel you’ve evolved since your first ever gig?

Rhys: I have chest hair now. That’s a big change. I’m gay now. Also bit of a change. I’m crying a lot less backstage. That feels grown up.

CTW: You created the web series Making Friends with Rhys Nicholson, what can you tell us about it? And do you have plans to make any other online series?

Rhys: I’ve got a whole series of content but that’s on PornHub so you probably can’t open it in your work place.

CTW: You recently opened for Conan O’Brien during his Australian tour, and then later appeared on his tv show, what can you tell us about those experiences?

Rhys: It was so good and unexpected that I have a theory I have a terminal illness that no one has told me about. Conan is so incredibly lovely when he’s famous and funny enough that he absolutely doesn’t have to be.

CTW: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you since you started performing?

Rhys: A couple of years ago I was performing at a club for returned servicemen and in the middle of my set they played The Last Post. Lest we forget indeed…

CTW: If you could change any element of the stand up scene, what would it be?

Rhys: Too many woman. Joking! Men. There are too many men obviously. I’d implement a Thanos like snap situation.

CTW: If money were no object, what would you like to create?

Rhys: A state of panic.

CTW: And finally, if you could interview yourself, what question would you most like to ask? And what would the answer be?

Rhys: “Do you want me to give you ten grand?” Yes.

Alex Finch. Photograph (c) Monica Pronk.
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Related Links:
Rhys Nicholson performs ‘Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the Underbelly (Bristo Square) from Thursday 1st – Sunday 25th August at 8.40pm. For further information and tickets please click here.
Rhys’ Official Site.
You can follow Rhys on Twitter here.
You can watch a clip of Rhys performing stand up here.

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