Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

"I wanna talk to you all about a man. He was a bit of a rebel in his day, refused to be put in his place, got into quite alot of trouble. Stirred up the masses, the authorities hated him, continually bucked the system, hung around with thieves and prostitutes, destroyed property - in a church no less, was hounded by the law, eventually captured, tortured and publicly killed. So, who was this man? Jesus! I've tricked you all into loving the Lord!"

Obviously not actual street evangelism, but MC Charlie Pickering at Queen Street's Comedy Club, performing an act that all the Christians at my table (myself included) laughed at. I suppose we really were laughing in the face of criticism.

Anyway, Jamie, myself and others were there to support Hiroshi in the latest heat of the annual Auckland Comedy Awards.

There were 8 acts, and as these guys had already made it through one heat, they all demonstrated quite definite syles. Each one knew what sort of comedy they were doing. Whether some of them were aware of any other types of comedy is a matter for speculation.

I think you could tell which of them had 'done' this before though. Presumably not the girl who was shaking. I know many performers get nerves, but those who've had them before have usually developed ways to hide them. There was another guy who had a fine act, until he unexpectedly gave up at the end with "I"m sorry I've had a bad night so I'll stop now" and walked off. Maybe you had a bad night, but we didn't suspect until you told us. Then there was the girl dressed up as an old lady, who got massive laughs every time she swore. So her entire act was one long swear-fest without, in my opinion, any jokes at all. I mean I did look for them.

Finally, or more accurately firstly, was Hiroshi.

Without being in any way biased, Hiroshi at least won the award for being my favourite act, simply by default of being the only entirely clean performance. I didn't expect him to win, but lo and behold he did! And not just this heat either - Hiroshi subsequently went onto win the entire title!

"You may wonder why we Japanese all carry cameras - it's so that we can recognise each other."

Does he get away with this back home? Or do they have trouble finding him without his camera?

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