Comedians give quite a lot of themselves

Dunedin Fringe Festival comedians (from top) Tevita Manukia, Heidi O'Loughlin, Andrew Clay and Jamie Bowen, all of Auckland, at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

 If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

Auckland comedians Tevita Manukia, Heidi O'Loughlin, Andrew Clay and Jamie Bowen signed for two Fringe Festival performances at the Dunedin Town Hall - the Festival Gala last night and the Polson Higgs Comedy Club tonight.

Tevita Manukia said his comedy material revolved around him fathering his 12-year-old girl and his 7-year-old twin boys.

''Talking to a kid is like talking to a drunk person - they are both difficult to rationalise with.''

The ''survival'' tips for people preparing for parenthood included staying awake for the birth. He was sound asleep when his twin boys were induced.

''My partner has a nice photo of the boys on my chest and I'm out cold.''

Jamie Bowen said although his comedy material talked about his ''particularly bad year'' and his father's death, people with tickets to the show had not paid good money to watch an ''emotionally crippled balding man with far too much attachment to his ridiculous facial hair whine and cry for his dad rather than pay for a therapist'', he said, laughing. Heidi O'Loughlin said the audience could safely sit in the front seats because her comedy style was not aggressive.

''I'm like an animal in the zoo. I'm more afraid of you than you are of me.''

The ''up and coming'' comedian said hecklers should miss her show because her style did not include talking to the audience.

''My goal is never to be the master of a room, so I like doing fringe festivals where you can be a little different.''

Andrew Clay said he had performed comedy for more than 20 years and he had never matched the natural high after his first ''terrible'' performance.

''The routine was cringe-worthy - it got laughs but I couldn't touch it now because it was so corny - but nothing will match the buzz of the first gig I did at the Sydney Comedy Store.

''Afterwards, I got off the bus at Bondi and sprinted the length of the beach because I was so amped, completely off my dial on no alcohol or drugs.

''Nothing can match that.''

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