Grand Lifestyle

Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy

New Zealand loves to laugh, from The Topp Twins to Flight of the Conchords, Kiwi’s have a particular way of making each other laugh.



Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy is an iconic annual by Paul Horan and Philip Matthews, with a foreword by Michele A’Court published alongside a major TVNZ 1 documentary series of the same name funded by NZ On Air.

The Funny As book tells the story of comedy in New Zealand with over 300 pictures with interviews with over 100 of New Zealand’s best comedians.

The book takes the reader inside comedy clubs, television and new markets such as social media where comedians work to get the biggest laughs out of their audience. Documenting the rise of cartoons, skits, parody, stand-up and now digital media, Funny As examines how New Zealand’s funniest people have made sense of our ever changing culture and society.

Written by comedian Paul Horan and journalist Philip Matthews, Funny As is a must have. Horan was a member of the 1980’s comedy group DBX and founder of the New Zealand Comedy Festival and Auckland’s Classic Comedy Club, Horan also wrote and produced the TVNZ 1 documentary series with the same name. Matthews is a journalist with over 25 years writing for NZ Listener, Metro, Sunday Star-Times, Landfall, The Press, The Wire and The Spinoff and although “He has never performed comedy and can barely remember jokes, people tell him he’s funny”.

The book Funny As is released alongside the local documentary series with the same name airing on TVNZ 1 Sunday 21st July at 8.30pm (and again OnDemand). Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy the documentary interviews with comedy legends including Ginette McDonald, Taika Waititi and David McPhail reliving iconic moments and never before seen footage.

Funny As is a wonderful book, it is colourful, funny and will make you smile and laugh as you learn more about New Zealand’s comedy history. It is just a truly fantastic book reflecting on one of New Zealand’s favourite past times – laughing.

Funny As is available in 4 different jacket options: Flight of the Conchords, Fred Dagg, Billy T. James and The Topp Twins. You will find yourself reliving classic jokes (Where did I get my bag? I pinched it) to the newest comedians of today. With over 336 pages of photos and interviews, you will find yourself smiling, reminiscing and laughing with New Zealand’s iconic jokes and sense of humour.

Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy. By Paul Horan and Philip Matthews. Auckland University Press. RRP $49.99




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