As seen and heard on SBS’s RAW Comedy, ABC’s Comedy Bites and triple j’s Good Az Friday, Michael Shafar shared his thoughts on comedy and gave us a rundown on what to expect for this years Sydney Comedy Festival.
Q: When and where was your first gig and how did it go?
My first ever gig was at a dire open mic in February 2013 to a crowd of about seven comedians. It went terribly, but some of the comedians gave me some pity laughs so that I didn’t know how badly I had done. I then took that false confidence into my second gig and bombed so badly that I still sometimes think about it when trying to fall asleep. Ooh boy. It was bad.
Q: What do you love most about being a comedian?
When a new joke works. That’s the best part.
Q: What can we expect from your debut Sydney Comedy Festival show?
It’s a show about how I got testicular cancer in October 2017, so it deals with some darker themes around mortality and goes through the journey of diagnosis and treatment. But, it’s pretty much just full of punchy jokes and funny stories. Don’t worry, it’s not a TED Talk.
Q: Your best advice for someone wanting to pursue a career in comedy?
Just get on stage ASAP. Oh yeah, and come to my show to learn how to do it perfectly.
Q: The funniest person you know who’s not a comedian and why?
My dad is pretty funny, but not in the way that he intends to be. Every year on his and mum’s anniversary he’ll say: “37 years! You get less for murder! Ha ha ha!” I think it’s funny that he reckons that’s a great joke. Also, I actually looked it up, and it turns out the average sentence for murder is 12 years, so he’s just making a good point about the problems with the criminal justice system.
Q: Your hot tips for this year’s Sydney Comedy Festival?
Try someone you haven’t seen before. If you haven’t seen Alex Ward, Blake Freeman, Gerard McGowan or Nick Capper yet, do it this festival. If you have seen them, then you know they’re good, so see them again.