Hail­ing from South Africa, this funny guy has seen the scary side of com­edy a time or two, but it’s served as rich ma­te­rial for his act

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - SALLY COATES

The an­nual Bris­bane Com­edy Fes­ti­val kicks off this week­end, promis­ing a month of laughs from a line-up of more than 50 comics flog­ging tick­ets like their lives de­pend on it.

One comic who re­fuses to bow down to your com­mer­cial ideals, how­ever, is Dusty Rich, a South African fel­low who hosts Based Com­edy nights at Nob­bys Arc ev­ery Wednes­day.

He’s not scared of you, be­cause over in South Africa, his life lit­er­ally de­pended on telling good jokes.

“I’ve per­formed all around South Africa and I think every­one knows it’s not ex­actly the safest place in the world,” he says.

“When you’re in an ag­gres­sive club and you might make a fat joke and there might be a fat per­son there who might be a gang­ster and that per­son might come have a word to you af­ter the show and that per­son might have a gun in their hand and you don’t be­lieve in guns – I mean I do be­lieve in guns, it’s not like some­one pulls a gun on me and I’m like ‘I do not be­lieve in that’.

“And a bul­let en­ters a ster­num and I’m like ‘I don’t be­lieve in that blood on the ground’. I be­lieve in guns I just don’t be­lieve in the use of them.

“That’s what’s great about Aus­tralia, no­body can pull a gun on you, all they can do is punch you in the head.”

You can get used to those comedic so­lil­o­quies from Dusty Rich, who shies away from scripted ma­te­rial in favour of what he doesn’t clas­sify as im­prov but a “stream of con­scious­ness”.

“I talk and talk and some­times it’ll lead me down a path of some­thing that’s funny,” he says.

“Some­one’s al­ways wear­ing a funny shirt, some­one al­ways has a funny hair­cut, some­one al­ways has to shout out some ran­dom com­ment. Ah, who am I kid­ding, it’s mainly d**k jokes.

“Some­times I write some­thing on a scrap of pa­per but once I get up there 90 per cent of the time I get so ex­cited I for­get about it.

“But I don’t think I’ve ever got­ten ner­vous on stage.”

There’s one part about com­edy that makes Dusty ner­vous though.

“I’ll tell you what makes me ner­vous? Sell­ing tick­ets,” he says.

“That’s the so­ci­etal func­tion of telling you if you’re suc­cess­ful – have you sold enough tick­ets?

“The ones who are re­ally well known and so­ci­ety says that must mean they’re the best, that must mean they’re funny.

“I hate that part – that’s why I love club com­edy, ’cause you can find your new favourite comic by chance.

“Whereas to me, sell­ing tick­ets is like scream­ing ‘DO YOU LIKE ME? DO YOU RE­ALLY LIKE ME?’ And that’s my big­gest prob­lem.”

Catch Dusty at the Bris­bane Com­edy Fes­ti­val March 15, 16 and 17. Tick­ets bris­banecom­e­dyfes­ti­

Catch lo­cal co­me­dian Dusty Rich at the Bris­bane Com­edy Fes­ti­val next month.

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