Wilson Dixon riffs on life
Channelling his inner Dolly Parton, Kiwi comedian Jesse Griffin dons a wig and cowboy hat.
Before he takes the stage, a personality shift. Out steps Wilson Dixon, a relaxed country singer from Cripple Creek, Colorado.
‘‘You know, it costs a lot of money to look this cheap.’’
OK, so he doesn’t quite rip jokes directly from the queen of country glam but commends her on-stage quips.
He’s in the middle of his first solo tour around New Zealand with his show What A Country!
Griffin developed his Dixon character in 2004 as part of a sketch show touring Australia and New Zealand.
‘‘I had a cowboy hat and a wig, literally just in the props box, and I chucked them on. He started out as an alcoholic, Tom Waits kind of guy but he changed in rehearsals into a laid-back country dude,’’ Griffin said.
Whether it be about his Uncle Cleetus’ business ventures, his horse Andrew or his ex-wife, who moved in next door, Dixon lives a rollercoaster of emotions. He turns life experiences into country ballads and ditties but the banter between makes up much of the show.
‘‘There’s always been a kind of tradition in country music of comedy between songs,’’ Griffin said. ‘‘In this show, Dixon goes on a blind date, which ends pretty badly. Essentially it is a look at Wilson’s view of the world and how things can go wrong.’’
His ideations on Trump’s presidency also come to light during Dixon’s gigs on this tour, predominantly concerning Trump wanting to make America great again.
‘‘This comes as a bit of a shock to Dixon, that it’s not already great,’’ Griffin said.
For Griffin, becoming Dixon was ‘‘quite fun’’, forcing him to keep calm in front of crowds.
‘‘I really enjoy being him. I mean, nothing fazes him, he’s got his own rhythm. It’s definitely a complete immersion.’’
Christchurch audiences can see Dixon at Boo Radley’s, on Victoria St, on May 24 and 25.
Tickets are available from eventfinda.co.nz.
Wilson Dixon, the character of Jesse Griffin, will play two gigs in Christchurch next week.