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ComedyMarch 1, 2017

Mining the comedy gold for you: The Spinoff’s pop-up comedy section is here!


Starting today, and running until the close of the NZ International Comedy Festival, The Spinoff’s comedy pop-up section will be your daily guide to the festival and all that leaks out of it. Co-editors Sam Brooks and Natasha Hoyland explain what they think they’re doing here.

What is this?

We’re Sam Brooks and Natasha Hoyland, and we are very excited to announce that we are the editors of the new Spinoff comedy section, proudly sponsored by Flick Electric Co. (please buy your essential life-giving electricity from them; they pay for both us and the festival to exist!)

We’re really excited to be working together and will cover the NZ International Comedy Festival in a new, interesting and frankly very good way. With reviews, recommendations, interviews, stories, podcasts, videos, as well as commissions from some of our favourite comedians and writers, our aim is to make the section an online hub for comprehensive, informed and engaged Comedy Festival content. We’ll be collaborating with people both inside and outside the industry, so you’ll be reading, seeing and hearing a range of opinions both intensely expert and entirely unqualified in the lead up to and all the way through the Festival. 

What can you expect from us?

We’re not going to be a bunch of old white guys just writing reviews and spoiling jokes.

We care about comedy, and we care about people who care about comedy. We want you to be kept in the loop and make sure you’re seeing the stuff you actually want to see.

We want the comedy section to make things easier for people who want to see comedy, regardless of whether they’re a big fan, if they’ve hardly seen any comedy, or if they’ve never seen any live comedy at all, we want to open the door for people who have never seen a show in the comedy festival and have no idea where to start.

Co-editors Natasha Hoyland (left) and Sam Brooks (right).

What will this week bring?

The big thing this week is Billy T Jams, featuring all the Billy T nominees previewing their festival sets. We’ll be previewing that, and reviewing it afterwards, along with dissecting the just-launched festival programme. It’ll be a good time – and if it’s not and you want to tell us, or you want to get in touch with us for any old reason do an email: and/or

Who are we, though?

Sam Brooks is a playwright, journalist and lip-sync artist. His previous work for the Spinoff includes a piece on two season wonder Lipstick Jungle, a column on two season wonder the Pop-Up Globe and a review of a Frankenstein 90s popstar reunion concert. His previous Comedy Festival outings include writing The Girl and The Gay in 2015 and terrifying straight men at weekly lineup show Dope Joke Party.

Natasha Hoyland is a comedian, producer and general theatrebody, which is a word she made up because she doesn’t actually know how to properly describe what she does. She learnt stage management from a text book and also operates and produces theatre. She was a graduate of the 2013 Class Comedians programme and got into stand up comedy when she was 15. As a performer, she has three NZ International Comedy Festivals under her belt and is now diving more into writing and producing for comedy. When she’s not in the theatre or on stage, she can be found hard at work at The Spinoff or eating a grilled cheese at Denny’s.

This content is entirely funded by Flick, NZ’s Fairest Power Deal. In the past year, their customers saved $489 on average, plus if you sign up right now, you instantly get the VIP treatment at this year’s Comedy Festival. Support The Spinoff, and join Flick today.

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