A few weeks ago, comedian Nic Sampson came to The Spinoff with an idea: What if he did a comedy show in a library? We’ve got the bizarre results, and a brief interview with the man himself, right here.
Sam Brooks: Why on earth did you want to do stand-up in a library?
Nic Sampson: Because I have been blacklisted from every comedy venue in New Zealand for my edgy jokes. You’ve got to innovate and find new places to ‘bring the lols’ (that’s an industry term) plus it seemed like it would be a real challenge to make a gig work in a library. And guess what, it was!
What were the challenges, other than the obvious challenge of being quiet, which you would expect in a library?
It was mostly a struggle to get people to come down to a library on a Sunday morning. I pretty much immediately resorted to base begging online to get people along. The Auckland Library was actually a dream to deal with as they are keen to leave behind the stereotype of libraries as boring quiet places for nerds (I added the nerd bit). It did feel legitimately quite bad annoying about 30 people studying for exams a few metres away from us but hey that’s library showbiz baby!
Do you think libraries should rebrand themselves as stand-up comedy venues?
Maybe, though that might take away from the fun of trying to do a comedy gig while having to be quiet. I definitely want to do another Stand Up At The Library during the festival though.
Would you do stand-up in any other weird venues like a swimming pool or an abattoir?
How the hell was abattoir your second example?
I was thinking of noisy places where death happens.
Now that makes your swimming pool example much darker
There’s a reason I don’t teach swimming anymore.
Swimming pools are a good idea. Everyone could be floating in the water. I will check with some swimming pools to see if they are tired of being branded as ‘stuffy and boring’.
And now to seamlessly segue into a plug, what’s your comedy show about and why should people see it?
My show is called Jewel Heist and it’s a stand up show about stealing a million dollar diamond from the Auckland Museum. You should come see me if you like your comedy to have stories and characters and absurdity and jewel heists. I’m also good at my job of being funny!
Do you do an impression of Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair? (This is a question for your gay fans.)
I’ll add it in.
That’s all your gay fans ask for, Nic.