Ruby Esther (Photo: FIRST)

Ruby Esther’s comedy keeps making her dad cry

Comedian Ruby Esther tells us about an upsetting heckle, making her dad cry and more in this week’s episode of FIRST.

Stand-up comedian Pax Assadi’s worst heckler experience came early in his career, when a rowdy Ewen Gilmour fan got up on stage and took a swing at him. Ruby Esther’s worst heckler experience brings it full circle: “I got on stage and someone just shouted, ‘bring Pax back’”, she remembers sorrowfully.

Esther started out in stand-up in 2016’s Class Comedians programme, before winning the 2017 RAW competition and being named Best Debut at the 2018 NZ International Comedy Festival. At each of these shows, her dad has cried.

“Dad was always like the joker of the family and I think I wanted to be like him,” she says. “Any time he comes to watch me perform, he cries… It’s hard to interpret whether that’s like, ‘It’s my daughter I’m so proud’ or, ‘Oh God, she’s awful, I hate her.’”

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