‘Studies’ lead to laughs

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ONE of the things that riles comedian Urzila Carlson is hearing the phrase “studies have shown”.

The topic is the basis of Carlson’s first solo national tour – Studies Have Shown – which hits the road next week.

Carlson said those three words were often used by people such as radio DJs.

“They always say ridiculous stuff like ‘what would people prefer, a fork in the eye or a glass of red wine with a close friend? We’ll talk about this after this song’,” Carlson said. “Or they go ‘who’s friendlier, your cat or your dog?’ Did scientists get money to research that?”

Carlson said she wondered why this type of research was funded and she would have a few suggestions about how it could be better spent.

“Why do they pump all this money in that when there’s actual people that aren’t eating in the world and kids go to school with no breakfast and no proper clothing or shoes.

“Instead of these studies, do it about stuff that actually affects our lives that we want to know about.”

Originally from just outside Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city, Carlson said she became a New Zealand citizen in 2012.

“My very first time ever performing as a citizen of New Zealand was in Invercargill.”

She said she was on tour with the Comedy Convoy and returned to Auckland for the citizenship ceremony between shows.

“The only flight I could get was in the afternoon. I ran through the venue and up on stage and did my 20-minute set.”

Also an author, Carlson released the memoir Rolling with the Punchlines last year.

“I put everything in the book, the good, the bad, the ugly – and the funny.”

Looking back on her journey, she said it was pretty mind-blowing.

“If you’d said to me 11 years ago you’re going to emigrate, you’re going to change jobs, you’re gonna become a stand-up comic and you’re going to travel the world with it, I would have said you’re out of your… mind. I’m not doing any of that.”

Carlson only began performing in 2008 and started accidentally.

Succumbing to a “bit of peer pressure”, her colleagues in advertising kept telling her she should do comedy and booked her in for an open mic night.

“I did it and I got hooked on it.” Since then, “everything just clicked in”.

She’s been to Asia, performed for the Malaysian royal family, at the Sydney Opera House and will head to Edinburgh, London, Paris and South Africa later in the year.

“It’s like the old saying, if you find what you love you’ll never work another day – that is so true. I just absolutely adore what what I do.”

Civic Theatre, Thursday, June 1, 7.30pm. Tickets available from TicketDirect.

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