Comedian Corner: Audrey Porne
Interview By Liam Stretch
Gaining fame on Twitter, comedienne Audrey Porne has just finished her live circuit on the Auckland International Comedy Festival with The Porne Identity. Having won the South Island Breakthrough Comedian 2019, from the NZ Comedy Guild, she is quickly making a name for herself on the comedy stage and has been described as an “iconic voice” and unlike “anyone else”. Liam Stretch asked her the hard questions.
Who is Audrey Porne?
An NZ comedian with a banana allergy. Nothing too serious, like, bananas won’t kill me, but they make me vomit and stuff. Pretty nasty, really! The most convenient fruit and I can’t eat it. But it’s just something I’ve bravely learned to live with.
What’s your comedy style?
A wee bit absurdist, unhinged but peppy. I don’t pick on my audience members, but only because I’m usually much shorter than most of them.
When did you realise you’re funny?
When middle-aged American men started sending me death threats on Twitter.
When did other people realise you’re funny?
When they opened Twitter one day, read one of my silly hot takes and found my tweets so unbelievably hilarious [that] they decided to start sending me death threats.
Where did you get your start in comedy?
In late 2017 – I entered a stand-up competition in Christchurch for people who had never performed comedy before, and I won! My prize was cash and an ego the size of a small bus.
Do you test jokes on your cat?
It’s like you can see into my home. Yes, genuinely, I do. They’re never impressed, which is crushing, but can you imagine if one day a cat actually laughed like a human? That would be the end of me. There’s no coming back from hearing something like that.
Who inspires you?
People who wear white jeans. Imagine having that confidence. I’m shaking.
Do you like Whittaker’s L&P chocolate?
It’s like an ex who did nothing wrong; tried it, probably wouldn’t go back to it, might ignore it if I see it in public, but there’s no hate there.
What is one thing everyone should own?
BASEketball on DVD. I personally own 47 copies. If you stack them on top of each other, nothing happens, but it gives you something to do.
What’s one gig you wish you never did?
I did a gig where I had to do my usual material but with different mannerisms predetermined by a card pulled from a hat. Never, ever let a hat make decisions for you. It was not good! I had to do my set in a monotone, low-energy style, which works great for many comedians, but not for me. I no longer trust hats or anyone who wears them.
What’s the strangest heckle you’ve ever had, and how did you deal with it?
People rarely heckle me! Maybe I’m too intimidating. The weirdest heckles are when there are literally 100 people in the audience, and one single person – usually a man – decides to tell everyone his life story from the back of the room. Stop it, Josh! No one cares that your wife left you after the dog ran away. Grow up and start a podcast like an adult!
What’s on the horizon for you?
After my show-run in Auckland for NZ International Comedy Festival, I’ll head back to Christchurch and be so sick of the sound of my own voice; I’ll probably crawl into a cave somewhere. Maybe get a fringe… I don’t have the bone structure, but change is good, you know? I might get really into plants or something. Give golf a try.
What are you ordering at the fish and chip shop?
Blue cod! I don’t eat meat, but I do eat fish – I’m a pescatarian, which is Latin for “hypocrite”.