Comedian Corner: Chris Parker

Interview By: Liam Stretch

Chris Parker shot to fame after being a panellist on the likes of 7 Days and going on to feature on a podcast and TV show, The Male Gayz. Since then, Chris has featured heavily on the stand-up circuit and has graced the stage and screen in many different roles. Aside from Comedy, Chris is a nationally recognised felt craftsperson, and a portrait featuring his lockdown felt crown is on the walls of Te Papa. Liam Stretch got to the person behind the funny.  

For those who have had the drapes to the outside world closed, who are you? 

My name is Chris Parker. I’m a comedian based in Tāmaki Makaurau but born on Ōtautahi. I make funny videos on my Instagram but also do lots on TV as well. I’m also a libra and gay – so that’s my personality sorted.  

Describe your comedy style?  

I would say camp, revealing storytelling with fun jokes and always a bit of a theatrical twist (I trained at drama school, so I can’t help but get a bit theatrical).  

Your skills with felt have seen a rather seductive portrait of you admitted to the hallowed halls of Te Papa. Where did your skills with felt come from? 

My skills with felting developed like any good craftsperson, just over time and out of boredom. Lockdown created the perfect opportunity to get really good at something so useless. 

What do you like so much about felt? 

I love that it keeps me distracted and allows me to relax when things are getting stressful and hectic in my life.  

How did growing up in Ōtautahi shape your approach to comedy? 

Well, I think growing up in a fairly conservative, repressed city (sorry Chch… but maybe it’s true) influenced the stories I tell from my upbringing. I also find lots of joy in being very open and expressive about my life now as a kind of counter-reaction to that as well :). 

Many people would have first seen you appear on The Male Gayz. One topic I recall from one episode is the little tog dryers from swimming pools and how you wished to have one in your house. Has this wish become a reality? 

Let’s just say, I’m working on it (asked fiancé, he said no, we have to save to buy a house first). 

Why do you think there are so many queer people in comedy? 

Simply because we are the greatest people on earth, we’ve gone through barriers and come through the other side, so we have great stories and perspectives to share.  

What’s the worst party you’ve ever been to? Why? 

I have a love/bay relationship with parties for babies. Why have them? The kid isn’t conscious! They have no idea what’s going on. The food is always kids’ food, but it’s always adults who are attending. And they are always 10am on a Sunday. Fortunately, they only last an hour, and I am quite partial to some fairy bread every now and then. 

You’ve spent some time as a stage actor too. Do you enjoy this medium more than the screen? 

I love to be live and in front of crowds hearing the applause and laughter and connecting in one room together. But the tv money is 200 times better, hahaha. 

If you were to produce a period drama, what would make the best storyline: Czech Hunter or Broke Straight Boys. And who would you cast?  

Czech Hunter, who doesn’t love a wintery European period drama. It’s basically a portrait of a lady on fire but with men. 

What’s your Burger King order? 

BK Chicken with cheese and a Hershey’s Chocolate Pie (the greatest invention on earth – I would say dessert on earth, but I’m unsure if it’s actually food). 

Would you rather be a rabbit or a cat? 

A cat, call me by my name – Mr Mistoffelees.  

Where can we see you? 

In the car park of Countdown, eating a rotisserie chicken out of the packet.