Comedian corner: lIV mCKEnzie

Interview By: Liam Stretch

Liv McKenzine is a local, up-and-coming comedienne and has been causing quite a storm on the scene – picking up 2019 Best Newcomer NZ Comedy Festival.  She is one of the headline funny people at this year’s O.Week Comedy Night. Liam Stretch got to know her. 

How did you get into comedy?  

I just always loved standup and wanted to try it, and it seemed easier than getting a real job, so I went along to my first open mic night, and it’s been all downhill from there!   

What was the first joke you told?  

Probably just quoting something I’d heard on the Simpsons or Family Guy.  

What’s your favourite joke of all time?  

It’s hard to pick a fave, but my favourite set is Bernie Mac on Def Comedy Jam in the 90s, where he performs to a crowd who has been booing people all night, and he goes out and says “I ain’t scared of you mother fuckers”, has them in the palm of his hand from then on and destroooooooys. Iconic.  

Who inspires you, comedically?  

My favourite comedian is John Mulaneyand also Catherine Cohen and Rhys Nicholson really inspire me because they have such strong voices and unique styles.  

What would you describe your style of comedy as?  

That friend from high school who is really fun at dinner parties and has wild stories but also you leave going “……..is she okay?” 

If you had a chance to get drunk with Joan Rivers, what would be the first thing you’d say to her?  

Your shout, babe x 

What’s your Subway order?  

Turning around and leaving and going to KFC instead (Zinger burger with tomato, deluxe combo) 

You spent some time in the States, how did this shape your comedy?  

Doing comedy in New York made me realise I’m a very small fish in a very big pond and everyone else is working three times as hard as you so you better get your shit together if you wanna be the best! I have not gotten my shit together. 

What is the NZ comedy scene like? What’s good about it; what does it need to work on?  

There’s a really good community, and people are willing to help each other at all levels, so if you want advice you can go to anyone even if they’re “famous” or further along in their careers than you which is lovely! We definitely need more people of colour, which is why it’s so awesome when things like SIS come along. 

Big mac or whopper?  

As soon as it’s legal for me to marry a Big Mac, I will. 

If Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and James Corden were all drowning, who would you save? Why?  

Jimmy Fallon because he was really hot when he first started on SNL in the 90s. Is that good comedy reasoning? No. Do I care? Absolutely not. Priorities. 

Winning 2019 Best Newcomer NZ Comedy Fest, how has that spurred you on?  

It was great for me to tell my parents and be like ‘Look! I’m actually good at this! It’s for the best I didn’t do Law!’ 

Where do you find inspiration for your humour – what is joke worthy?  

My sex life because I only fuck clowns