There's so much utter crap on TV these days - including competitive polygamy (The Bachelor) and irate couples stressing about getting their bloody kitchen reno done in time (The Block). With 7 Days TV3 has succeeded in rising above it all to create an consistently side splitting half hour of TV. So when I got the chance to attend a live recording, I jumped at it, excited to see behind the scenes of my favourite Kiwi TV show.
A rather amusing and energetic bearded fellow, introduces himself on stage and explains the need to pre-record claps and laughs for editing purposes. So we spent the first 10 minutes of the show laughing and clapping on command, a bizarre experience which warmed the crowd up for the hilarity that ensued. The comics and host then entered to raucous applause as a member of the crew rushed around filling their 7 Days mugs with Heineken (mind blown - I always thought it was earl grey).
What followed was bloody brilliant. It was raw, unfiltered and bizarre but almost always hilarious. Paul Ego, Rose Matafeo and Dai Henwood (Team NZ) were reliably amusing with their high energy banter, but I'm shocked to say the international team were even funnier. Chopper always offended and amused, James Acaster seemed in another world offering bizarre and irrelevant monologues about his having a lion as a pen pal and Lloyd Langford was spot on with his incredulous observations about New Zealand, "I don't get the fruit fly zone thing. I'm no fly expert but the flies I know don't respect boundaries." We were treated to all of the bizarre and offensive stuff that doesn't make it past the editing room; at one point Chopper forgot the point he was making mid-sentence and shouted, "Fuck me, I'm drunk," and continued on another tangent which was equally as offensive. I'd encourage you see any of these comics individual stand-up acts as they were all a hoot; you can check them out and buy tickets from the International Comedy Festival website.
Towards the end of the show (and to the audiences very vocal excitement) Rhys Darby showed up to sing two songs with his band Rhysently Granted; one about the weed burn off incident in Turangi, and one about the Queen of England (Thin Lizzy). The comics then attempted to guess what Rhys was singing about to riotous results in a bit which was an absolute highlight.
Not all of it was hilarious though; during four-and-a-half hours of continuous comedy even Dai Henwood had a couple clangers. Despite this, all of it was entertaining, as the crowd got involved in the show, Chopper got increasingly intoxicated and we watched the floor manager try helplessly to organise the unruly comics (herding drunk cats would be easier). So if you ever get the chance to attend, make sure you do because 7 Days Live is a fascinating, hilarious and hectic look behind the scenes of New Zealand's funniest TV show (plus if you go you can look out for yourself on TV the following Friday when the show airs at 9.30pm on TV3).