Article Title:Zoe Lyons - Comedy's queer queen visits NZ
Author or Credit:Matt Akersten
Published on:8th December 2009 - 11:29 pm
Story ID:8278
Text:"It's fantastic to be here," comedian Zoe Lyons tells "This is my first time here so it's very exciting. I arrived last Thursday from America, I'd never crossed the international dateline before. I've lost a day - it's the first time I've done that without a bottle of Jack Daniels." Smokin' hot laughs: Zoe Lyons Zoe's confident razor sharp wit has created a huge buzz on the UK's comedy circuit, leading to a clutch of comedy awards and even a ranking in The Independent newspaper's Top 100 Most Influential Gay People list this year. Her first couple of gigs in Auckland behind her, she's now hitting the road for shows in Hawkes Bay, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown this week. So what kind of comedy can Kiwi audiences expect from Zoe? 'Astonishingly vicious' was how feminist rent-a-quote Germaine Greer summed up her act, a description which the London-born stand-up star liked enough to put on her posters for the Edinburgh Festival, but ultimately disagrees with. "I know she's never seen me on stage. People say I come across warmly in my shows. I'm quite cutting at times, but not vicious. "I don't think it's a comedian's job to be horrible and nasty. I'll never have a go at someone - unless they're the ones who set themselves up for a fall!" I dare to ask Zoe about her time on the UK's notorious Survivor reality show some years ago. "Don't mention it, I still get horrible flashbacks," she says. "It was really tough, very hard work. I was 10 stone when it started, and 8 stone when it finished - but not in a good way - I could have been on the cover of National Geographic, my tits looked like two empty socks!" Was there any rat-eating involved? "Of course! We were in Borneo, and there was a crawling carpet of rats where we stayed. It was infested. How would you feel about waking up with a rat on your head? And there were snakes! Well, I ended up having to build a kind of a toilet with logs, but the wood termites in the logs… they burrowed into me. Yeah, not fun." What's one thing she's learned about life as a comedian? Never tell a taxi driver what you do," she replies. "If you say you're a comedian, they'll always say 'I've got one for you', then proceed into ten minutes of the most racist, sexist, offensive jokes you've ever heard. Then they say 'there you go, have those ones!' Thanks. We don't really tell 'jokes' anyway, we do more observational-style comedy." People sometimes think female stand-ups aren't as funny as men, or will just launch into 'got my period' humour, but Zoe says that's a fallacy. "I've had men tell me after my show 'oh I didn't realize women could be funny'. I resist smacking them in the face, and just say: 'Yeah, some of us can even park cars!'" Zoe Lyons visits Hawkes Bay, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown this week as part of the Comedy Christmas Gala. A video clip from her 'Miss Machismo' show is below. Matt Akersten - 8th December 2009    
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