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Good Times Comedy Club

Comedy, Performance

Ōtautahi has a long history of comedy – from the first television broadcasts of McPhail and Gadsby’s ‘A Week of It’ right up to the current crop of stand-up comedians – the city has always enjoyed a good laugh.

Despite this, it might surprise you to learn there are just two full time comedy clubs in Aotearoa, one in Auckland and one in Christchurch.

The Good Times Comedy Club, is the brainchild of local stand-up comedian, Snap. In what will be a familiar story for many creatives, he had great expectations when he originally opened the club at the beginning of 2020, but then… Covid-19 hit.

“I had to hustle,” says Snap. “We had to do a crowdfunding campaign originally to get the club going and then once Covid hit we had to find investors to get it back up and running but luckily there are a lot of people who are really supportive of what we’re doing and the comedy industry in Ōtautahi is pretty significant now and it all fell together.”

Like many in the arts sector, the pandemic has hit Snap hard, but he believes local audiences are supportive of the stand-up scene and continue to see local comedians.

“Stand up audiences are huge nowadays. It’s really a mainstream thing now and it’s continuing to grow rapidly. Most people will know the name of a strand up comedian these days thanks to things like Netflix, so much of its content is stand up now. I don’t think stand up has ever really been on the fringe, but it is really growing all the time.”

Snap entered the world of stand up after a high school teacher suggested he try it. It took him several years to get up the nerve to do it, but once he got onstage, he realised he’d found his passion. While he loves being on stage himself, these days he’s just as passionate about helping other comedians into the business.

“I’m so impressed by the quality of material here. We have some really diverse voices. I think we have some of the best talent in New Zealand,” he explains. “We have always traditionally created a lot of comics in Ōtautahi who have gone on to success  – Rhys Darby is one of our biggest comedians and he’s from here– and right now there is a huge team of comics in the city, and so much potential for some of our comics to be massive on the stand up circuit.”

Helping to keep our local comedians in the city is another driving factor behind Good Times.

“If we can effectively create a platform for Ōtautahi comics then there is no need for us to risk losing our talent to Auckland. If we can create sustainable careers right here then we can keep our own talent here.”

And there are good reasons for young comedians to build their careers in Christchurch. Snap believes choosing to base himself in the city was crucial to his own career.

“There’s so much I love about this city on a personal level, but as a comedian, this city gives opportunities like no other,” he explains. “There’s no way I could have developed my career in the way I have if I lived in any other city in New Zealand. There’s been space to grow and develop because of the amount of stage time I got and how quickly I was able to become professional -that just wouldn’t have happened in another city.”

You can check out the stand-up scene yourself at Good Times Comedy Club.


224 St Asaph Street, Christchurch
image Good Times Comedy Club
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