March 23, 2009 | by  | in Theatre |
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Fresh Meat: Raw Comedy Quest 2009

We all know you can’t be well-done before you become medium-rare, but before you become medium-rare? Well, then of course, you have to be Raw.

Raw is a nationwide comedy search for the newest face of New Zealand comedy. It runs annually, with the final held as a New Zealand International Comedy Festival Show at the Classic Comedy Bar in Auckland. It’s a bona fide “New Zealand’s Next Top Model” of the comedy world, with about the same level of good looks. The winner of Raw walks away with prize money and the venerable title of Raw Comedy Quest Winner 2009.

But what is in a name (or title)? I asked four past Raw winners, Emma Olsen, Pinchey Murray, Jerome Chandrahasen and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer to tell me in a few words (I actually initially said just three words. Why does no one listen to my requests?) what a Raw win meant for them. Answers included “exposure to a wider audience”, “long time ago”, “vegetarian burger for dinner”, “cash in hand” and “pussy and socks” (referring to the purchase of a new cat [and socks] with the winnings).

The Raw title offers many opportunities to further advance in the industry—it’s all about getting your name out there. Past winners have gone on to feature in sell-out Comedy Festival Shows, win additional awards such as the Billy T James Award and feature on C4 Television. Judges usually include two comedians and an executive from TVNZ, but may differ each year.


The Wellington heats for Raw 2009 are held on April the 3rd, 10th and 18th at the Fringe Bar, 8pm. If you see yourself as the next up-and-comer, get together seven minutes of your best material and email: with your name, contact number and preferred night of the three dates.

Keep an eye out for Emma, Pinchey, Noor and Cori at regular comedy nights and the fast approaching Comedy Festival and remember to visit the Fringe Bar on the above dates to support the fresh meat.

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