Skip to main content

Arts > Interview

The existentialist

Apr 24th 2012 | Sam Hobson

If there's one thing that Rhys Nicholson brings to gay comedy, it's a sense of fascinating, no-holds-barred existentialism. Now, that sentence may seem like it ends in a clunker, but hear me out. Nicholson talks about the very essence – be it lavender, be it white and globular, be it the universal and atomic essence – of being gay. He talks about it in a way that's funny – duh – but from a constantly evolving, experiential standpoint. To call him a 'conduit' into that world for us rigid straight-walkers would be to patronise; no, Nicholson is an incisively intelligent and uproariously provocative commentator; he's a man on the inside, not afraid to pull out for a sec and let everyone know exactly what it feels like. The good and the bad.

“My show's kind've got a loose, kind've vague through-line about moving from the smallish town that I grew up in, to Sydney,” Nicholson starts, “but it's mostly just me talking about my own problems, and what I think is wrong with everyone else. It's just kind've a mass exodus of all my issues with everything. There's a lot of swearing, a lot of awkward sexual stories; [particularly] a lot of those two.

“And I feel like your first show has to be an introduction,” he continues. “In a kind of 'you don't know who I am right now, so I need to tell you all of this stuff' sort've way.”

And, as the imperative above would suggest, yes: his show's rather an 'introduction by fire'. A purging. And, not censoring himself in his shows, Nicholson says, is the most effective way of getting across the reality of everything he's saying.

“[It's] exactly that, but in a kind've douche-baggy, wanky kind've-way,” he quips. “When I first started, I wanted to just be the opposite of what a lot of gay comedians were, which, at the time, was just a stereotypical 'talk about celebrities' caricature of [gay people]. I tried to [say] 'no, that's not what we're all like,' and 'I'm going to tell you really hardcore stories about my life' and not mention Britney Spears at all.”

But, because he's smart, he doesn't make being 'affronting' or 'taboo-breaking' his MO, or the singular focus for his show. He's also careful to never get too serious about what he does.

“I think – and every comedian says it – 'oh, comedy's just like therapy', it's not necessarily that, but it's a way that you can publically get things out of your system. It's the most wanky, arrogant profession that you can do, which is ironic because we're all self-loathing people. But that's why it works. Happy comedians, I don't trust.”


Related Articles

Arts > Interview

Rhys Nicholson

Rhys Nicholson

Poster IT

Connect with The Music

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter


<span>Mullum Music Festival 2014</span><br />

Mullum Music Festival 2014

<span>Kimbra</span><br />Metro Theatre

Metro Theatre

<span>Katy Perry</span><br />Allphones Arena

Katy Perry
Allphones Arena

<span>Guy Pearce</span><br />The Toff In Town

Guy Pearce
The Toff In Town

<span>Yes</span><br />Palais Theatre

Palais Theatre

<span>Joe Satriani</span><br />Astor Theatre

Joe Satriani
Astor Theatre

<span>CW Stoneking</span><br />Metro Theatre

CW Stoneking
Metro Theatre

<span>CW Stoneking</span><br />Forum Theatre

CW Stoneking
Forum Theatre

<span>British India</span><br />Oxford Art Factory

British India
Oxford Art Factory

this week's magazine

Digital Version
Airlie Beach Music Festival Australasian Worldwide Music Expo Beyond The Valley Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival BIGSOUND Bleach Festival Blue Mountains Music Festival Blues At Bridgetown Bluesfest Breakfest Brisbane Festival Brunswick Music Festival Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival Caloundra Music Festival Campfire Festival CoLAB Dungog Festival Earth Frequency Festival Fairbridge Folk Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Festival Of The Sun Follow The Sun Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Gorgeous Festival Great Southern Blues Festival Gympie Music Muster HyperFest JamGrass Music Festival Jungle Love Music & Arts Festival Just For Laughs Let Them Eat Cake Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Lost Paradise Melbourne Music Week Meredith Music Festival Mitchell Creek Rock 'n' Blues MOFO Mountain Sounds Mullum Music Festival Nannup Music Festival National Folk Festival Newtown Festival Noosa Jazz Festival NYE On The Hill Originals Music Festival Out On The Weekend Outlet Music Festival OutsideIn Paradise Music Festival Party In The Paddock Perth Festival Poison City Weekender Port Fairy Folk Festival Queenscliff Music Festival Rainbow Serpent Festival Riverboats Music Festival Rottofest Soulfest Soulfest Soulfest Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Southbound Splendour In The Grass St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Strawberry Fields Subsonic Sugar Mountain Festival Sydney Country Music Festival Sydney Festival Sydney Fringe Festival Tamworth Country Music Festival The Blurst Of Times Festival The Hills Are Alive Toowoomba Carnival Of Flowers UNIFY: A Heavy Music Gathering Valley Fiesta Vanfest WAM Festival West Coast Blues & Roots Festival WOMAdelaide Wonderland Woodford Folk Festival Yours And Owls

The Music Store

Australasian Music Industry Directory
The ultimate print sourcebook for all the contacts…
Jun 18th 2014
Arts Advertising Packages
The Music Arts Packages provide promotion in The Music…
Jun 18th 2014
Indie Band Advertising Packages
The Music Indie Band Packages provide promotion in…
Jun 18th 2014
Galleon Krueger for Sale
Galleon Krueger Bass Amplifier. 1001RB As new, current…
Jul 12th 2014
Jazz guitarists wanted for weekend jams.
We are a bass and drums unit rehearsing in St Peters…
Jul 12th 2014
Premier Sydney Punk/Rock Band seeks Drummer
One of Sydneys Premier Punk Rock Bands seeks energetic…
Jun 18th 2014