Melbourne seems to be emerging victorious after a year that broke and left the lives of many altered in ways we could never have imagined. After such heartbreak and challenge, now it may just be that laughter is the best medicine. So after Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) was dramatically cancelled last March, it is back, delivering just what the doctor ordered. This month, Star Observer spoke with Melbourne comedian Nath Valvo, about his latest show Chatty Chatty, which the comedian promises bears no mention of the dreaded C-word.
“I am so fricking (sic) sick of hearing and talking about [COVID]. I would like my show to be an escape to laugh at the general stupid shit in my show, I know for a lot of people it will be the first time back in the city, it will be the first night out in a while, so I want it to be a real fun time.”
It is very nice to say capacity rules have changed! Final 8 shows now have added seats, Melbourne! 😍 https://t.co/X8IHJiVXRy
— Nath Valvo (@nathvalvo) April 10, 2021
Valvo reflected on the year that was 2020, a year that saw comedians just like himself stripped of all work and gigs in the mater of a few short days last March.
“One of the worst things you can do in this industry is to take yourself too seriously. I laugh at myself all the time, I have done plenty of shit gigs, but you have to pay the bills. Look I’ll say yes to anything for money although, I have gotten better to saying no to some stuff.
“But a lot of the worst gigs I ever did were in 2020, on fucking Zoom. We had too, comedians had to do Zoom gigs to make money. I said yes to a Zoom gig for a building company with a bunch of tradies with me doing jokes in my study – they were hell on earth.”
No stranger to MICF, Valvo’s first show was in 2011. Like many young comedians Valvo spent the next 10years slogging it, but now, regularly features on television and in venues across the country. So, it feels like this talented comedian, has finally arrived.
I’m subtle. https://t.co/eBT01FLAP1
— Nath Valvo (@nathvalvo) April 4, 2021
“This is my 10th solo show, so yeah I’m old,” Valvo says with a ruthful chuckle. “My first show I was in, was in a little 30-seater venue upstairs at The Forum where I think they kept the brooms and some old carpet. I’ve gotten a lot better I think, but I’ve done a show every year since then.
“Most of my comedy is just misplaced anger, silliness, showing up and me being an idiot.”
With all the talk around representation dominating conversations within and outside of the creative industries, I was curious to ask Valvo what he thought of such monumental shifts.
“I don’t think queer people are funnier to be honest, you get to understand that when you hang out with a bunch of gays all your life. It may look like there is a lot more queer comics and queer performers around and that might be true, but I also think the quality is higher, we seem to cut through more. I feel that producers and people who book rooms and festival are way more inclined to see a lot more diversity in their lineups now, and honestly the comedy scene is all the better for it.
“Stand-up comedy is something you have to see live; you have to be in the room, you have to be at the show. It is nowhere near as good when you watch it on tv, YouTube or Netflix, you have to be in the room. It’s one of the true shows that you have to be there, I love that. The thrill of every show and every night being different, that’s what I’m addicted to.”
You can witness this five-star comic rip into Fitbits, relationships, baby showers and people that make good life choices at Maxx Watts as part of MICF until April 18.
Tickets & Info: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Of course, Nath Valvo is just one of the many queer comics taking to the stage this MICF. With a whole swag of side-splitting shows being presented this month, here are some of Star Observer‘s other top picks from MICF.
That One Time I Joined The Illuminati: Lou Wall is back with a vengeance in a new show which asks the big questions like do the Illuminati actually exist?
Reuben Kaye The Butch Is Back: International cabaret star and award-winning cry for help Reuben Kaye is back with a new show, new songs and a brand-new look.
Zoë Coombs Marr Agony! Misery!: This concert is revisiting a concert that was revisiting a concert that happened sometime in the past and is now happening sometime in the future.
Queer & Present Danger: A comedy show that is all about the myths and misconceptions surrounding trans people. Empowering, unapologetic, hilarious stand-up comedy unlike anything else.
Tom Ballard We Are All in This: The award-winning comedian is back with a brand-new show full of jokes about what the hell just happened, our cooked planet, the bad people in power and falling in love.
An Intimate Evening With Granny Bingo: Everyone’s favourite granny’s Edith Vale and Maureen McGillicuddy are set to take audiences on an intimate journey as they bare all and reflect on their many, many years on this planet.