Chris Dewberry has tough times ahead. He’s jumping between two jobs. One involves cracking jokes as a stand-up comedian, while the other is being editor of Comedy Beast, a monthly mag that reviews comedy shows and showcases comedy news. As a RAW Comedy contestant for the second year in a row, Dewberry will be competing against other up-and-coming comedians in this well-known open-mic comedy competition. Here, the Dingley resident details his wild life as chief chicken nugget expert and laugh slut.
The title of his comedy show, Chris Dewberry – Sex, Money, Power, Chicken Nuggets leaves him ripe to queries about what he has learned about the mighty processed snackfood. Dewberry’s list of chicken nugget pros includes: “They can convert weak vegetarians” and “They are 50 per cent more fun than other finger foods”. Dewberry does concede the animal rights angle, admitting, “Some people won’t eat chicken nuggets because they disagree with how chickens are treated, but you have to admire the way they’re recycled.” Indeed.
Chicken jokes aside, why has Dewberry entered RAW Comedy for the second time in two years? “For me there was never any reason not to give RAW a go,” Dewberry says. “It’s a chance to have a great crowd at a convenient timeslot with a massive incentive. I also like that it encourages you to get a good set together that doesn’t rely on dirty pub jokes.” He even appreciates the admittedly gruelling work hours. “I really like the idea of working between five and 30 minutes a day.”
Dewberry also waxes poetical about his style of comedy, throwing in a healthy dose of sexual titillation for good measure. “I guess I would I say I aim for cheeky social commentary. I like to think there’s some depth to my material but I’m a slut for laughs, so sometimes my routines are a little more playful and aren’t as direct as I’d like them to be.”
Being editor of Comedy Beast, in contrast, comes with its own set of challenges. Dewberry approaches it from the three-pronged angle.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned from watching comedy is to keep your ego in check, because it’s applicable at all levels. I’ve seen nervous comics die on stage because they don’t acknowledge when a joke goes over badly and it makes the audience tense. For the next level of comedian that has the audience’s attention, they’ve got to watch for rants, because when you start getting better, it’s easy to think the audience will just laugh at whatever you say. Then at the higher-levels, the [comedians] who tend to make a name for themselves in Australia are often self-deprecating (even though they’re actually awesome and should be able to be as cocky as they like) because that’s what an Australian audience likes.”
If you see a round of RAW Comedy this year – where chicken nuggets are a show in themselves and laugh-sluts compete for the adoration of the crowd – you may just get to see a big-name comedian before they’ve even been discovered. What’s not to love?
BY SIOBHAN ARGENT
RAW Comedy is running heats around Melbourne weekly in February. The Victorian Semi Finals and Victorian State Final are in February and March respectively. Visit rawcomedy.com.au for more info.