Interview: Stephen Witt debuts ‘diddle’

Stephen Witt in 'Diddle' for the NZ International Comedy Festival. Photo: Supplied
Stephen Witt in 'Diddle' for the NZ International Comedy Festival. Photo: Supplied

He’s back for round two.

Billy T Award nominee Stephen Witt is back in action as he prepares for the launch of his second professional show at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

The festival kicks off this week and is full of acts from all over NZ, including a few international names, who will be gracing our stages and bringing on the smiles.

Witt debuted his first professional show Odd during last year’s festival, claiming the title “The future of New Zealand comedy” by Mike King.

This year he’s bringing something new and fresh, with a show named Diddle. One would say that’s quite an odd name, but after seeing him perform live, you realise how it fits rather perfectly with his humour.

Brendhan Lovegrove was the inspiration behind the name. After a comedy gig one night Witt came off stage when Lovegrove said, “Mate, you’re such a diddle up there”. And Witt’s new show was born – just him being a diddle.

Raised in Papakura, Witt attended Rosehill College and had what one would say a very normal childhood. After high school, the comic ventured to Performing Arts School.

Acting had always been his passion – and still is. However, his natural vice for being the ‘funny guy’ came in to play quite a bit while pursuing his acting career. It was soon apparent that the ‘class clown’ throughout high school was actually, in fact, a budding comedic superstar (his poor teachers!).

In 2007, after watching his best friend perform a stand up gig, Witt was left feeling inspired to give it a go himself. His girlfriend at the time didn’t think he could do it, needless to say the challenge was set and Witt hit the ground running. Out of spite or out of passion, either way, the timing was perfect and he was well and truly ready for his road to success.

His comedic talent quickly snowballed after his first stand up gig in 2012.

Now you can catch him performing at various comedy bars all around Auckland. He is also known for his sideline career as Popcorn the Clown, working as a children’s entertainer for Cornflake’s Magic World.

The talented young performer stepped it up a notch when he entered the 2014 Comedy Festival and was nominated for the Billy T Award. An experience he says was “amazing” and has prepared him well for this year’s competition.

Most of all Witt can’t wait to make people laugh; it’s in his nature and it’s what he’s good at.

Details for Stephen’s show Diddle can be found on the NZ International Comedy Festival website. His show will be running from May 12 to May 16 at the QTheatre in Auckland.

Student journalist Samantha-Jane Harding interviews Stephen Witt about his new show Diddle:

Samantha-Jane Harding
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