Guy Williams is well aware of his privilege in new show, ‘Started From The Top’

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Guy Williams is well aware of his privilege in new show, ‘Started From The Top’


Guy Williams has been making waves in the New Zealand comedy scene for years now, however 2018 marks his Australian debut. “Don’t you hate it when people say dreams come true?” Guy chuckles. “I’ve been going to Melbourne for the last 5 or 6 years for the Comedy Festival as a fan, just watching and enjoying all the best shows, so now it’s quite terrifying to finally step up and be a performer. It’s like stepping up to the big leagues.”

While it’s his first time performing here in Australia, Williams is certainly part of the big leagues back home in New Zealand. Since starting his stand-up career in 2007 he has gone on to have an impressive career in both TV and radio. “In Australia absolutely no one knows anything about me or who I am or what I’ve done in the past. It’s quite a weird experience to go back to square one again”

Williams has always had a socio-political slant to his comedy, taking aim at hypocrisies he finds in politics and social justice. “The best thing about comedy is it’s like scratching an itch. It’s a great way to release the tension or take out your frustration, in a way.”

Last year, Guy recorded his first stand-up special, In An Election Year, which dealt heavily with the current political climate. “I actually studied politics at University, so my career has taken a weird arch. I loved politics, and what I really enjoyed was comedic politicians, politicians who use comedy in their presentation and their way of marketing. So, what I realised was what I really liked about politics was the comedic angles, and so I ended up getting into comedy from there.”

Williams is bringing his unique satirical style of comedy to his brand new show, which deals with gender and racial privilege in 2018. “For me, it’s just interesting seeing comedy in 2018 because so often it’s a bunch of white guys just having a whine about political correctness gone mad or how weird it is that some people choose to live lifestyles different to themselves, and it’s become kind of embarrassing. They’re just whining about absolutely nothing and pushing back against the most basic changes, and for me it’s funnier to just kind of joke about privilege.”

Guy is aware the issues of gender and racial privilege in our current climate can be touchy subjects, especially when being addressed in a comedic light. “I’m very careful not to overstep my bounds as a privileged white man, but I think there’s a lot of comedy to be had in the recent events. While it’s very sad and very dark it also can possibly be comedic. There’s a lot of funny irony in the way people are covering stories I think.”

The title for Guy’s show, Started From The Top, is taken from a Drake song. Williams jokes “If it was me, that song would be ‘started from the top and continued at the top, had a very privileged life now we’re here, probably underachieving if anything. Should’ve been a doctor or some shit but is now doing a gig at Trades Hall in Melbourne.’”