South African expatriate and New Zealand resident Urzila Carlson brings her unabashed comedy stylings to the Perth Comedy Festival stage.
Having become a mainstay on comedy television here in Australia, Carlson is essentially an honourary Aussie – despite her disdain for the current state of our Marriage Act.
Speaking to OUTinPerth, Carlson tells us a little about her show’s provocative title; Unacceptable.
You’re heading all over the east coast before you hit Perth. Aren’t you sick of us yet?
No! I like what you guys have done with the place. I popped over on Saturday for a social visit! I literally saw a concert and flew right back. That’s the kind of relationship I have with Australia now – come for a sleepover and leave at 5 o’clock in the morning.
Is that a flight of shame, rather than a walk of shame?
Yeah, but at least I can shower at the airport.
So tell us; What’s Unacceptable?
Basically everyone that defriended me. That’s how it works isn’t it? The show actually started after I saw a homophobic post on Facebook. I wanted to say something but I also couldn’t be bothered getting into that whole back-and-forth. I thought to myself how I could say something that would nip it in the bud, so I just went with “unacceptable.”
My mum used to say that to us and it would just stop you dead in your tracks. No nagging for that, it’s just unacceptable. I let it run a bit while other young dudes made their own homophobic remarks, and then I just wrote “unacceptable.” It literally disappeared in less than a second. He deleted the post and apologised to me. I told I’m an old lesbian and nothing hurts me but there’s young people in his circle of friends that he doesn’t even know he’s hurting. It’s unacceptable.
As a comedian you can tread on thin ice, have you been called unacceptable yourself?
Oh yeah! Once or twice I’ve actually agreed and cut things from my acts. A lady once approached me after a show and said “Great show! But you probably shouldn’t use the word ‘retard’, that’s not cool. It really hurts some people.”
That made me realise she was right. I don’t need to say that word. It was like I’d become to numb to the word I didn’t even think about the meaning for other people and the derogatory weight behind it so I stopped using it that day.
Though sometimes people call me unacceptable and I tell them they’re full of shit and keep going with my life!
Urzila Carlson will be at Perth Comedy Festival from Saturday May 20th – Sunday May 21st. Tickets and more information available from perthcomedyfest.com.au
Leigh Andrew Hill