Expect the unexpected - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
Hoani Hotene | Issue 201

Hoani Hotene
Photo by Tom Noble

Expect the unexpected by Alessia Belsito-Riera

When asked what we can expect from the final round of the Wellington RAW Comedy Quest, organiser, comedian, and head of Humorous Arts Trust Jerome Chandrahasen says that he has no idea, “that’s why I love it so much.”

What we do know is that the final, emceed by Justine Smith, is set for the 17th of August at San Fran.

The heats ran each week, for six weeks starting in June. The top three from each heat head to the semi-finals on the 3rd and 10th of August, also at San Fran. Then, the top four to five compete in the Wellington final. The winner and runner up are flown to Auckland for the National RAW Comedy Quest final.

Last year’s Wellington champion, Hoani Hotene, went on to win the 2022 nationals. “RAW Quest was the first time I took my jokes and made them into a real comedy set,” Hotene says. “I think for a lot of comics it’s the first chance you get to do jokes in a great room, with a great crowd. Those are the sort of shows that can make people fall in love with stand-up.”

“Wellington comedy continues to grow in diversity and style,” Chandrahasen says. RAW Comedy Quest personifies this and is special because you never know what to expect. “Every year there is someone who comes out of nowhere and gives a great performance. It’s a really fun opportunity for anyone to give stand-up comedy a go in a supportive environment.”

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« Issue 201, August 1, 2023