MICHAEL SHAFAR - FRINGE INTERVIEW
@bridgetester & sophie_klemich
Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are/where you grew up?
I was born and raised in Melbourne’s Jewish community, which informs a lot of my comedy. I’m not religious at all, but I’m culturally Jewish because I’m pretty wealthy and I’ve got a diverse share portfolio.
I’m also a qualified lawyer, but about four years ago I decided to give that up to do comedy. It’s a decision that mum is still recovering from, but she’s slowly coming around to the idea.
When did Comedy start for you?
It began for me at high school when we had a public speaking competition every year. I would just use it as an opportunity to crack jokes. I did a speech one year
about the Teletubbies, which I think is the best TV show ever made in Australia or overseas.
When did you really start to get into Comedy professionally?
For the first two years of performing I was just performing at open mics, but then
I got a gig writing jokes for The Project on Channel 10 and have started touring
nationally. So I’ve been able to start doing comedy professionally pretty quickly.
What/who inspired you to start?
Dad used to take me to the Melbourne Comedy Festival every year as a kid, so I
probably fell in love with comedy around then. I remember seeing the Umbilical
Brothers as a kid and it blew my mind.
What is your all-time favourite comedy skit?
I made this sketch with my good mate Tim Hewitt, and it still makes me laugh:
Tell us a bit about your show at the Adelaide Fringe, what’s the vibe/theme,
where and when are you performing?
I’m performing at The German Club, which is the perfect place for a nice Jewish
boy to do his show.
It’s a really punch hour of jokes covering personal experiences and topics
including marriage, love, working at The Project, the time my dad booked a family
dinner at a takeaway shop and whether it’s ok to punch a Nazi. I also touch on
some of the delusions we tell ourselves to feel moral about our food, which is why
the title is Kosher Bacon.
The show is at 9pm each night 27 Feb – 4 March.
At what point did you realise you wanted to make a career out of Comedy?
On my first day working at a corporate law firm.
Has your style of Comedy changed from when you first started, to now?
I’ve always had a style of observational humour mixed with personal stories. I’ve started to draw more from very unique or bizarre personal experiences to make my act different to others. For example, when my friends and I were all having our bar mitzvahs, our local politician was also the DJ at our parties. Seeing your local MP dance to YMCA each week is a pretty unique experience.
What has been the highlight of your Comedy career thus far?
Reaching the RAW National Final in 2016 and performing on TV in front of 1500 people at the Melbourne Town Hall is pretty hard to top.
What are you most excited to do in Adelaide on this trip?
I heard that Adelaide Fringe coincides with something called Clipsal. I don’t know what it is, but I want to go. Though I’ve been told I’ll need wrap-around sunnies and a Southern Cross tattoo to enter, so I might have to sneak in.
What has been the journey to tour Australia for your shows?
I’m out gigging every night of the week, multiple times each night to work up material and make it sharp. This show is my best stuff from 12 months of gigs. I just performed the show at Perth’s Fringe World, and got some nice reviews and played to sold-out crowds, so it’s nice that the work is already paying off.
What do you have planned for the future?
After Adelaide Fringe I’ll perform the show at the Melbourne and Sydney comedy festivals. Then I will sleep.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young people looking to make their passion a career?
If your passion is accounting, follow your passion.
If you could give your “10 year younger self” only ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
Where can we get a ticket for your show?
You can get them online at https://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/kosher-bacon-af2018
Or you can get them on the door at The German Club, if it’s not sold out.