Ivan Aristeguieta is in Australia for a run of comedy festival shows, including Adelaide Fringe.
“You’re not a surfer, mate,” Ivan Aristeguieta tells his 14-year-old self.
“The surfboard, the long hair: just chuck it away! I know Jennifer likes surfers, but you’re not a surfer, so you can’t impress her.”
The Venezuelan-born comedian takes little responsibility for wisdom he acquired over the 25 years following his early heartbreak, though it’s set him in good stead.
“I've become smarter and I haven't done anything,” he says. “Mother Nature rewards you with sensible and logical thoughts you haven't had before when you make it to this age.”
The milestone age in question is 40, and Ivan plans to escape to Japan or Thailand when he officially enters what Venezuelans call ‘the fourth floor’. But first, he’ll unleash an hour of mid-life-crisis induced reflection onto eager Aussie audiences.
“Shows are like a living thing,” Ivan explains. “They evolve, they change. At the beginning of the festival season, you’re just trying to say the right words in the right order and with the correct timing. But then you get to have fun, when you know the joke and how to deliver it better. That process is beautiful.”
He might be most known for his viral observational bit about the Bunnings sausage sizzle, but Ivan says his material is maturing along with him. “At the beginning [of your career], you talk about the things that make you laugh straight away,” he says. “And then you realise that every open-micer [sic] is talking about the same stuff. But it’s normal, we all go through that!
“You start running out of funny things to observe and funny things to say, and you go 'Well, I’ve got nothing!' and this is the way you become a comedian.
“Now I have to explain my thoughts, and explain how I think in a funny way. That’s the evolution.”
After performing in Australia for so long, he can tire of being asked what it’s like to do comedy as a migrant.
“'Is it hard to do comedy in a second language?' I’ve been answering this question for seven years!” he laughs, but adds that he doesn’t mind people knowing him for something that is a big part of his identity.
“I have good comedian friends who are gay, and that’s their angle,” he says. “Every year, you see more of this comedian as a person... Because he talks about the stuff that’s important to him.”
Similarly, Ivan continues to crack jokes about 'first-world problems' because he’s always considering the gap between his life in a country “that was destroyed completely” and Australia.
“Moving to a first-world country is very similar to getting old,” Ivan says. “You’re going to a place that is less fun, but more stable.”
When he sees people complain about their coffee being too hot, he wants to put the calamity into perspective. “Come on man, you got coffee!” he quips. “Nobody’s going to kidnap you before you’ve had your coffee!”
Also, Ivan is single again. “I’ve had my divorce show, I had my 'vegetarian girlfriend' show, and now this is my 'I’m 40 and I’m single again' show,” he says.
What’s he looking for in a woman? The same thing he looks for in a country – the 'cheese toastie' factor. “I can see a first-world country as a cheese toastie,” Ivan reflects. “It’s a simple thing I can never get sick of. Nobody says no to a cheese toastie.”
“Now that I’m single, I’m looking for a cheese toastie relationship. We don’t get sick of each other. We’re happy with each other, every day.”
Needless to say, Ivan Aristeguieta is taking the elevator to the fourth floor of life, and he’s leaving the surfboard behind.
Ivan Aristeguieta plays The Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Adelaide Fringe) 15 February-17 March.
Ivan Aristeguieta Australia Tour 2019
15 Feb-17 Mar - Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Adelaide Fringe) Mon 18 Mar - Canberra Theatre Centre (Canberra Comedy Festival) 19-24 Mar - Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane Comedy festival) 28 Mar-21 Apr - Athenaeum Theatre (Melbourne International Comedy Festival) 2-5 May - The Factory Theatre (Sydney International Comedy Festival) Fri 10 May - Astor Theatre (Perth International Comedy Festival)