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Urzila Carlson Is Asking The Unacceptable Questions

  • Written by  Ellen Cook
  • Friday, 10 March 2017 16:47
'Unacceptable’ is the new comedy show by the hilarious, straight talking South African/ New Zealand comedian Urzila Carlson.

Urzila will bring her side splitting, honest show to Australia this March as she tours as a part of several outstanding comedy festivals. The show shines a light on behaviours that have seemingly become unacceptable.

Urzila talks about where the idea to hilariously question things like: Why everyone has allergies all of sudden comes from.


“It came from what happens when you have friends over for dinner. You’ll have someone say: ‘I don’t eat that, I’m vegan’ or ‘I’m gluten intolerant’. In the old days you would just cook up a big meal because no one had five different allergies; now you have to cook all different meals. It goes back to the idea that if you’re high maintenance, bring your own food!

“I basically thought to myself what’s unacceptable and then what would my mum think is unacceptable. That was important because people’s ideas of what's unacceptable is different based on age. Young people may think some behaviour on Tinder is unacceptable and I wouldn’t because I don’t know what it is.”

Although comedy has typically been a man’s game, Urzila explains why she thinks it’s changing and how she handles trolls.

“I think before, many women just couldn’t be bothered. We have other shit to do. I think men are better at taking the instant criticism; you don’t get that in any other job. You don’t go to your accountant and say: ‘Look you were okay, you could be better though.’ We don’t give a shit now and we are funny!

“A lot of the trolls say women aren’t funny and I always say 'think about your own family, who do you think is funny?' Most will say 'my mum or my grandmother is the funniest person I know'. So women are funny; now we are getting out there and it’s great.”


Urzila continues to candidly talk about the hardest part of comedy for her.

“Honestly, it’s the heat. Seriously, when you’re on stage it gets incredibly warm. By the time you’re finished your make-up has run off your face and you look like a raccoon. I got given some of best advice from another female comedian who said to me: 'You really need to invest in some high-quality waterproof make-up.'

"Honestly, that changed my life! Other than that, sometimes you get tired and you’re mouth gets dry but I can’t complain because my job doesn’t feel like a job. I just stand up and chat for an hour.”


Urzila has also written a book and is a regular guest on Network 10’s ‘Have You Been Paying Attention’, two experiences she has absolutely loved.

“One of the producers had seen my show last year. I then had a meeting and they basically said for me to give it a go. I did and it just clicked. The humour is so quick and funny; it’s amazing. It really doesn’t feel like work. It just feels like we are having fun.

“I never thought about writing a book, but I don’t believe in missing opportunities so I went for it. I’m usually very private but I hate reading autobiographies and feeling like I’ve learnt nothing. So I went back into my childhood and really opened up.”

Even with this ever-growing success, Urzila is extremely down to earth. “I don’t need to be Ellen DeGeneres. As long as the fans are happy, my family is happy and I’m happy, that’s enough.”

Urzila Carlson Tour Dates

23-26 Mar - Brisbane Comedy Festival
30 Mar - 23 Apr - Melbourne International Comedy Festival
17-19 May - Sydney Comedy Festival
20-21 May - Perth Comedy Festival
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