My Wellington: Handing out all sorts of punchlines – Stuff

An asset manager for DataCom by day, comedian by night, hitting people with punchlines…literally. Sri Nair is ready for everything, including a fight. Nair’s comedy career kick-started when he was taking Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) although both things have nothing to do with each other he said “It gave me the confidence I needed to be a comedian.”
What part of Wellington do you live in, and why?
I live in Trentham in Upper Hutt, and that’s where I bought my first house. Everyone knows it’s expensive living in central Wellington, and this house just caught my eye. I’d never lived in Upper Hutt, but I think it’s one of the best places to live.
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My favourite thing about this part of Wellington is…
It’s very beautiful – we have rivers, mountains, lots of parks. Whatever you want in town, you get it in Upper Hutt. It’s just me and my dog right now. We love going out and exploring.
A hidden gem in my hood is…
The Remutaka Rail Trail is a nice place to go for a walk – if you have hours to spend, just pack a snack and bottle of water and go out and explore, especially during the summer.
To get to work in Wellington I travel by train because…
I catch the train from Trentham into town. It’s pretty convenient. Because we have an express trains in the morning.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Upper Hutt you can’t go past…
Ammu restaurant. It’s an Indian restaurant, and I’m an Indian, so I’m supporting it. It’s actually one of the very few restaurants I think does amazing Indian food. It’s always pretty packed. Also, Brewtown puts Upper Hutt on the map – lot of brewers and a lot of food choices and fun activities.
The perfect Saturday morning in Upper Hutt is…
The perfect morning would be taking my dog Jake for a walk all the way to the Pickle and Pie cart that does the best cheese scones in Wellington.
Where do you go to practise or get ideas for content for comedy?
My material comes out of things I see or experience. I like to go out on walks and talk to my dog, who has no idea what I’m talking about. He gives me this weird look, so usually I run it past him, or my friends on the phone as I walk.
Are there any difficulties with being a comedian?
As fun as it is, there’s a lot of uncertainty. Ever since I was a kid, I loved making people laugh. And I guess now we have reached the stage where you can make a joke, but you just have to be careful that you’re not hurting anyone in the process. That’s why most of my jokes are surrounding me and my experiences – nobody gets hurt, but others can see the funny side of a situation. The difficulty is to ensure that you’re intending entertaining people, but not rubbing anyone the wrong way.
If I were mayor for a day I would….
I would have Wellington Day, just to celebrate our city and appreciate how awesome it is to live in. I think we have one of the best cities in the world. Go out, have fun, hashtag Wellington and just explore.
My nominee for Wellingtonian of the Year would be…
My friend and comedy mentor, Neil Thornton. He runs the New Zealand Comedy School and helped me and so many other comedians. If you ever want to try stand-up comedy, to his school. He welcomes anyone, even if you’ve never had experience. Recently I did my first ever solo show, Upside Down with his help. He’s an amazing friend, an amazing comedian, and a good comedy mentor.
On Friday at Michael Fowler Centre, Sri Nair will be participating in the Best Foods Comedy Gala, alongside many other talented comedians. Tickets available now:
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