The New Zealand Comedy Trust & Best Foods Mayo present


We’re bringing Wellington our biggest gala yet, as we take over the grand Michael Fowler Centre for the very first time. We’ve got the freshest stand up from a star-studded line-up to keep you laughing all night long - goodness knows we all deserve it!

Gala host Rhys Mathewson leads the lineup, joined by Tofiga Fepulea'i, Justine Smith, Kura Forrester, Eli Matthewson and Pax Assadi. There’s still loads more cracking talent to come, for what is shaping up to be one heck of a show! Check out all the deets below 


Rhys Mathewson has won the Fred Award for the Best NZ show at Comedy Fest, taken out the Billy T Award, is a regular on 7 Days, and has just been announced for Dancing with the Stars! He made his first Comedy Fest appearance back in 2006 at age 15, as part of the New Zealand Comedy Trust's Class Comedians high school programme. Three years later he was crowned the youngest ever Billy T Award winner at just 19 years old, and has now racked up over 10 Comedy Fest shows. His high energy and sharp observations make him the perfect comedian to take the audience on an epic live comedy experience leading this incredible lineup.


Making it a night to remember will be Aotearoa’s self-proclaimed ‘humble’ king of comedy Tofiga Fepulea’i. Tofiga has graced screens and stages around the world with his unique brand of Pacific Island-style comedy, both as a solo act and as part of the legendary Laughing Samoans. The biggest-selling act at last year’s Comedy Fest, he brought down the house in massive rooms across NZ. Come watch him do it again at the Best Foods Comedy Galas this September.


Justine Smith smashed the hosting role last year, so we’ve got her back to slay the Gala stage. One of NZ’s queens of comedy, Justine has been named the Best Female Comedian three times! She’s a regular on 7 Days and The Project, and an all-round comedy legend. Her razor-sharp wit and biting commentary will have you in stitches.


You might know her as Desdemona from Shorty, Judy from Educators, or Ronnie from Golden Boy – but we know her as Billy T Award winner, Kura Forrester! Kura is one multi-talented comedian that has us cracking up whether’s she’s behind the mic, or in front of the camera. Kura's crack-up stand-up style is based on observational honesty and is packed with outrageously relatable stories that are sure to have you in stitches.


Fresh off of Dancing With the Stars, Eli Matthewson is having a moment. He’s been winning hearts across the motu with his swift moves on screen and sassy supplementary commentary on social media. His playful style is backed by his strength in writing - he’s the head writer of Have You Been Paying Attention?, and has writing credits on THREE's Golden Boy. Eli took away the coveted Director's Award at the NZ Intl Comedy Festival in 2019, and last year went on to win the Fred Award for most outstanding show in the 2021 Fest with his laugh-out-loud hour Daddy Short Legs. Expect lots of laughs from the man of the moment!


Pax Assadi is back for what’s sure to be another ripper Best Foods Comedy Gala set. Since hosting the Best Foods Christmas Comedy Gala back in 2020, Pax has been working non-stop, creating the smash hit show Raised by Refugees, touring with Frickin Dangerous Bro On the Road, as well as curating the newly announced lineup of The Comedy Mixtape - plus he’s recently become a co-host of The Great Kiwi Bake Off. Thankfully we’ve nabbed a spot in his busy schedule for what’s shaping up to be the most wonderful night of comedy this year!


We've got even more incredible talent to announce over the coming months, for what is shaping up to be one stellar night of live comedy. But why wait? Book your seats now before they’re all gone!


Proceeds from this event will support the New Zealand Comedy Trust, who run the (usually) annual NZ Intl. Comedy Festival, to continue their work supporting the development of the local comedy industry 


Important Information

The health and safety of our patrons, performers and staff is our priority. The New Zealand Comedy Trust and our venue partners will be operating to the Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines and directives in place at the time of the event.

Existing Ticketholders

If you booked tickets for the original date, and you can attend on the new date, you don’t need to do anything – your tickets will automatically be transferred to the new show.

If you are unable to make the new date, you’ll be able to request a refund directly from Ticketmaster until Friday 29 April. They will be in touch directly soon with more information.


Lineup subject to change.

  • Wellington Shows

Ticket prices

Premium $115
A Reserve $85
B Reserve $69
C Reserve $55

*service fee may apply

Wheelchair accessible

Latecomers may need to wait to be seated.
Ensure you are purchasing genuine tickets from Ticketmaster.

Recommended 15+
May contain colourful language and adult themes

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