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Fringe laughs with Nazeem Hussain

Adelaide Fringe

Comedian Nazeem Hussain ­– nominated for a Helpmann Award last year and twice mistaken for TV host Waleed Aly – says stand-up is like therapy for him. In fact, it’s better.

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What can we expect from your intriguingly titled Adelaide Fringe show Hussain in the Membrane?

An hour of lols, based on stuff that’s happened to me. In the last year, I’ve been mugged by the Yakuza, gotten married in casual clothes, bought a house in a Melbourne slum, started boxing with a white supremacist, and stared a possum in the eyes while it pissed on my bed.

Who is it most like to crack up / offend?

I hope the people that come to my show will crack up, and people that don’t come are offended at their own tardiness.

Is it safe for people to sit in the front row?

Absolutely. Recently, I’ve begun performing a metre or so back from the edge of the stage so that specks of spit don’t land on the faces of my precious audience members. Basically, you’ll be safe, and dry. Bring an umbrella if you’re concerned.

You’re well known for the SBS comedy Legally Brown. What’s more of a buzz – TV or live performance?

Live performance, without a doubt. TV is heaps of fun, but there’s nothing like being in the room with your audience and being able to respond in the moment. For most comedians, stand-up is the purest, most enjoyable form of comedy.

When did you know you were destined for a career in comedy?
Stand-up comedy is like therapy for me. Actually, it’s better than therapy. I’m yet to find a therapist who will pay me to yell at them about white people and the problems in my life. None that bulk bill, anyway.

You’ve been mistaken – twice – for Waleed Aly. Who was more flattered?

Definitely Waleed. If there’s one thing that guy has always craved, it’s to be mistaken for someone less intelligent and talented than himself.

Nazeem Hussain is performing in the Garden of Unearthly Delights from February 29 until March 6 during the Adelaide Fringe.

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