About Mike - Frequently Asked Questions


What is your background?

I was born in Greenwich, London on October 3rd 1971. My parents were expecting me so it was nothing dodgy. I grew up in New Zealand. This was paid for by my father who worked for Nestle, the chocolate people. They were very cheap and I got no free chocolate unless my dad visited the factory. Then I got sacks of the disabled hunchback chocolates - the kind that had an extra almond in them, etc.

Baby Mike

When dad retired after long and distinguished service - they made him chip in $50 towards his gold watch. Insanely cheep bastards.

I went to Remuera Primary, Remuera Intimidate (Where Ms. Carew once wrestled with her visiting sister in the class room and I had my first fantasy about a threesome) then Auckland Grammar School and Selwyn College.

I then worked in an office for a year or so, did digital imaging for a short time, worked in a gun shop for two years then found my passion - standup comedy. It was only near the end of my retail work that my boss discovered I had been writing "Call me for gay sex" on the back of the business cards he had been handing out.

Do You write Your own jokes?

Yup. Nearly all contemporary stand-ups do. Nothing winds a comedian up like plagiarism. This makes it nearly impossible for talented new acts to build a set and just weakens the whole industry. It should be legal to kill joke thieves.

How do You think of this stuff?

I am different from you. I am odd. After a while the comedian's brain becomes trained and just looks for humorous angles to any input it receives. I could be nursing a dying friend and think up a nurse gag - doesn't mean I'm shallow - it's just automatic after a while.

I can sit down to write, but this tends to be a little formulaic. The best stuff comes spontaneously or from me trying to make the people around me laugh.

Is this all You do?

Yup. Believe it or not, it's an actual job. Ask your dentist the same question ;-)

After a year of performing, I gave up the day job and became a professional dancing monkey. In a country with a fairly small circuit, comics tend to spend more of our time generating work than working. This is very frustrating. This is why we lose so many acts overseas. I compromise, touring a lot but basing myself here. Kiwi acts really do need to head overseas to grow and meet our potential.

How did You get into comedy?

I heard ads on the radio for kiwi comedy at a bar called Kitty O'Briens. I put off going because I thought it would be lame. I finally went and was blown away by the standard. That first night there was also a brawl and I thought it was tremendous value.

A friend said I should try, I did, it went well and it felt right. I have no history of performance, except at primary school. I had to stand by the piano during music class so the teacher could control my "disruptive influence". Now people pay for it - go figure.

Out of Kitty's came New Zealand's first full time comedy club - The Classic. This used to be a porn cinema but they gave it a good clean during the rebuild.

Is it hard being a comedian?

Being a fireman is hard. Being a stand up can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride, but I wouldn't swap it for any occupation short of 'Breast nuzzler'.

It takes a lot of effort and drive to get good and keep moving forward and it is a very personal thing. You are selling yourself, so if people don't like your work - it feels like they don't like you.

The up side is when you rock, all the glory is yours.

Do You get nervous performing in front of so many people?

No, big rooms are easy. The little ones are where you really use your skills.

Who are Your comedy idols?

Bill Hicks, Dennis Miller, George Carlin and Chris Rock do some great stuff. Just sharp, relevant and belly laugh funny.

Bill Hicks

There are also numerous top acts that you would never have heard of. They just tour the clubs, lifting the standard with polished - original material that is always a treat to see.

Too much stand up is very samey but there are lots of standouts waiting to be discovered and supported. Too often safe and bland wins the day with bookers and promoters.

How much of your set is made up on the night?

I'm a gag writer. Most of my set is polished material, but I do love to play the room. Some nights I don't do a prepared line in the whole show. It really depends on the situation.

Why is there so much animal stuff in your act?

Not so much now. But I love them and comedians tend to write what they know. This also explains the boosie jokes.

Why are You in a wheelchair?

I don't really talk about this, not a big deal - just not relevant. Basically I was born with something that a doctor helped along. I was on crutches for several years and now in a wheelchair.

I didn't do 'cripple jokes' for years because I was very wary of being labelled 'The wheelchair' comedian. When the first folk started to came up to me on the street and quote other lines I knew this was no longer a problem.

So now I touch on it a little. But just a little.

What was Your worst gig?

I opened for male strippers. I didn't want to, but the money was good and I made the booker promise that I would go on BEFORE the strippers. I did. But AFTER some of the mob's husbands did a strip. Long story short the room was in a frenzy when I was sent on.

To my credit, I did all right. But only around screams of "Get your cock out now!". Not "Get your cock out" but "Get your cock out - now!". There is a disturbing difference. When I was finished I needed a hug.

Are hecklers a problem

No. I very seldom get a nasty heckler. The trick is to speak quickly and not be crap. Hecklers usually only pop in the act during a suitable pause and can make the night more memorable.

Mic Duster

What are Your goals?

Stand up is an end in itself for me. I'm happy to try different things and experiment with different performing arts but this is my first love. My immediate goal is releasing more of my work on CD.

Long term I would also love to perform on The Tonight Show and Letterman. This is just a 'Made it' thing in the back of my mind. That and taking the Perrier Award during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. That would be nice.

In the mean time I will collect more of the world's theatre festivals, meet more wonderful people and polish up another new hour. The Just for Laughs, Vancouver and a return to the fabulous Melbourne events are top of the list.

Oh, and that threesome with Ms. Carew.


Check out the News page for more happenings.

The Early Years...

Mike Loder began comedy in 1995 at New Zealand's only regular stand-up venue Kitty O'Brians and quickly became a regular on the stand-up scene. Working with the top names in kiwi comedy and soon being asked to write material for a few of them.

Mike Waiting

Mike then began touring regularly across New Zealand and overseas. Also promoting several comedy nights around Auckland that showcased top kiwi stand-up talent. Including the long running Big Howick Giggle and The Stand-up Show during the Wellington Fringe Festival.

Hungry for stage time, he was soon a festival veteran.

In 1996 he performed to sold out houses at the Auckland / Wellington International Comedy Festival.

For the 1997 Laugh Festival he produced, publicized and performed in the No Future in Comedy show.

In the 1998 Laugh Festival he toured the Driving Mr. Daisy show.

Laugh Inc.

During the 1999 Laugh Festival he performed Poor, White & Trashed in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Mike brought his blend of kiwi comedy to North America in 1999. Performing for several months in clubs and festivals across Canada.

Mika and Ros Noble

In 2000 he performed at 20 festivals in half a dozen countries. In addition to collecting rave reviews, he also won the Billy T comedy award. His friend Paul Ego also received the award that year.

The Stand Up Show poster

In 2001 Mike recorded his first comedy release Stingray at Auckland's Powerstation venue. This under his Punchline label.

Punchline logo

In 2002 he released his second comedy CD - Live at the Covert. Recorded at the Covert Improv Theatre.

In 2003 Mike produced the When Good Clowns Go Bad show to record his third comedy CD - Tales from the Road. This was recorded at the same time as Te Radar's release - Seedy.

When Good Clowns Go Bad poster

Also that year Mike hosted the Fastermind game show, produced by Chris Anderson.

Fastermind Gameshow poster

Fastermind - Quick Wits and Loose Lips

"Fastermind is part quiz, part game show. A little bit Whose Line is it Anyway - a little bit Shooting Stars, Fastermind pits two teams against each other (and sometimes against the host) in a battle of wits, verbal dexterity and improvisation.


First up a game of definitions, where contestants are given a word and have to provide a worthy definition. Flabbergast: a German term for a fat ghost, prefab: in the process of becoming, but not yet being, fabulous. etc.

Other games included the interpretation of European road signs, synopsizing a film title, composing a song and creating a pickup line using a given word.

All up Fastermind is an entertaining mix."

Jude Lett nzoom

During this time Mike was a featured performer on the popular Pulp Comedy TV show for several years. A founding member of the NZ Comedy Guild Mike was also a regular featured performer at Auckland's full-time comedy club The Classic from its inception. The club just turned ten in 2007.

He has written and performed comedy material for numerous other radio and television shows. Also commissioned to help develop a new sitcom for the now defunct Phoenix Television. But there is no link.

Producers The Down Low Concept had Mike develop a comedy serial for morning radio. From concept to script and finally becoming the voice of Travis the cabby. This became the very successful Cab Ride to Destiny show.

Down Low Concept

The Down Low also produced the hugely popular Off the Wire show for National Radio. Mike was a regular panellist on this comedy news show for several years as it toured about the nation.

Most recently Mike is specialising in comedy solutions for business and corporate entertainment.

But he is still polishing up new material around the fringe circuit and appearing on the stand-up circuit when time allows.

Southside Comedy

Most recently Mike has produced the 'Southside Comedy' shows at the fantastic 'Telstra Clear Pacific' event centre. Based in South Auckland, these showcase nights have proven hugely popular over the last few years.

He has also published his first book The Guide in 2008.

For recent happenings check the News page.

Mike Headshot