Sully O'Sullivan

Sully O'Sullivan

This New Zealand comic first performed stand-up in June 1998, and won a new talent award in his homeland less than a year later. He’s since performed on New Zealand’s TV stand-up showcase Pulp Comedy, as well as gigging in Canada, the UAE, the USA, the UK, and mainland Europe.
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Sully O'Sullivan – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

A good chunk of Sully O’Sullivan’s stand-up set is about the not-especially-interesting fact that he’s from New Zealand. And if you think you’ve heard all the stereotypical jokes about the small differences across the hemispheres, you’d probably be right.

There are gags about being called a sheep-shagger, about being mistaken for an Australian, about the fact that the word ‘root’ has a different meaning over there… so you can just imagine the hilarity something like root beer would cause.

He hits the punchlines cleanly every time, but he’s hardly challenging himself with difficult pitches. And once he moves on from the Kiwi shtick, he still keeps things very simple, confining himself mainly to the laddish staples of drinking, smoking dope and shagging anything that moves. Even when he doesn’t, his take on things such as the London bombers tends to be comedically obvious.

Yet maybe half a dozen times in his 20-minute set, he’ll put enough extra twist into the jokes to make them rise up from the norm, showing that even the oldest of subjects can yield new lines if approached from a new direction. But the strike rate is frustratingly inconsistent, and his routine quickly heads back into the centre lane of Route One.

He has a punkish/metal air with the spiked hair, piercings and a few of the fashion accoutrements of this counterculture, but never plays up to the image. His delivery is confident, measured and underplayed, which draws the best out of the material. This gives him an easy control of an audience, who hang on his every word even during slower set-ups, which would allow him to be more ambitious in his writing without fear of losing them, if only he chose to do so.

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Published: 18 May 2008

Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2004

Xprov: Extreme Improvised Comedy

Edinburgh Fringe 2007

AAA Stand-Up [2007]

Edinburgh Fringe 2008

Heresy Project

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Sully O'Sullivan: Nationhood

Edinburgh Fringe 2017

AAA Stand-Up Late at Gilded Balloon


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