Kate Dehnert has been taking it easy for the first half of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but her show Pony Yell brings strange, wonderful comedy to the Imperial Hotel from the 6th April. We had a quick chat to Kate before her show hits the Festival.
Your show is about a pony with a bad back, mail delivery and a magical land. Why did you decide to write about these things?
Sometimes things fall out of your head that way. Now all that’s left in there is a loose peanut, rattling around.
The words “whimsy” and “weird” come up a lot in relation to your previous shows. How would you describe your style of comedy?
I suppose it is a little ‘whimsical’ and ‘weird’. I think it’s non-traditional. Punch lines in a non-traditional setting. A little bit musical, a little bit theatre-y. Escapism. Yeah. Let’s go with escapism.
You’ve also studied film and television. Do you think that’s influenced the way that you write and perform?
A million times yes. I had an amazing mentor in Sian Davies when I was all up in the film and television things. She taught me how to write, to always push hard and how to make something better. If only she had known I’d waste it in comedy.
Which television shows is your comedy most like?
I get compared to the Mighty Boosh a lot. Right or wrong. Same with Peep Show and the Mitchell and Webb look. I really like Spaced, Big Train. Black Books. Anna and Katy. I loved Monty Python as a kid. Plus I generally really like the movies that come out of the Saturday Night Live cast.
Which fictional land would you most like to live in? Why?
None, I’d hate to be trapped in a book. Also, I LIKE THE VIOLENCE IN THIS WORLD. Not really. I don’t know. A monopoly board?
You recently won FNC (Friday Night Comedy at the Butterfly Club), an improvised stand up competition where the audience text in suggestions. How does that feel?
Oh yeah you know pretty alright.
How does something like FNC differ from your usual style? Does it affect your stand up or writing process?
Not really. I’m an idiot everywhere, you’ll find.
Your shows often include music – how do you find audiences react to that?
Usually excited and baffled. You might need to ask them. Hopefully joy?
You’ve previously said that you’re quite cynical and a bit of an escapist. What do you do to cheer yourself up?
Suck the life force out of puppies. Really cheers me up. Oh and badminton.
Kate Dehnert’s Pony Yell previews at the Imperial Hotel on the 6th and 7th April, with shows from the 8th April to the 19th April. Tickets start from $13 – get them at the MICF website or at the door.