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Tom Sainsbury’s South Island

12 June 2022
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Comedian, Snapchat satirist, dancing alien, game show champ and now TV foodie Tom Sainsbury is on the road with his brand new show Snapchat Dude Live! And no stone will be unturned in his quest to poke fun at New Zillunders.

With gigs in Ashburton, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Oamaru, Nelson and Blenheim, we caught up with Tom to find out some of his favourite South Island spots, and what to expect when he visits a town near us… Interview Josie Steenhart

How/why did you choose which South Island spots to take the tour to?

Christchurch was always a given. I’ve performed there half a dozen times now and every time I have the best time. And then I’m really curious about all the other towns we’re visiting. I’ve never performed in Ashburton or Invercargill. Or Nelson nor Blenheim for that matter. I know I’ve got a few fans/followers in those towns so I’m hoping they come out for the night.

Tell us a little bit about what we can expect at a gig…

A lot of laughs and a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s like The Avengers movies where all the superheroes come together in an action-packed, multiverse explosion. But in this case it’s all my characters that I’ve created over the years and shared with the world on social media. It’s a fun ride through Kiwiana with romance, hilarity and a ginger cat with a bad attitude.

Which of the South Island gigs are you most nervous and most excited about?

I’m nervous about them all, really. It’s just the natural nerves of how they will take it. It’s also my experience that the smaller towns are more reserved with their laughter. So I’m gonna have to work extra hard to make them have a great time. In saying that, I’m really looking forward to performing in Invercargill. The venue is just gorgeous and my cousin is bringing a big posse of her girlfriends to kick off the laughter.

Any jokes that South Islanders might find particularly funny you can share with us?

I do a Simon Bridges impression at the start of every show. As Simon I share an acrostic poem with the town I’m visiting as the central word. So, Christchurch, for example will begin: C – Canterbury – is
where Christchurch is. H – Hagley Park is a park in the city, etc. The droll inanity of it usually warrants a laugh or two.

What are some of your favourite spots in the south?

Central city Christchurch. It’s stunning, has a great vibe, and has good coffee (which I’ll be surviving on). Oamaru – love the old town and am a closet steampunk fan. And The Remarkables by Queenstown. I’ve just spent a week there and never got over their spectacle.

Favourite spots to eat/drink?

Okay, Giovi Fine Food in Frankton, Queenstown – divine. And Portershed in Christchurch. I’m a veggo and I felt like a pig in muck there. So much good food. And Fleur’s Place in Moeraki. What a venue! What a hostess!

Favourite places to stay?

The Hermitage Hotel in Aoraki. I felt I was living out my Swiss Alps/James Bond fantasy swanning around in there. And the Grand Arden Monaco in Nelson. I felt like I was in some very highbrow European village.

Favourite activities/experiences?

Driving across from Christchurch to Wānaka going through Twizel, Lake Tekapo etc was phenomenal. Every landscape was worthy of a painting. And then the Catlins as well. Just constantly in awe of the scenery. Funniest time? Hanging out with other comedians at Good Times comedy club in Christchurch. You got some pretty funny people down there. Oh, also, going to some random all night rave close
to Good Times. I can’t remember the name of the venue but they were playing German trance and it was a time!

Any other “secret” South Island spots/intel you’re prepared to share?

The abandoned wharf in Oamaru where all the seabirds hang out. It’s a spectacle. And Pigeon Bay near
Christchurch. But there are hundreds of spots. I can’t believe what a beautiful country we live in.

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