Crikey, it’s Melsy!

Image: Emma Bass

Crikey, it’s Melsy!

From being world famous in New Zealand, comedian Melanie Bracewell jumped the ditch and landed a spot on Australian television. She’s famous over there now too. Still happy to pop home and share a laugh with us though. She talks to Cityscape ahead of her return for Comedy Festival.

So are you an Australian now? Stone the flamin’ crows, absolutely bloody not, ya drongo! Genuinely though, I’m a very proud kiwi. 

How is it going for you over there? It’s been really good! I didn’t intend to move here permanently, I was going to travel back and forth back in 2021 when the ‘bubble’ was open. Unfortunately, the bubble closed about three days after I arrived, so I got trapped here forever. As much as we slag off Australia, it is a quite nice place to live. And Australians quite like me! I hope. 

What question do Australians keep asking you? Are you related to the Bracewell cricketers? And the answer is yes, but the skills are not genetic.  My bowling needs a lot of work. 

Is the Comedy Festival a return home for you? If so, what are you looking forward to? Yes! It’s going to be so good performing at home. I haven’t done a solo show in New Zealand since 2019 so I’ve had time to craft the perfect show. I’m most looking forward to a joke in the show that would only work in New Zealand. I wrote it but couldn’t put it in the Aussie tour because they wouldn’t get it. Also I guess my friends and family. I should’ve led with that. 

How do you prepare for a gig? Any pre-show rituals? I used to wear the exact same outfit on stage because I thought if I changed it, I would ruin any chances of being funny. I’m a little more relaxed about that now. The moments before going on stage, I play Candy Crush on my phone. It’s the only thing that stops me from cycling into “What the hell am I doing, why am I doing this to myself.”

What has been the most surreal moment in your career/life to date? That would have to be last year at the JFL Sydney Gala. One of my heroes – Eric Idle – turned up unannounced to sing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ with us on stage. It was a total pinch-myself moment. He spent hours chatting to us about our lives and careers. It totally shattered the ‘don’t meet your heroes’ mantra. What a legend.

What’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday afternoon? I could be very cultured and say sitting in the sun with a coffee and a nice book, but in reality that’s what I’d LIKE to do. I mostly spend it on the computer playing video games. 

What’s the best advice your mum ever gave you? My mum has given me so much good advice over the years. She’s so smart, I could pick her brain for hours. I think the general advice I remember the most is ‘this feeling will pass’. She’s gone through so much more than I’ve ever gone through, and the perspective was really helpful. Also ‘clean as you go’ when cooking. That’s a classic. 

Favourite item in your wardrobe?  I have these flare beige pants that I wear all the time. Love some of my dresses but sometimes people will be like “Wow, you already wore that dress.” Pants are versatile! 

What’s your favourite guilty pleasure? Right now it’s MAFS. It’s so toxic but I can’t stop watching. It makes me feel optimistic about my own life. 

Finally, if you were heading to a desert island and were allowed only one book, what would it be and why? I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan. I’ve read it so many times. It’s the only book that’s made me laugh out loud, not just snort air out of my nose awkwardly.


Culture, People

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