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Urzila
Carlson

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed comedian.

Profile

Multi-award-winning South African New Zealander, Urzila Carlson, has become one of the biggest names in comedy in Australia and New Zealand.

A television favourite in both countries, Urzila is a much-loved series regular on both the Australian and New Zealand versions of the award-winning comedy panel show Have You Been Paying Attention? Her trademark deadpan humour and cheeky wit has seen her win

fans the world over for her television appearances and live shows. A touring powerhouse, Urzila has toured the globe and sells out live shows year after year.

In 2019, Urzila became the highest-selling comedian in the 33-year-long history of The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world. She also took home the coveted People’s Choice Award the same year and made her Netflix debut as part of the streaming service’s unprecedented worldwide comedy series, Comedians Around the World which saw Urzila handpicked as one of 47 comedians to perform a half-hour special filmed at Just For Laughs in Montreal.

Originally published in 2016, 2019 also saw the re-release of Urzila’s fascinating autobiography Rolling With the Punchlines, which added a best-selling author to her ever-growing list of achievements.

An undeniable tour de force of the comedy world, Urzila hasn’t topped since taking to the comedy stage in 2008. She has sold out seasons in London, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch. Her television appearances include Hughesy We Have A Problem, The Project, Spicks and Specks, Dirty Laundry, Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Great Debate with Barry Humphries, ABC Comedy Up Late, 7 Days, Super City, Road Madness and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival galas.

Urzila was also one of the key cast members of Nazeem Hussain’s comedy sketch program Orange is The New Brown which premiered on the Seven Network in 2018 to critical acclaim.

Urzila has earned an impressive array of awards, including the 2019 Rielly Comedy Award by the Variety Artists Club of NZ; Best Female Comedian at the New Zealand Comedy Guild Awards (no less than six times); New Zealand International Comedy Festival’s coveted People’s Choice Award (2014 & 2015); Sydney Comedy Festival’s Director’s Choice Award (2017); and was a nominee for Australia’s Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer in 2018.

Furthermore, Urzila was the 2019 Australasian Ambassador of South African Tourism for both Australia and New Zealand, a great honour for the South African native.

In 2020, Urzila joined the dynamic panel of The Masked Singer Australia on Network Ten. The year also saw the release of Urzila’s standalone one-hour Netflix stand-up special Overqualified Loser, which was recorded live in December 2019 and released in 190

countries. This prestigious opportunity has launched the international careers of many comics and has introduced Urzila to a new legion of comedy fans.

Due to overwhelming demand, 2021 found Urzila returning to the stage across Australia & New Zealand with her stand-up show Token African and back on screens as a panellist on season 3 of The Masked Singer Australia, a contestant on season 2 of Taskmaster NZ and

regular panellist on Have You Been Paying Attention NZ & 7 Days.

To add to the ever-growing credits, Urzila released her premiere podcast That’s Enough Already! in 2021 which has shot to the top of the Comedy charts in Australia & New Zealand, winning the best new podcast at the NZ podcast awards.

In 2022, Urzila toured throughout Australia & New Zealand to sold-out crowds with her show, It’s Personal, which won the People’s Choice Award for the most popular show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Urzila returned as a regular on Have You Been Paying Attention? New Zealand and guest appearances on Have You Been Paying Attention Australia.

Current Work

In the first half of 2023, Urzila embarked on a highly successful tour of her show It’s Personal throughout the UK, captivating sold-out audiences. Following this, she triumphantly returned to Australia with her new show, Just No! earning the prestigious People's Choice Award for the second consecutive year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

During the latter half of 2023, Urzila is set to bring It's Personal to Montreal as part of the esteemed Just for Laughs festival. Additionally, her show Just No! will embark on a tour across the UK and Europe in September, further showcasing her comedic prowess.

Looking ahead to 2024, Urzila is poised to make her mark in the realm of feature animation by lending her voice to the character Honkus in the animated film Ozi. This exciting project boasts a star-studded cast, including Donald Sutherland, Laura Dern, Ru Paul, and Amandla Stenberg.

Media
Feedback
Hilarious! I'm a big fan of Urzila's, but she really made the effort to customise her routine for our audience, drawing on her own experience in our industry. Fairfax Media

Urzila was very specific about what details she wanted to do - Housekeeping, fire exits etc. Her experience speaking at numerous events guided us for a good start to our morning, which was much appreciated. Urzila was also very obliging with photographs etc. She was very well appreciated by our delegates at the conference and set a good vibe for the next two days.

New Zealand Sterile Services Association

Since we were online, Urzila did an incredible job keeping the audience engaged and kept them on their toes. Her content was relevant, and we have received rave reviews that she was a highlight of the pre-event.

Go With Tourism

Urzila was absolutely amazing. She was so interested in our cause and so keen to be involved in all parts of our day. The crowd loved her and she really lifted our event. Many of our guests said it was the best long lunch yet and she was a major factor in this. She was so easy to work with and accommodated the crowd with so many selfie requests. We loved her!

True Colours Children's Health Trust

Controlled the crowd, happy to do anything we asked. Very friendly and HILARIOUS!! Got a fantastic response from people who attended the event.

Renwick School

Urzila was very aware of the type audience she was performing for and her material was totally appropriate. People were laughing so much they had tears running down their faces.

A1 Immigration

We have had nothing but fantastic comments about how funny she was and how brilliant her MC'ing was. She certainly made what could have been a rather dull web awards event into a hilarious hour of comedy. We would also especially like to thank her for attending our after party - that was beyond the call of duty and everyone remarked on what a 'good sort' she was and how she wasn't afraid to mix it with the IT geeks!

Netguide Web Awards

Urzila was absolutely wonderful! The show was fantastic and I have had nothing but positive feedback since! Everybody loved her performance and it made for a great night. Urzila was so brilliant to deal with, she even hung out with the audience post show and took photos which was an absolute highlight for them. I have nothing but praise!

St John Clutha

Urzila had us laughing from the get go! She connected with our rural clients very well.

Wellsford Vet

Urzila was an amazing MC and had taken time to get to know enough about our company and people. An incredibly funny and wonderfully entertaining lady. We would definitely use her again.

Max Fashions

Great at gauging the audience and knowing how far to go. Great length and everyone was really entertained!

Whangarei Life Education Trust
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