LOCAL COMIC VICTORIA ZERBST PROVES THE DICKHEADS WRONGIf we had a dollar for every time we’d heard some dude shrug and say, “Women just aren’t funny, man,” we would be able not only to break into Sydney’s housing market, but to buy the whole damn market.
The sexist misconception that women are innately less humorous than men is ideologically concerning on a societal level, but for female comics, it is worse than this: it has long meant that they simply have not been given jobs.
That’s why it is so important to foster female comedic talent at local and grassroots levels. As such, we are very happy to introduce you to Bondi’s very own homegrown comic, 23-year-old Victoria Zerbst.
Ms. Zerbst started doing comedy in revues at Sydney University, and has recently been smashing it on the small screen as a cast member of ABC2’s new comedy sketch show, Aaron Chen Tonight (previously called John Conway Tonight). She also co-founded all-female comedy group Freudian Nip in 2015.
“When Jenna and I started out doing comedy at Uni, the scene was definitely a massive boy’s club” Mz. Zerbst said.
“We found so much strength writing together and finding our voice as comedians, and we made a point of working with women who may have not had a platform to be involved with comedy otherwise. There is definitely a demand for funny female voices.
“The scene is definitely changing, but there still are moments at gigs or shows where we experience misogyny and realise there is still so much more to do in ensuring equal opportunity and respect for women in comedy.”
As much as we all love Bondi, we can probably agree that elements of the Bondi lifestyle are ripe for satire. So what is the funniest thing about living in Bondi is, according to Ms. Zerbst?
“It’s navigating the hypocrisies of living a carefree beach lifestyle, while also being so concerned with self-image and commercial success,” she said.
“I myself have had to become very comfortable with my predictable, activewear-esque lifestyle choices that I like to claim are ironic.
“But I’m not going to lie, living in Bondi gives me great fodder for character-based humour and jokes at the expense of aspiration culture.
“One of my characters in the Aaron Chen Tonight show is a South African wellness coach hell bent on treating clients with tapeworm.
“That character is totally inspired by my South African mum, and of course, living in a very health conscious community.”
While Sydney’s Inner West might be more readily associated with stand-up comedy, Ms. Zerbst told The Beast that the Eastern Suburbs holds its own.
“Two of my favourite comedy rooms are in the Eastern Suburbs: the Comedy Store in Moore Park, and the Gaelic Club in Surry Hills, which hosts a monthly comedy night called Green Lights,” she said.
“There’s also Bunker Comedy on the first Friday of the month at Coogee Diggers.”
So hop on to ABC iView, catch up on Aaron Chen Tonight, and like @freudiannip on Facebook and Instagram for information about upcoming gigs. According to Ms. Zerbst, her next sketch involves playing a character called ‘Size 14 Emma Watson’ (Victoria’s own clothing size). We cannot wait.