Scooby Doo (2002) and Other Topics with Nick Robertson

Hitting stages in Pōneke Wellington and Ōtepoti Dunedin this month, Australian comedian Nick Robertson is on a Fringe tour of Aotearoa. Taking some time away from his (almost-as-good-as-Melbourne) coffee in Wellington, Nick (NR) chats with bad apple‘s Callum Knight (CK) about touring across the Tasman, films featuring fictional Great Danes and a little bit of comedy.

CK: I hear this is your first time touring internationally! What’s the journey towards that been like for you?

NR: It’s so sick that I’m actually doing it! I love a tax-deductible holiday haha 

It’s been a long journey to get here and I’m pinching myself now that it’s a reality. I started comedy when I was 14 and touring a solo show has always been the dream—but I did the wonderful career move of giving up comedy for eight years, which really prolonged this dream from coming to fruition. But since coming back I’ve really taken the bull by its horns and charging hard. It’s a lot of work, but I love it. 

CK: I’m so glad to see Scooby Doo (2002) getting the respect it deserves. I remember trawling through K-Zone for updates about a rumoured third instalment (alas, it never came) back in the day. Is comedy script-writing something you’d be interested in, in the future?

NR: Is K-Zone a thing here too!?!! Love that! I used to collect as many as I was allowed—I was in it mostly for the Pokémon updates, but yes Scooby Doo was defo a big part of it for me too. I think there was meant to be a third instalment for the live-action Scooby Doos but the second tanked at the box office (Oh no . . . I’m gonna have to stop there or I’ll continue to ramble on about my love of Scooby Doo).

I’ve always wanted to write for television or film, I reckon that is the goal, yeah. I love doing solo live comedy—but working with a team to create a show would be such a fun and rewarding process, I think. Plus if it’s something like writing the third instalment of Scooby Doo then Warner Bros, I volunteer as tribute!

CK: Careful! Warners Bros might take you up on that, only to shelve it for a tax break down the track . . . That said, are there any other IPs you’d be keen to have a crack at? What draws you to them?

NR: To be completely honest, I’ve been writing a musical using Avril Lavigne’s discography in my spare time. I’m drawn to early noughties pop culture as a concept—perhaps it’s some joyous escapism, perhaps it’s just the fact that it created some sort of Wild West of cultural capitalism that I’m so eagerly trying to unpack—nah let’s go for the escapism thing.

CK: Who interests you in the New Zealand comedy scene? Any shows you’re looking forward to seeing while you’re here?

NR: Danny Sewell is someone I’ve got my eye on. Anyone who’s equal parts funny, emotional and philosophical has my interest. But while I’m at Fringe I’m trying to immerse myself in the ~FRINGE~. The experimental stuff really excites me—I think I’m doing a guided AI tour in a park somewhere on Saturday. Nothing says Fringe to me than having no idea what you’re walking into and walking out leaving inspired or baffled.  

CK: Here in New Zealand, we like to say that Wellington is our Melbourne and Auckland is our Sydney (sorry, Auckland). How are you finding it so far? Any highlights, any oddities?

NR: The coffee in Welly is incredible. I mean it’s not Melbourne coffee (and nothing will ever be able to compete) but it’s pretty close. I’m also obsessed with how many theatres are in town, and so close to each other. There’s a real community of culture here that I’m really vibing. 

Oh, and what’s with the leaking pipes all over town, is this city going under? Is Welly the Venice of NZ?

CK: What’s it like, juggling work as a photographer and a comedian? Do you find the two feed into each other for creative material?

NR: The position I’m in is so fortunate actually, most of what I photograph is comedy and comedians. I do live events and headshots for comedians all over Australia—from doing headshots for Urzila Carlson and Melanie Bracewell to photographing the big comedy events like the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala or Just for Laughs (Australia). 

They both go hand in hand, really. Because I work with so many comedians, I feel they feel comfortable with me, as if I have an ‘eye for comedy’ both on stage and in the studio. I really am very lucky to have found this niche. I LOVE COMEDY! SUE ME!

CK: Who are some of your inspirations as a comedian? 

NR: Easy. Sarah Kendall, Cassie Workman, Rob Auton and Mike Birbiglia. They are everything I wish I was and I feel my shows are an amalgamation of their vibes. The long-form storytelling, the more heartfelt stuff—using lots of stories to tell one bigger stories, this comedy form is what I’m obsessed with. Stand-up is great—and an hour of joke, joke, joke is a talent all of its own, but there’s something so satiating about vulnerable storytelling. Comedy is so disarming and I want to disarm you x

CK: Lastly, for the readers heading to Dunedin Fringe next week, why don’t you tell us a bit more about your show? It sounds like it could be a great fit for folks down south—if Wellington is New Zealand’s Venice, Dunedin is definitely New Zealand’s Scotland.

NR: My show? I thought I was here to promote Scooby Doo (2002). Fiiiiine, I guess I can talk about my show. 

It’s a comedy/storytelling show about the time I, the most Scottish-looking person, was deported from Scotland. I weave that story in with stories about my love of Scooby Doo (have I mentioned I love Scooby Doo?), the Backstreet Boys and some poor advice from my mother. If you’ve ever had to deal with visa issues, this is a show for you!

Nick is performing Leave to Enter as part of Fringe Festival in Pōneke Wellington, with remaining shows Friday 8 and Saturday 9 March, and at Dunedin Fringe on Thursday 14, Friday 15 and Saturday 16 March.

Featured photos courtesy of Nick Robertson.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


Help keep the lights on.

find us on: