Home' Special Magazines : Suburbanite Issue 2 Contents // Wednesday 26 Sep 2012
In Newmarket he's well-placed for movie access,
which suits this cinephile down to the ground. He
ranks movies as his number one entertainment pass-
time, ahead of music at number two, books at three,
TV at four and games at the bottom. When asked
where he would rank 'friends' or 'the real world' he
counters with, "slightly above games". He's certainly
holding fast to that lone wolf thing. And it's because
he read too much as a youngster.
His early life involved the church, and he started his
comedy there as part of the duo Dash Ambrose with
Wiggins. "Clean comedy" is how he describes it, a
duo whose schtick was that they were bad at music.
(He says he's elevated himself to being "okay at the
music side now" with his new solo career.)
He enjoyed the community aspect of church, and was
a youth leader while still young himself, but then he ru-
ined it all by getting into reading. Kurt Vonnegut, Des-
cartes, Plato and Kierkegaard all had their way with
the young Brendon Green.
"If you read too much and you get too smart, you get
sad... I started trying to read philosophy, and every-
thing I read depressed me... I realised that there will
never be an actual philosophy."
His take on his own talent is self-deprecating. As he
tells it, his comedic career started when he picked up
a guitar, because he never thought of being a serious
musician and instead wrote funny songs.
"In school, people thought, 'hey, this guy's gonna be
fine, he knows what he's doing'. I was good at draw-
ing and loved making movies, and I was so not musi-
cal, like zero percent musical, and for some reason
I decided to go after that one." He plays down the
fact that he could have been following his heart, and
insists instead that he just wanted to fail.
"Yeah, I'm one of those guys. Half of me wants to be
good at everything, but the other half knows I'm not
good at anything."
And that's fine with him. In fact his entire world view
is, well... The word 'cynical' is a bleak one but clos-
est to his philosophy. Everything Is Meaningless and
Nothing Matters, Lol, the name of his comedy fest
show, is pretty much bang on. Except that he holds
true to a certain altruism, based on a quote from Mark
Vonnegut that goes: 'We are here to help each other
through this thing, whatever it is'.
"[When I read that] I thought, yep. I will try and be
nice to everybody, because why wouldn't you? Why
wouldn't you?! Let's try and make this whole life as
painless as possible."
Quite apart from being a philosophising shut-in of a
musical comedian, Brendon Green works happily in
the music industry. He was headhunted by a major
record company after writing a particularly witty blog
about a music video. They asked him to write their
newsletters and be the voice of their online presence,
and the rest is history. Well, eighteen months' worth
The more he recounts this story the more animated
his voice is, and it starts to become clear that this
little venture is one he might just be proud of. "This
doesn't happen in real life! I had no idea about mu-
sic... I studied communications and my most hated
part was PR... and now I work in PR."
But he still shies away from making too big a deal of
the whole thing. If someone asks him what he does
for a job he'll quickly answer that he works for Univer-
sal Music NZ, follow up with a mumbled bit about his
comedy 'hobby' and then hurriedly shift the conver-
sation over to what the other person does.
His comedy shows make fun of his successes, allow-
ing him an outlet for sharing tidbits about his usually
hidden personal life by offering them up as a sacrifice
to the comedy gods.
"My best friends don't know anything about me. I'm
more than happy to have nice surface conversations
and find out more about the person I'm talking to. So
I think that's why I do that style of comedy, so I can
actually vent [personal information]. And so I can get
something more out of it... I can entertain people with
Because that information would be worthless in an
everyday conversation? He doesn't say it, but that's
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