“Imagine that you and I were out drinking and I took you back to my place for an after party, where I shared all the stories from the last year or so,” says Jonathan Duffy, about his newest stand-up show. “Basically, it’s a drunken catch-up in reverse.”
Shooting the shit
The comedian, who refers to himself as the only gay Australian comedian in Iceland, notoriously does one solo show a year. Last year, it was “I Wouldn’t Date Me Either,” a humorous ride into his post-long term relationship dating life, where he had to learn about Grindr, Tinder, and the perils of dating European men. The year before that, he did a musical cabaret about his experience moving to Iceland from Australia, aptly titled, “Australiana.”
This new offering, “It’s Been a While With Jono Duffy,” is different, the comedian emphasises.
“’It’s Been A While With Jono Duffy’ is very free,” he explains. “I don’t stick with any specific theme. It’s just me shooting the shit about all the things I’ve been up to in the past year.”
And the past year has, admittedly, been a doozy for the performer. “I attempted to get a TV show on the air, went to visit my family in Australia to introduce them to my (very) French boyfriend, and signed up for a half-marathon after doing almost no exercise for four years,” says Jono, laughing. “I also did a lot of soul searching and realised that I will always be a somewhat charming cynical douchebag who’s just plodding along in the crazy industry we call show business.”
Gay & pop-culture filled
When we talk, Jono is on tour in Europe with Hugleikur Dagsson. It’s been an eye-opening month, as he’s gotten to perform in many cities he never expected to.
“I’ve had the fascinating experience of telling my gay, pop-culture filled jokes to crowds in countries where being gay is typically frowned upon,” he says, grinning. “Places like Serbia, Croatia and a bunch of other countries that end in ‘ia.’”
He’s also become intimately acquainted with the realities of life on tour. “Sometimes you get to be on the top of the Austrian alps, other times you have to share a bed with the guy you’re opening for,” he laughs.
Jono has always been open about the difficulties of carving out a career in comedy. He has often felt more like the guy who was available, rather than the guy the crowd really wanted. It’s because of this, he explains, that he’s radically rooting for Miss Vanjie on the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. “She’s had to work so hard because she wasn’t everyone’s first choice, which I identify with,” he says. “So when I see her turning it out, it’s a bit of a ‘This is what it sounds like when doves cry’ moment for me.”
While Jono usually forgoes Vanjie’s characteristic bedazzled leotards, it’s clear he is, like her, a fan-favourite, whether he recognises it or not. “It’s been a year, and I thought it was time to have a bit of a catch up,” he says. “Just to let everyone know I’m not dead.”
Info: See “It’s Been A While With Jono Duffy” on May 3rd at 20:00 at Tjarnarbíó. Tickets are 2,900 ISK and can be bought here.
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