Bio

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 world-wide comedy series, Comedians Around the World which saw Urzila handpicked as was one of 47 comedians to perform a half-hour special filmed at Just For Laughs in Montreal.

Effortlessly likeable… stream of belly-laughs” – The Age, Melbourne

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

An undeniable tour de force of the comedy world, Urzila hasn’t stopped 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 SpecksDirty LaundryHave You Been Paying Attention?The Great Debate with Barry Humphries, ABC Comedy Up Late7 Days, Super City, Road Madness and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival galasUrzila 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.

Standout performance… side-splitting” – Rip it up, Adelaide

Urzila has earned an impressive array of awards, including 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.

And now 2020, is lining up to be Urzila’s biggest year yet, with the release her standalone one hour Netflix stand-up special Overqualified Loser, which was recorded live in December 2019. This prestigious opportunity has launched the international careers of many comics and will, introduce Urzila to a new legion of comedy fans. Urzila also joins the dynamic panel of The Masked Singer Australia on Network Ten.

Due to overwhelming demand, Urzila will also return to the stage across Australia & New Zealand from October with her stand up show Token African and tour All the Rage in December in New Zealand.