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 series regular on the award-winning comedy panel show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’, for the Australian and New Zealand versions. 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 her 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’. Urzila was one of 47 comedians handpicked 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”, adding best-selling author to her ever-growing list of achievements. However, 2020, is set to be Urzila’s biggest year yet, as she will release her very own one hour Netflix stand-up special, which is being recorded live in December 2019. This prestigious opportunity has launched the international careers of many comedians and will, no doubt, mean expediential growth for Urzila’s already massive fan base.
An undeniable force de-jour of the comedy world, Urzila hasn’t stopped since taking to the comedy stage in 2008. She has sold out seasons in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, Christchurch, Edinburgh and London. Her television appearances include Hughesy We Have A Problem, The Project, Spicks and Specks, Dirty Laundry, Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Great Debate with Barry Humphries, ABC Comedy Up Late, 7 Days, Super City, Road Madness and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Galas. Urzila 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 the 2019 Variety Artists Club Rielly Comedy Award, 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) and the Sydney Comedy Festival’s Director’s Choice Award (2017). Urzila was also nominated for the Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer in 2018.
In 2020, Urzila continues her role as the Australasian Ambassador of South African Tourism for both Australia and New Zealand, a great honour for the South African native.