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.
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 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.
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.
In 2020, Urzila joined the dynamic panel of The Masked Singer Australia on Network Ten. The year also saw the release of Urzila’s standalone one hour Netflix stand-up special Overqualified Loser, which was recorded live in December 2019 and released in 190 countries. This prestigious opportunity has launched the international careers of many comics and has introduced Urzila to a new legion of comedy fans.
Due to overwhelming demand, 2021 found Urzila returning to the stage across Australia & New Zealand with her stand up show Token African and back on screens as a panellist on season 3 of The Masked Singer Australia, a contestant on season 2 of Taskmaster NZ and regular panellist on Have You Been Paying Attention NZ & 7 Days.
To add to the ever-growing credits, Urzila has released her premiere podcast That’s Enough Already! that has shot to the top of the Comedy charts in Australia & New Zealand, winning best new podcast at the NZ podcast awards.
In 2022, Urzila will be making her mark in feature animation as the voice of Honkus in Ozi, alongside Donald Sutherland, Laura Dern, Ru Paul and Amandla Stenberg, will release Season 3 of her podcast, That’s Enough Already! and tour Australia & New Zealand with her new show, It’s Personal.
Effortlessly likeable… stream of belly-laughs.
– The Age, Melbourne
Carlson’s a master of the form. Audiences across New Zealand have known it for years, and turned out in droves in recognition of that. Now, it’s the world’s turn. – The SpinOff NZ
Standout performance… side-splitting.
– Rip it up, Adelaide