Triple J presenter and star of the Comedy Channel's hugely succesful Balls of Steel Australia, Nazeem Hussain, will be one of five comedians performing  as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's national roadshow.
Triple J presenter and star of the Comedy Channel's hugely succesful Balls of Steel Australia, Nazeem Hussain, will be one of five comedians performing as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's national roadshow. Sharon Smallwood

Nazeem walks the fine line but is up for the challenge

NAZEEM Hussain does not know how people in Rockhampton will react to his style of comedy, but the arguably challenging comedian is up for anything.

"My style of comedy is sort of hard to define. It's really just me talking about how I perceive the world around me, and sometimes that's a bit hard for people to take," he said.

If you have ever heard Nazeem on The Project or Melbourne Comedy Festival galas, you will know that he is capable of bringing a house down with laughter, but the funny guy also has a conscience.

Of Indian descent, Nazeem speaks out seriously against issues like racism, but he also likes to turn them on their head and use them in his comedy.

"There are a lot of things that are of concern to me, and racism is certainly one of them," he said.

"They are quite depressing issues, but for me, if you can do something with it that has comedic value, then you are still making people think about things, but just in a far more enjoyable way. Hopefully anyway."

Although his social commentary has become something of value media-wise - Nazeem has appeared on Q&A alongside Malcolm Turnbull and Lindsay Tanner - he admits he never set out to spread a message.

"I think comedy can be a great vehicle to get messages across, and it's something I do, I guess, instinctively. But I never set out to change the world with comedy," he said.

Nazeem will be just one of the acts at tonight's Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow at the Pilbeam Theatre and said he was looking forward to performing in front of regional audiences.

"The roadshow is a really amazing opportunity for comedians to get out there and play in places where you wouldn't normally get booked on your own," he said.

"Plus, it's a really mixed bag, so the audience comes along not necessarily knowing what to expect and it can be a really good atmosphere to perform in."

Having spent the better part of the past six months working on his own TV show Legally Brown, Nazeem said he had built up a lot of new material that wasn't suited for the show, but could definitely be applied to his stand-up.

"I'm looking to try out some of my new material, and you never know what to expect, so I'm really excited and anxious at the same time. It's a good mix of emotions," he said.

"Because I have been working on the show for so long, I haven't been able to do any gigs, so I'm feeling really fresh and ready for these gigs."

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow w/ Nazeem Hussain, Tom Deacon, Loretta Maine, Joel Crease and Randy

WHERE: Pilbeam Theatre, Victoria Pde

WHEN: Tonight from 7.30pm

TICKETS: Adult $40, pensioner $35, youth (15+) $35

WHAT: Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow w/ Nazeem Hussain, Tom Deacon, Loretta Maine, Joel Crease and Randy

WHERE: Pilbeam Theatre, Victoria Pde

WHEN: Tonight from 7.30pm

TICKETS: Adult $40, pensioner $35, youth (15+) $35



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