As Kiwi as Hokey Pokey ice-cream and a pair of jandals, Dai Henwood considers himself to be one of those old school New Zealanders who still spells the word school properly. Known for his cheeky infectious energy, innocent charm and physical humour, Dai rose to prominence after featuring on C4 TV, hosting the show “Insert Video Here”. He subsequently went on to host two series of the comedy travel show “Roll The Dai” on the same network, which saw him travel the length of New Zealand and spending a month in the Outback Australia.
Multi award winner at The New Zealand Comedy Guild Awards, Dai’s international success has seen him touring his shows in Melbourne, Britain and Tokyo. In 2008 Dai was invited to the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal where he also recorded their televised Gala special. This, coupled with his consistent sell out success at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival makes Dai one of the country’s most accomplished comedians. Now well recognised back home for his role as team captain on TV3’s topical comedy panel show, 7 Days, it’s Dai’s background in stand up that allows his masterful take on the improvisational, free-form nature of comedy to really shine!
Watch Dai Henwood: Dai Another Day
A constantly-bubbling bundle of energy, Dai Henwood turns his keen observational eye toward a hilarious cavalcade of subjects. Dai Another Day addresses the Olympics, the dangers of fast food, and the things that proud Kiwi Dai loves most about his homeland.
See Dai Henwood Live
Dai has no upcoming live gigs – but watch this space for future updates!
Watch Dai Henwood: Adapt or Dai
Lovably cheeky New Zealander Dai Henwood thinks we’ve all been way too hard on ourselves. In this celebration of humanity in all it’s glory, Dai ponders on man’s big achievements – like electric toothbrushes, Egyptian cotton and er, forklift trucks. Watch out, that grin is seriously contagious.
Dai was born in 1978 to Welsh-New Zealand film actor father Ray Henwood and mother Judge Carolyn Henwood, enjoying a liberal, idyllic childhood epitomised by his family summer holiday camping trips. Like many comics Dai started out on a theatrical path, spending much of his youth in rehearsal rooms with his dad, before going on to study Drama and Eastern Religion at Victoria University of Wellington, as well as earning a crust as a wedding DJ on the side. Dai talks about his time starting out as a new comic on the stand-up circuit: “You’re so young, it’s hard to draw anything from your own life. No one wants to hear how you dated a couple of girls and it got awkward at the school ball. I did character comedy dressed in tights as a professional wrestler and I’d be trying to make people laugh in the Cosmo club in Levin, which I always find ironic because it wasn’t that cosmopolitan. The sound system went through the kitchen so halfway through my set it would cut out and go “Number 53 steak and chips”. Now, when you’re on TV, people are at your gigs ’cause they know you or are a fan. You’re preaching to the converted as opposed to the guy who’s going “I’m the funny one here mate”.
Following some cameo acting roles in drama series such as Xena Warrior Princess and The Tribe, Dai began his comedy TV career on the stand up talent show series Pulp Comedy, winning ‘Best New Face’ in 1999. This was followed by a win at the Billy T James Comedy Award in 2002 which recognises up-and-coming New Zealand comedians with outstanding potential. Between 2004 -2005 he toured the shows The Hotstepper and Champagne Table Tennis, within that time also winning Best Male Comedian at The New Zealand Comedy Guild Awards., twice. The following year the Guild also awarded him Best Television Performance and Best MC. Dai subsequently performed seasons in both Auckland and Wellington during the New Zealand International Comedy Festival including “Dynamic Scenarios” (2007 & 2008), “Shabba” (2009), “Dai Another Day” (2009), “Ideals vs. Reality” (2010), “Fonzie Touched Me” (2011) and “Adapt Or Dai” (2013). It was around this time that also Dai bagged his place on the ongoing comedy panel show 7 days and was crowned winner of The Fred Award for Best New Zealand Comedian. In 2016 Dai was presented with the Rielly Comedy Award from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand.
He now lives in Avondale, Auckland with his wife and baby daughter and says of his incredible comedy career “I sometimes have to pinch myself. I’m doing what I love and I can’t complain – and if I did no one would listen!”