Rose Matafeo standup comedian. Samoan, Scottish, Croation, New Zealander. She tells her own story best.
Wikipedia says “Rose Catherine Lettitia Matafeo (born 25 February 1992) is a New Zealand comedian, actress, and TV presenter. She was a writer and performer on the NZ late-night comedy sketch show Funny Girls.
Matafeo grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and attended Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, where she was head girl. She has two older brothers. Her father is Samoan and her mother is of Scottish and Croatian heritage. Her parents are Rastafarians and Matafeo has described her upbringing as “quite relaxed”.
At the age of 15, Matafeo started doing stand-up comedy through the platform of the “Class Comedians” programme put on by the New Zealand Comedy Trust, and went on to win the “Nailed It on the Night” award at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in 2007. She’s been a regular at the festival since.
Since graduating from the “Class Comedians” programme, Matafeo went on to win best newcomer at the 2010 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. She became a host of the popular comedy festival show “Fanfiction Comedy” in 2012. She has had success with her solo stand-up comedy shows at the festival: Life Lessons I’ve Learnt from the 60s Based on Things I’ve Seen on Television (2011), Scout’s Honour (2012) and The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour (2013).
Matafeo won the Billy T Award, which recognises the potential of up-and-coming New Zealand comedians, for The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour in 2013, having previously been nominated for her show Scout’s Honour in 2012. Her 2014 show at the festival was titled Pizza Party. In 2015 she performed a duo show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Guy Montgomery titled Rose Matafeo and Guy Montgomery Are Friends. On 25 August 2018, Matafeo won the Edinburgh Comedy Award 2018 for Best Show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, for her show Horndog, collecting a £10,000 prize. She was the first person of colour to win the prestigious award for a solo show, and the first New Zealander. Only four other female solo stand-up comedians had won the award before her.
She was a TV presenter and host of U Live, which ran on the TVNZ U channel from 13 March 2011 until 31 August 2013, when the channel came to an end. Upon TVNZ U finishing, she took on a new role as a writer for Jono and Ben at Ten, a satirical news and comedy sketch show. Matafeo co-created and starred in the New Zealand sketch comedy show Funny Girls for three seasons from 2015 until 2018. She has been playing the role of Talia in the ABC comedy Squinters since 2018.
Having toured as a stand-up comedian for ten years, Matafeo said in 2018 that she wanted to “take a break from hour long comedy” and instead act more, write more, and also direct. Matafeo went on to serve as director on five episodes of the 2019 New Zealand TV comedy Golden Boy.
In March 2019, it was announced that Matafeo had been cast as the lead in her first feature film, Baby, Done. Her co-star is Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film series. The comedy film is executive-produced by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi and is expected to be released in 2020. In August 2019, HBO Max and BBC Three announced they had ordered a scripted comedy created by, written by and starring Matafeo. Entitled Starstruck, the show will be broadcast by BBC Three in the UK and be available for streaming on HBO Max.
She currently hosts the podcast Boners of the Heart with comedian and writer Alice Snedden on the Little Empire Podcast Network. She was a guest on Deborah Frances-White’s The Guilty Feminist podcast and on the RHLSTP podcast with Richard Herring.
Matafeo has previously dated English comedian James Acaster and New Zealand comedian Guy Williams. Matafeo partly lives in London; when she first moved to the UK in 2015, she shared a flat with comedian Nish Kumar in Shepherd’s Bush for a while. Comedian Richard Herring was living in a house behind theirs at the time.
Matafeo is a fan of Burt Bacharach and named her cat “Bert Bachacat” after him.”
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