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Real Life

Melanie Bracewell's comic sense

As the winner of a battle of wits, Melanie Bracewell is having the last laugh.

By Laura Weaser
Going head-to-head with some of the finest amateur Kiwi comics for the title of Georgie Pie Comedy Apprentice, 19-year-old Melanie Bracewell admits she was surprised to be named the winner of the TV3 competition. Not because she has any doubt about her ability to make people laugh, but because her own family neglected to vote for her.
“Mum voted for Lucy [Edwards, the only other female of the six finalists],” Melanie says with a laugh. “And Dad didn’t even vote, so I haven’t got the backing of the family, but luckily I do from the New Zealand public!”
“It was a bit of a mistake, actually,” mum Lynette interjects. “I didn’t have my glasses on and because they both looked similar, I just clicked ‘vote’ on the website. By the time I realised, it was too late to go back. I told all my friends to please vote for my daughter to right my wrongs.”
Describing her humour as “unpredictable”, Auckland resident Melanie says she’s influenced by her father Rick’s love of stand-up and her mum’s “no filter” wit.
“She comes out with anything she thinks of and doesn’t worry what people think.”
Melanie has her hilarious mum Lynette to thank for influencing her sense of humour.
Lynette (54) explains that it was due to being brought up with four brothers. “So I can be a bit crude sometimes. I guess I just don’t have any limits. I’ll say what’s on my mind.”
Melanie entered the Comedy Apprentice competition on a whim, spurred on by her friends, and was shocked to get a good result.
As part of making the final cut, Melanie and the five other finalists were privy to workshops at Auckland’s Classic Comedy Bar, hosted by comedians Jeremy Corbett and Dai Henwood, before presenting a mini 7 Days show.
Her prize for winning included a stint on 7 Days, where she featured in the “Caption That” round.
The Comedy Apprentice competition was communication student Melanie’s first foray into the world of stand-up.
“With stand-up, there’s no going back – all eyes are on you and there’s no back-up,” she tells. “And going on 7 Days was a different kind of nervous. I was a little starstruck by all the comedians! But I managed to get a few jokes in.”
Melanie with 7 Days host Jeremy Corbett.
With a corporate gig alongside Paul Ego planned for the near future, and several shows booked at the Classic, Melanie plans to keep writing and performing to see where her sense of humour takes her. And if that’s a career in comedy, then that’s fine by Mum.
“We have always encouraged her to go for her dreams and never conform,” Lynette affirms. “At 19, you’re still trying to find yourself, so she’s off to a good start. This time, we’ll back her all the way!”

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