Multi award-winning rising star Rudy-Lee Taurua (Ngāti Rahiri me Ngāti Kawa) has made an impressive mark since the Māori-Scottish, Gay Australian comedian starting out on the star-making Adelaide comedy scene in 2019.
A prolific creative, Rudy-Lee has since written and performed three one-hour solo shows. His innate writing ability, charismatic presence and exceptional dedication to his craft saw Rudy’s debut show earn him both ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘People’s Choice’ at the 2022 Adelaide Comedy Awards.
With his incredible life story and striking appearance informing and populating the narrative of his comedy, Rudy has fast become a much sought after headline performer at comedy clubs and galas around Australia. Challenging a crowd to look further than their first impressions, Rudy extracts comedy from his own stories – including addiction and recovery, being a Queer man driving monster trucks in the mines of South Australia, and childhood trauma.
This raw and unvarnished view of the world, seen through his unique eyes, has garnered Rudy some remarkable opportunities. He performed for and addressed ViacomCBS employees around the world for their Global Inclusion Week sessions; and has appeared on New Zealand’s popular Te Ao Tapatahi program for Māori TV. In 2022 Rudy performed a set for the Just For Laughs Australia TV series, delivering a blazing set at the Sydney Opera House – to be broadcast on Channel Ten in 2023.
Already a preferred opening act for big-name acts including US stand-up comedian and podcaster Shane Gillis, comedy content-creating superstar Nat’s What I Reckon, and one of the biggest names in comedy on the planet, Jim Jefferies, Rudy-Lee was a smash hit when Jim invited him to join him on his 2022 arena tour. Performing to tens of thousands in arenas across New Zealand and Australia collected Rudy a legion of new fans.
Australia’s leading forum for debate and powerful first-person stories, SBS Insight did a special comedy episode with Rudy as featured comedian. Bad Joke, investigating the line when it comes to humour and what happens when you cross it, was accompanied by a powerful, must-read Op-Ed from Rudy on how he chooses laughter, despite the adversity he endured in his childhood. The episode hilariously got a second run on Prime Time TV when Rudy was discussed on top-rating GoggleBox Australia that week.
Named by UK comedy industry bible Chortle as one of the five hottest comics to watch for globally on their Comedy’s ones to watch for in 2022 list, the judges noted,
“Audience favourite Rudes is a stereotype buster, what you see is definitely not what you get. He plays heavily on the juxtaposition of his Indigenous heritage, his typically white Bogan day job of driving monster trucks around the world’s largest mine and his sexuality. His debut solo show sold out both its entire runs at Perth FringeWorld and Adelaide Fringe, extra shows were added for both”
A genuinely charismatic and exciting talent, this First Nations comedy dynamo is a force to be reckoned with and in a class of his own. A refreshing take on dark humour… Taurua pulls it off without losing the comedy. Proud to stake his place as a voice for the Queers, the Brothers, the Sisters and everyone in between, Rudy’s is a truly unique voice in world comedy.
Rudy-Lee draws from the personal to present humour from the potentially traumatic. With his style, set up and timing, using the lived experience lets Taurua position himself inside the jokes and creates strong connection for the audience… the punchlines both break the tension and provide sudden, sharp social critique.★★★★★ Glam Adelaide
Rudy-Lee reveals a great deal about his own experiences, from delightful to gritty, weaving in amusing anecdotes. You’ll feel welcomed in, learning about Rudy, his family, his childhood, his addictive history, his lovers, his gripes, and a glimpse of some of the corners where his perceptive mind has meandered. It’s disarming and warming. Rudy has been awarded a slew of comedy awards and it will be unsurprising to see him sweep a similar array at FRINGE WORLD 2021. It’s wall to wall incisive laughs.★★★★ Fringefeed