It doesn't seem that long ago since, crammed into one of the smallest, stuffiest rooms of The Pleasance venue in Edinburgh, I watched a slightly nerdy-looking, curly-mopped comedian act out an entire comedy play using mime and sound effects.
Rhys Darby's quirky show, which took an 'A' for effort if nothing else, was also being watched by the then Fringe darlings, and fellow Kiwis, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, aka musical comedy act Flight of the Conchords. Little did I know then that these men would subsequently fuse to create HBO's cult TV hit of the same name and that Darby would become a darling of the comedy world thanks to his portrayal as the hapless yet lovable fusspot Murray, the Conchords' manager.
Since the series started in 2007, Darby, an ex-soldier, has also found good fortune playing opposite Jim Carrey in Yes Man, enjoying an endorsement from Carrey who likened him to Peter Sellers, and had the dubious honour of being enlisted into Richard Curtis' barmy army for The Boat That Rocked.
His live shows promise a mix of physical comedy, quirky observations and storytelling and an opportunity for Darby's growing fanbase to see the man behind Murray – and to see if it really was more than national pride that saw his stand-up DVD go platinum back home in his native New Zealand.
Rhys Darby 'Live In London' is at Bloomsbury Theatre, 27, 28, 30, 31 July and 1 August; and at Shepherd's Bush Empire, 29 July. In Edinburgh he plays the Udderbelly from 6 to 15 August at 10pmReuse content