George Kapiniaris has been entertaining us for 25 years.
George Kapiniaris’ Rockstar is stage show which express the new realities of his life.
Think back. I was in primary school when my friends and I would put on performances of Acropolis Now with hand-written scripts transcribed by watching taped episodes on video.
I was fresh out of high school when I learnt the words Tsiki Tsiki to katsiki by heart and here I am in my 30s waiting to see what the boys are going to deliver in Il Dago 2 (with noodles).
An iconic figure in Australian-ethnic comedy, George has broken down barriers and thrust the Greek way of life into modern day Australia.
“What I do is no different to Barry Humphries”, explains George.
“Whereas Dame Edna Everage has three ducks on her wall, my yiayia has three pictures of the Acropolis. It’s the same thing.”
There’s something intimidating sitting across from a man who has been one of your voices for the past 25 years.
Who has made you proud of being a Greek Australian by doing something simple: making me laugh at who and what I am. Being a bit different was no longer something to be rizilied about.
“The whole thing is about laughing at ourselves. This is who we are, we invented laughter. If people get sensitive about it, it’s because you are holding a mirror up at them. It can be confronting” says Kapiniaris.
“We are celebrating our ethnicity – we’re not doing racist jokes, we’re doing wog jokes. We are liberating the audience. They recognise what’s going on and say ‘that’s exactly what it’s like’.”
Kapiniaris baulks at the idea that some people think he is an ambassador for Greeks around the world.
“I’m not. My job is to make people laugh. When I studied drama I was taught to educate and to entertain that’s what I do.
Not only educating on stage, but students around Australia are studying the cultural phenomenon of Acropolis Now and Kapiniaris’ character Memo.
“Memo to me is like Elvis, a legendary character but he’s been and gone.”
There is something frank about Kapiniaris and the way he speaks – it’s about the now. The shows coming up and in the future like Slum Wog Millionaire, a Bollywog production he is writing with Tahir (Fat Pizza) or George’s Greatest Hits.
“(‘George’s greatest hits’) is my best stuff, the stuff I love doing the most. It’s going to be a self-indulgent.”
Like the time you threw your toenail to my sister in the show The Last Proxy? Kapiniaris laughs, “there won’t be any toenails thrown but I am doing the sfaliara scene.”
The show George Rockstar, is about Kapiniaris having a baby and “becoming a serious person.” And has he?
“You have to become serious when you have a baby, but you don’t act seriously.
I had to tell my little one off today because he was being cheeky. And he looked at me like I was Brutus. ‘I thought we had a deal. You love me, and I love you, you love me no matter what happens.
I thought I could get away with stuff like this.’ ”
George Rockstar is on Saturday, 8pm, at Kinisi or more information go to: