Actor and comedian George Kapiniaris, known for his role as Memo in hit Greek Aussie sitcom Acropolis Now, is bringing his latest stage show, The Big Fat Greek Music & Comedy Variety Show to Victoria and NSW.

Kapiniaris will be joined by Wog Boy & film legend Tony Nikolakopoulos as well as musicians ‘Queen of Kinisi’ Maria Maroulis and bouzouki extraordinaire Pantelis Krestas.

It is a variety show that promises a little bit of everything – a dash of romance, a sprinkle of musical magic, and a whole lot of laughter.

Comedy and music meld to create an entertaining comedic narrative of Greek Australians. But more than that it is a celebration of the universal power of humour. Humour makes great challenges survivable.

Having a laugh is at the core of our existence. If you can’t laugh…then…

Kapiniaris on stage. Photo: Supplied

Kapiniaris was inspired by seeing Italians do successful stand-up variety shows, and wanted to that with a Greek flavour.

“Greeks love comedy but not as much as the Italians, they love music, so I came up with the idea to combine the two,” he told Neos Kosmos.

“What if we do a show, that we’ve got not only stand up, but we’ve got sketches, characters, bouzoukia and singers.”

What started off as a one time show in Adelaide alongside Basile The Comedian, was a major success, so Kapiniaris has brought it back- again and again, with different comedians and sketches.

Tony Nikolakopoulos, Maria Maroulis, Pantelis Krestas and George Kapiniaris on stage. Photo: Supplied

Live Greek music makes the show diverge from Kapiniaris’ other stand-up comedy work.

The musicians are a chorus for Kapiniaris’ court. He as the Jester builds a narrative through comedy, satire, and storytelling.

Music and dance, become signpost the comedic pathos, and the story, that Kapeniaris curates. In the end, it is fundamentally an entertaining experience.

“Maria gets to be in a different environment with our show, she gets to be a part of the sketches and as well as singing and doing a bit of comedy too, which she is really enjoying with us,” Kapiniaris said.

All on stage get involved with the music and comedy, even if it’s not up their repertoire, leaving space for comedy.

“It’s not just in Greek, it’s in English because we want everyone to come and see it, not just. Greeks.”

“We do a couple of Italian songs as well because Maria is half Italian and half Greek, but she can’t speak Greek, but she sings in Greek, which is crazy.

The show is constantiy changing – he’s always throwing in something new for the audiences.

Tony Nikolakopoulos, Maria Maroulis, Pantelis Krestas and George Kapiniaris. Photo: Supplied

“You don’t have to be Greek to love it, if you’ve seen the show, you’re going to see something new anyway.”

“There’s this one new character that I’ve got, we do a an arrange of marriage in the show, we teach an Aussie how to dance and speak Greek.”

“Then we finished the night off with a huge Zorba. We just get everybody up and we dance a Zorba around the crowd. It’s a party.”

The Big Fat Greek Music & Comedy Variety Show is another entry into Kapiniaris’ long list of ethnic comedy shows and appearance across stage and TV.

The Wogs Out of Work  review broke all threater attendances and was one of the most toured and long running comedy review to date.

They set the template for all other ethnic stand-up and skit comedy in Australia.  Super Wog, Sooshi Mango –  who drew new audiences online – are anchored in Kapeniaris’ and his conspirators pioneering work.

Tony Nikolakopoulos. Photo: Supplied

When he first got into stand-up with his Wogs Out of Work and Acropolis Now co-star Simon Palomares, they didn’t intend to do Greek, ethnic or ‘woggy’ comedy but did because they were just telling their stories.

“You had Aussies doing stand-up talking about this is what the Aussie BBQ is like, so then we talked about this is what a Greek BBQ is like,” he said.

“Eventually the audience was finding us and saying ‘hey, you’re the ethnic comedians we’ve been waiting for’.

“Finally, someone’s talking about being Greek or ethnic, not a Carly and Jason, but a Spiro and Soula.

“In the end we became sort of these idols, which is nice, but it was never the intention.”

After years of doing the ‘wog stuff’ Kapiniaris, the tertiary trained actor, craved some serious acting, wanted to show another side, challenge the character we’ve known for 40 years.

All four performers on stage. Photo: Supplied

All these works on stage where he wasn’t playing a Greek, was a good experience “but none of my audience came to it. They wanted to see the wog stuff.”

Finally, when asked about Nick Giannopoulos, whose doing his last live show on stage, George wishes him well but shared that he has no plans to ever stop himself.

“For me it’s like food performing in front of a crowd, if I don’t perform in front of people, I get very grumpy, so I have to do it.”

“I’m a performance poutana. That round of applause is better than any alcohol, better than any drug, any food.

“The applause and the laughter that you get from the crowd is a big high for me. I might have a headache or I might feel sick, but on stage I feel like a million dollars.”

Pantelis Krestas and Maria Maroulis. Photo: Supplied

The Big Fat Greek Music & Comedy Variety heads to Victoria on Fri April 12 at the Sphinx Hotel in North Geelong and Sat April 13, Matthew Flinders Hotel, Chadstone.

In NSW, the show runs Thur April 18, Centro CBD, Wollongong, Fri April 19, Bankstown Sports, Bankstown, Sat April 20, Liverpool Catholic Club and Sun April 21, Smithfield RSL, Smithfield.

Tickets can be bought online.