He’s the Newcastle-bred comedian and YouTube sensation who has never been shy about confronting controversy head-on.
And now Isaac Butterfield will be bringing his anticipated Why So Serious tour to the Civic Theatre and he couldn’t be more chuffed.
Speaking to Newcastle Live, the hirsute funnyman said that while his burgeoning career has taken him all around the country and increasingly the globe, the opportunity to play at the iconic Newy venue was definitely one for the bucket list.
“This is the place that I always wanted to play,” he said. “I saw comedians there for many years and always thought to myself one thing I want to do one day is sell that out. I’ve sold out all over the country but to do it at such a big venue in your home town in front of people who grew up around you.
“The history of The Civic, the amount of laughs, tears and performances it has seen, I think that something is held within the walls and that’s the really interesting part – it’s a really big deal for me.”
Isaac originally wanted to follow in his Newcastle Knight icon father Tony’s footsteps and make a career in football until he realised as an overweight 13-year-old that a sporting life wasn’t for him.
He then turned his attention to comedy and eventually to his YouTube channel which now boasts almost a million subscribers.
“I always had an interest in standup. I used to love Billy Connolly and shows like the Glass House on the ABC,” he said.
“Then over time I discovered people like Jim Jefferies who gave me an understanding that you don’t necessarily need to be a politically correct comedian you’d see on Channel Ten, you can be a pig. So I thought: “why don’t I do this as a job.?'”
When it comes to the art of joke-telling, don’t expect too many sacred cows to survive an Isaac Butterfield set. From religion to over-zealous cyclists and vegans, nothing is off-limits for this comedian. In fact, the more offensive the better.
“A lot of people enjoy horribly offensive humour – that’s what I love,” he said. “I love being offended I love seeing a comedian that gets up there and says something that makes you think “I’m an arsehole for laughing,” that’s just how my mind works. I’ve tried to write clean comedy – I hate it.”
Isaac added he had little interest in capitulating to outrage culture, admitting he does what he does in the pursuit of the funniest punchline possible.
“The vast majority of comedians in Australia have lost their edge in my opinion,” Isaac said.
“They do stand up because they know it will get them gigs and not because they find it funny. It’s a bit sad that they won’t do certain jokes because it might affect their ability to get a gig at the comedy store whereas I’ve always been like, “fuck that do what you think is funny.”
“I love being offended I love seeing a comedian that gets up there and says something that makes you think “I’m an a***hole for laughing,”Isaac Butterfield
However, there are always going to be people who don’t get the joke and most recently Isaac was brought to task over a Holocaust-related joke he told at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
“As for the controversy, a lot of it is taken out of context and the media runs with it. I don’t mind that people are talking about me…who cares,” Isaac said.
“The Holocaust joke was completely taken out of context. The fact that they ran with the quote that wasn’t even said is just shoddy journalism. Now I have a ten minute bit in my act about it, so it helps.
“I don’t shy away from controversy – it’s important to embrace it.”
However, Isaac was quick to add that all of his humour comes from a good place.
“Everything I say and do, it never comes from a place of hate. I’m not a hateful person I love everybody but sometimes I say mean and horrible things”
Catch Isaac Butterfield at The Civic Theatre on Saturday, September 7. Get your tickets here.