When Raybon Kan first appeared on the comedy scene, he was profiled on TV’s 60 Minutes and became a fixture in the NZ Comedy Festival Gala. He’s been named Best Comedian in Metro Magazine (twice) and North & South Magazine (twice). Reader’s Digest named Raybon one of the 50 Most Trusted Kiwis, and more significantly, he’s been listed (accurately) among David Hartnell’s Top Ten Worst Dressed.
He’s performed at major comedy festivals such as Montreal’s Just for Laughs (twice), Edinburgh and Melbourne, where The Age declared his show ‘Dazed and Confucius’ one of the festival highlights.
Raybon’s TV work includes a documentary in which he trained intensively for two months to be a casino croupier. He was the spokes-comic of the budget airline Freedom Air, in TV commercials in both NZ and Australia. He also fronted humorous commercials for a bank called Freedom Finance (no relation to the airline.) Drawn to quizzes, he was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune in America, and he won TVNZ’s Test the Nation three times, and believes he should have won The Great NZ Spelling Bee. He’s acted in TV sketches and movie cameos, for directors including Geoff Murphy, and for a while he was the film critic on TV3’s Nightline.
Before turning to stand-up, Raybon honed his comedy in print, as a columnist, in such publications as the Listener and Sunday Star Times. His books include America on Five Bullets a Day (Random House), and the bestselling An Asian at my Table (Penguin). Currently he writes a column in the New Zealand Herald.
Raybon studied law at Victoria University, graduating with honours, and gaining admission to the Bar. His legal research was published in the New Zealand Law Journal. A champion debater, he led Victoria University’s team to second place in the World Debating Championships, losing the final to Oxford. As a student, he also won the NZ Universities Impromptu Speaking Competition.
Never one to refuse a pun, his show titles include Egotesticle, Raybon of the Lost Ark, and a Christmas show, Clear and Present Manger. Challenged to come up with a James Bond show-title, he chose The Man With the Golden Raybon, ahead of much stronger candidates Raybon Never Comes, and Raybonpussy. He also came up with the title for the NZ comedy/horror film, Diagnosis: Death.
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