16 Oct 2022

Chris Parker: finding the extraordinary and the hilarious in the ordinary

From Saturday Morning, 3:05 pm on 16 October 2022

Comedian Chris Parker loves the "instant gratification" of performing live but enjoyed going deeper while writing his new book Here For a Good Time: Organised Thoughts From A Disorganised Mind.

"I've enjoyed looking through hairstyles and all the gay hairdressers who've given them to me and I've enjoyed looking through shame and dating. And I enjoyed writing about my platonic friendships growing up in Christchurch … it's surprising what pops up for you when you're writing," he tells Kim Hill.

Chris Parker and book cover 'Here For A Good Time'

Photo: Supplied / Nic_Staveley

During the worst of the pandemic, Chris cheered up many New Zealanders with his Instagram mini-dramas.

He also began felting, eventually creating small woollen versions of Ashley Bloomfield, Jacinda Ardern and the Zoom logo.

Chris added these and some other creations to a felted hat that's now on display at the Auckland Museum.

"I've got unpaid parking fines and I'm in a museum."


A post shared by Chris Parker (@chrisparker11)

After the isolation of the pandemic, Chris wanted to create a sense of community at his very recent wedding to designer Micheal McCabe.

"Our families had never met before and I figured everyone is on their best behaviour at a wedding - they're trying to make it work. Life is so meaningless, why not create meaning in your life?"

Speeches were given at the beginning of the night and vows – "the most dramatic part of a wedding" – were exchanged at the end, followed by dancing.

Among them, Chris and Micheal vowed to remember each other's phone numbers off by heart – "a very old-school promise of romance" that's also handy for filling out your emergency contact details on forms.

Chris says because Michael proposed he was the 'bride', but they still had a bit to figure out who should do what.

"All these choices with a gay wedding that we hadn't thought of – who walks down the aisle? Who holds the flowers?"

The couple met seven years ago on a dating app after Chris had determined to start dating "with sustainability in mind".

"I thought how do I get out of here? How do I get out of this Auckland central-city-suburb clique? Tinder was my way out."

Another of the vows he made to Michael at their wedding was to prioritise their relationship over work.

"It's only been a week but I feel happier," he says.

Writing Here For a Good Time – a collection of short stories and essays – made Chris realise he wants to work less and enjoy life more.

"I want to be, ideally, in Italy. Like, don't we all?"

Chris Parker on RNZ:

'How I Felt' - Chris Parker at the International Comedy Festival

Chris Parker on winning Celebrity Treasure Island 

Chris Parker's favourite things

Kip Chapman and Chris Parker on Hudson and Halls Live!