Nominee Best Comedy 2018 Melbourne Fringe

Charlie Zangel never felt like a magpie. Which is probably a good thing, because they’re all full of shit.

A RAW Comedy finalist and Comedy Zone alumni, Charlie is finally flying solo in his heartfelt and hilarious debut show.

Read on to spend 5 minutes with Charlie Zangel:

 How would you describe your show to someone who knew nothing about it? 

Cockatiel is a toe-tapping, wing-flapping, bird-crapping collage of comedy gold! It follows the tale of a young homosexual on the road to glory. And Grindr. And the callous wasteland we call stand-up comedy. (Also there’s an ongoing rivalry with Australian icon Nikki Webster.)

What/Who was its inspiration?

Going to an extremely Catholic homophobic all boys school, I never felt part of the flock. But a cockatiel doesn’t feel like a magpie – and maybe that’s a good thing, because magpies are full of shit. This show is me coming into my own, spreading my wings and flying solo in my MICF debut.

What do you think it’s best quality is? 

Its earnestness. My show, which blends stand-up with live songs, sketches and storytelling, is held together by a strong emotional core. At its heart, the show is my love letter to other cockatiels growing up queer in Melbourne.

Why should people see it? 

Because one day, when I’m Nicole Kidman’s protégé and body double, you’ll wanna be able to say “I saw him when he was still a twink!”

If there is one thing you would like to say to your fans, what is it? 

There can be 99 people in a room, who are not Lady Gaga. But if one of them is Lady Gaga, then that’s pretty cool. Also thanks for being a fan.

Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career? 

I’m obsessed with Australian music, especially those with storytelling like Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly and Kate Miller-Heidke. I’m also a diehard musical theatre kid so I love any comedian who transverses between comedy and musical theatre. Jude Perl and Tim Minchin are big icons.

Who makes you want to create

I love making my sister laugh. She’s got a demented sense of comedy like me, and we’ve always shared a love for the ridiculous. She knows me better than anyone, so I try to create for her. If she likes it, then it’s probably good, and, more importantly, true to me.

When did it become clear to you that comedy and entertainment were your passions? 

When I was put forward as the host of my primary school’s extremely Catholic Christmas production “Jesus Christ, This Is Your Life”. I completely took over the show. I started improvising bits and derailed the whole night. People had a lot of opinions about me in the Parish newsletter that week. But like I always say, opinions are like assholes – mine’s the best.

What does comedy, creation and entertainment mean to you? 

It’s everything. Especially after last year, having lockdown and losing the Comedy Festival, I’ve realised more than ever how deeply I miss making absolute batshit nonsense. The arts are the lifeblood of society. It’s what keeps us all going.

What are 3 words that describe you? 

Really, really gay.

What are 3 things that  would surprise people to learn about you?

I’m an incredible runner. I would regularly win the athletics carnivals at school, despite never showing up to any training.

I have a pop-rock single on Spotify & iTunes called “Drama Queen”
I once served Michelle Bridges who was purchasing Michelle Bridges branded clothes.

How excited are you to be performing in front of a live audience again after last year’s covid shut down?

Absolutely ecstatic. It’s a bit surreal after so long away from the game, but I’m ravenous to get back up there. This festival is gonna be such a joy, I’m pumped.

What is next for you?

After MICF I’m diving back into screenwriting and playwrighting, as I have some big show ideas coming down the pipeline. I also wanna keep working on my podcast, POPGAYS, and building my YouTube channel (where I roast teen movies from the 2000s. It’s a whole vibe.) Check them both out! And see you at Cockatiel, lovelies!


                              Charlie Zangel Cockatiel

Charlie Zangel is a genderqueer stand-up, writer and Nicole Kidman body double from Melbourne. After making his foray into the world of stand-up as his drag alter-ego Charity Werk in 2018, Charlie quickly made a splash in the Australian comedy circuit, earning a Best Comedy nomination for his Melbourne Fringe show Community Service, and earning a prestigious place in MICF’s The Comedy Zone (2019) – a month-long showcase of the best and brightest new comedians in the country. 

 A jack of many trades, Charlie is excited to bring original songs and a camp sense of theatre to the world of stand-up comedy with Cockatiel. 

March 24 – April 5