George Kapiniaris: A pioneer of ‘ethnic humour’ in Australia
Featured image by Ivy Fleming
Story by Minh Nguyen
Legendary Greek-Australian comedian George Kapiniaris has been making audiences laugh for decades.
Born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, George found himself surrounded by multiculturalism from an early age, living in a neighbourhood predominantly made up of Italian and Turkish families.
However, when George and his family relocated to East Doncaster, he felt he became a foreigner, moving from a school that he said was made up of around 90 per cent Greek students, to a school where he felt like the only Greek student.
“That was a real culture shock and a lot of my ideas for comedy come from that shock,” he explained.
“I’m still a proud Greek-Australian and I’m still very excited and proud of my Greek heritage, but I’m proud to be an Australian as well.”
Passionate about drama for as long as he can remember, George never missed a musical at school and it was under the guidance of his drama teacher that he chose to study at Rusden College.
It was here where he met his co-star and good friend, Simon Palomares.
After successfully working with Simon for the comedy skit The Tiboldi Brothers, Nicholas Giannopoulos joined the duo to create Acropolis Now, a significant moment in George’s career.
“I’m probably still working because of that show,” he laughed.
I try to bring my comedy into the ‘now’ - I still talk about being Greek from a Greek background, but I also try to talk about how I feel now as a Greek-Australian.
Continuing his journey of stand-up comedy, George is currently performing his latest show Malakas With Attitude.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to think that sometimes I am unfortunate – it’s like I’m cursed and I can’t do anything else,” he said.
“When you’re doing stand-up comedy, you basically become another person who is telling a story about yourself in third person.
“The biggest highlight is the moment when the audience give us such great round of applause.”
Besides performing his current show, George continues to work on another project with long-time friend Tony Nikolakopoulos, a show currently titled The Life of Byron.
Check out George’s website HERE for all the latest updates and his upcoming shows.