Comedian Cypriot Smurf has come a long way from making videos on Snapchat in his garage.
The 32-year-old is now on his first Australian tour, performing live sold out shows to his devoted Australian fans in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
The London-born Cypriot, who has lived in Cyprus for 21 years, has accumulated over 11.1k Youtube subscribers and over 50,000 Facebook followers.
Peter Kypri, aka the Cypriot Smurf, spoke to The Greek Herald about his journey into online comedy and his experience in Australia.
How the ‘Cypriot Smurf’ was born
When Peter started becoming more active on social media app, Snapchat, he was noticing comedians in different countries doing sketches.
Over time, he accumulated lots of ideas in his head and decided to try his luck. In his garage one day he tested a new look, complete with a fake moustache, fake chest hair and an alter-ego by the name of ‘Souvlaki’.
By day, Peter is a web developer for his family business. He thanks his supportive family for their support as he chases his passions.
How to keep comedy relevant and relatable…
Peter finds there are universal jokes that are always relatable among Greeks and Cypriots.
“We’re always late. We’re all related to everyone. There’s so many of us. We love food,” he said.
The Cypriot Smurf is constantly sourcing new ideas from life events that he experiences or hears about, mostly from the village in Cyprus. He finds putting his character into every day situations the most effective way to produce new content.
“What would a Cypriot do in that situation? I’m trying to modernise it, like put in the stereotype but also switch it up a bit,” explains the Cypriot Smurf.
One thing that he has always been conscious of is ensuring all his jokes are carried out with respect, and his love for his country is translated through his work.
“At the beginning I got some [negative feedback] because not a lot of people knew who I was, and even though I’ve been in Cyprus for so long I don’t look Greek or Cypriot. There was like, ‘this English Cypriot is going around making fun of us’,” explains Peter.
“Then they realised who I am and how much love I have for the country…then they enjoy it…I never want to copy anyone. I want to be unique. If I ever have an idea, I always try and search if it’s been done before I do it.”
Advice for budding comedians
When the Cypriot Smurf was asked about his advice for aspiring comedians, he said:
“Do it because you love it. Do it because it’s your dream…your goal. There’s so much room for more and more comedians. More people in this world that can make people smile and laugh the better, especially with all the things that are going on in the world now.”
He also believes that chasing fame or money will not result in career success, particularly in the area of “going viral”.
“Do your best. Work hard. Consistency is key. Keep creating and don’t look at numbers or views. Just do it cause you love it.”
“With something like playing an instrument, or singing, or comedy, do it cause you love it. Don’t just look at the money. That’s what my family’s always taught me anyway…If you’re doing it for money, you may as well stop now. People are going to understand the love isn’t there as well.”
Peter has visited Adelaide and Melbourne, and is now in Australia to perform shows yesterday (Saturday 21st) and today (Sunday 22nd).
While his visit has been short, he has picked up on Australian culture very quickly.
“Adelaide’s more like home…more like Cyprus. Everything’s close, it’s really beautiful. I love it. Melbourne is really good because I’m with all my boys. They were the boys I made friends with,” he explains.
“Sydney…I’m in the city…if I was in a suburb I’d probably enjoy it more, but because I’m in the city and there’s so many people, I’m not really a city boy…but it is nice. It’s a shame about all the fires. Really upsetting.”
In regards to the reaction of his comedy in Australia, Cypriot Smurf tries to apply the same respect he has for Cyprus everywhere he goes.
“In Cyprus, it’s so small the only thing you really need is respect…Even though Australia is huge I try to do the same.”
Watch Cypriot Smurf’s special Australia edition video below: