More than 20 years ago, Augie “T” Tulba took the stage at Vidinha Stadium as a young standup comedian, a gig that triggered a decades-long career and the release of nine comedy DVDs.
“I was this young comedian Andy Bumatai brought along. Nobody knew who I was and nobody laughed,” Tulba said. “I remember walking off stage saying ‘this sucks’ and Andy said ‘brah, you get ‘em, don’t quit’.”
Now, Tulba’s getting ready to tour the country with his new show: “Augie T—Last Stand,” which he is filming as a special for Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The show is made up of new material, with some of his funniest bits sprinkled in — some of which was first aired out on the stage at the Waimea Theatre, where Tulba spends occasional weekends working on new bits.
“It’s a best of with some new stuff and I call it ‘Last Stand’ because I don’t know what’s next,” he said.
The show marks a change in Tulba’s comedy career, which has been 27 years of regular shows throughout Hawaii and hosting the Augie Radio Show on 95.9 FM Da Pa’ina.
During his time on the comedy scene, Tulba has also worked for marketing companies, for the mayor’s office on Hawaii Island and for Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.
Tulba said he’s not necessarily going to quit his current gigs on radio and touring Hawaii, but he’s focusing on a nationwide tour and on supporting his daughter Mahealani’s foundation, “Brave Hawaii,” which focuses on anti-bullying messaging to schools.
Some of the money generated from his shows supports the foundation, and Tulba helps the foundation with skits that teach kids how to identify bullies and how to respond to bullying.
“She (Mahealani Tulba) was bullied in school. Instead of letting it keep her down she created something that has now reached over 70,000 students,” Tulba said.
He’s is also considering running for office.
“I love serving the community and helping out,” he said. “I feel making people laugh is doing that in a way, but there’s a side of me that might run for office and it’s something I’m totally interested in.”
But, while he’s filming Last Stand he plans to show the mainland what Hawaii comedians have to offer — shows that are peppered with plenty pidgin and jokes about current events, with antics to sew it all together.
“We’re unique. You wanna watch a regular comic do standup comedy you can go to Comedy Central and see something similar to everyone else,” Tulba said. “Wanna see something that’s unique, than braddah I’ve been doing it for 27 years.”
Hawaii has a list of Heisman finalists and baseball players that have won the World Series, and President Barack Obama hails from Hawaii — Tulba said he plans to help put Hawaii comedy on the map, as well.
“There’s some funny people in Hawaii and we have a unique perspective,” Tulba said. “I wanna bring that unique brand of comedy to the Mainland and say hey, look, we’re doing something out here in the middle of the ocean.”
“Augie T – Last Stand” is coming to Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall with special guests Jose Dynamite and Daryl Bonilla on Friday, Dec. 21. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets in advance are $20 or $35 with a $5 increase on those prices the day of the show. Presale tickets are available at Hawaiian Artisans in the Coconut MarketPlace, Rob’s Good Times Grill, Kalaheo Cafe &Coffee and online at Brown Paper Tickets.
Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or email@example.com.