Dai Henwood promises live Comedy Treatment show won't be triggering for cancer sufferers

New Zealand comedian Dai Henwood says ANZ Presents: The Comedy Treatment on Thursday will cover some aspects of cancer, but is primarily focussed on just having a laugh.

The live show is to be broadcast on Three and Three Now from 8.30pm and Henwood told Newshub he's looking forward to doing what he does best: telling jokes and entertaining.

"It's sold out, but the upside is it has and we've got endless amounts of tickets for anyone who wants to watch it on TV!" he said.

"This is a completely unique show. I can't think of any time almost worldwide, let alone in New Zealand, that a stand up comedy show has gone live to air, so the people watching on TV will literally be watching in real time with the people in the theatre. There isn't often an exact script for stand up comedy, so anything can happen."

The event takes place at Auckland's Q Theatre where audiences will watch the likes of Justine Smith, Mel Bracewell, Josh Thomson, Ben Hurley and Chris Parker amuse the crowds.

Henwood said it's great to work with "a really tight knit bunch of people". 

"We all know each other, we work together, we tour around together, and I was stoked to see so many of the names on board. Justine Smith was the best man at my wedding and is one of my closest friends. Same with Ben Hurley. Josh Thomson as well. The talent on the show is huge." 

He said while comedy is subjective, he was confident everyone would enjoy the show.

"This is like the cream of the crop. They're all very different comedians, so you're going to get such a diverse range of styles and material. The best thing is I'm in an all care, no responsibility role here," he laughed. 

"I mean, I would have loved to have had Eddie Murphy, or Dave Chappelle - but unfortunately, none of them answered my emails. But the other flipside is we've only got an hour. So there's the juxtaposition of you obviously want lots of comics, but you want comics who are on TV long enough to see it. Yeah, and they all have about five or six minutes, which isn't that long, but it's  long enough for them to deliver the laughs."

Henwood's well aware the spectre of his own incurable cancer will be part of the show, but he's adamant it won't be "triggering" for those watching if they've been touched by the disease either directly or indirectly.

"Even though it comes because of such a heavy sort of topic, we're raising money for the Cancer Society who do such great work, and it's going to be fun also. If people are worried like they're going through cancer or they know people who are, the show won't be triggering, it's not a comedy show about cancer," he said.

"It is just comedians doing what they do best, which is standup comedy about every topic. Obviously, I am going through advanced cancer, so I've got a few bits of material that aren't exactly about cancer, they're more about the goings on around it with MRI scans and all that sort of carry on. So it is not going to be a triggering show for anyone who is affected by cancer. It's just going to be straight-up laughs for a great cause."

The 7 Days star also said he was optimistic the show will help raise funds and awareness of what Daffodil Day this week actually is, and what other services the Cancer Society has to offer those who are on their own cancer journey.

"I'll show you a couple of inserts that are going to go into the show over what people use the Cancer Society services for,  just to show the range of services they have for people travelling outside of Auckland," he said.

"They've got accommodation, they drive people to and from treatments. There's some massage therapy, there's counselling and therapy. All of these things I want people to know about because I really want people who are going through cancer to realise these amazing services that exist from the Cancer Society are for them. And they're free.

"But the people who are thinking about donating, they can realise, 'Wow, accommodation in central Auckland costs a lot, therapy costs - these things cost money'. So there's a reason why you should just donate some of your coffee money."

ANZ Presents: The Comedy Treatment airs live on Three on Thursday at 8.30pm and on Three Now. Donations can be made online to the ANZ Daffodil Day for the Cancer Society.