Quick-witted, refreshingly frank and devastatingly deadpan, comedian Jo Gowda moved from Bangalore to Brisbane 11 years ago. Now her one-hour standup show Export Quality is coming to the Brisbane Comedy Festival.

Gowda’s comedy speaks to the immigrant experience in Brisbane, parenting a child in a foreign culture, and the universal battle not to disappoint your parents. Her set touches on everything from stereotyping to the nuances of arranged marriages (and why they’re basically a more effective Tinder), cricketer Virat Kohli, and parenting styles.

Gowda sat down with Broadsheet to tell us the funniest thing about Brisbane, her favourite post-gig snack, and the best local spots to get a taste of her home town.

Never miss a Brisbane moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a Brisbane-based standup comedian. I was born in Bangalore, India, and have called Brisbane home for the last 11 years. I am a mum to a six-year-old, very Australian little girl who is my inspiration and the butt of my jokes. I’m doing my debut Brisbane Comedy Festival show in May, called Export Quality.

What do you love about Brisbane?

I love the relaxed pace of life in Brisbane. It offers an odd sense of familiarity. It has all the comforts of a big metropolis as well as the quietude of suburban living.

Tell us a bit about your act at the Brisbane Comedy Festival?

In my show, I talk about the immigrant experience living in Australia. I talk about the absurdities that come from raising a child in a culture totally different to you. My daughter and I may look alike, but we are chalk and cheese (or chapati and cheese)!

What’s the funniest thing about Brisbane?

Why is it called Bris-bane when it is very much a Bris-boon to live in this beautiful city?

Where’s your favourite spot for a late-night post-gig snack?

Caxton Street Brewing Company. Their burgers are amazing!

Where can you find the best Indian food in Brisbane?

There are a bunch of decent Indian restaurants for your traditional curries and fluffy naan. But as a South Indian, my go-to Indian is Balti in Holland Park. They make the best Chicken 65, which is deep-fried chicken that’s later pan-fried with some extra spices and lots of curry leaves. Their biryani is divine too, and can be made to suit your spice level – always hits the spot.

What’s one of the city’s most underrated spots?

Westfield Chermside? Just kidding. Whenever we have family or friends visiting, we like to take them on the Citycat for a tour of Brisbane. You get a front-row seat to admire the skyline and all the landmarks. We like to go around twilight time; it is one of the most gorgeous ways to take in the beauty of Brisbane.

Export Quality is on at Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5. Tickets available now.