Sam Wills, the New Zealand comic known as Tape Face, is bringing his act to Israel for three shows

Sam Wills can get an audience of thousands to roar with laughter – without ever even opening his mouth.

The comedian, mime and street performer is better known around the world as Tape Face because, yes, he performs with a piece of black tape across his mouth. It’s a performance that is difficult to explain to those who haven’t seen it – but Israelis will be getting the chance to see it this week. The New Zealand comic is bringing his act to Israel, performing three shows this weekend as his signature character.

His show includes mime, music, physical comedy and a whole lot of audience interaction.

“The ‘Tape Face’ show came about as a bit of a joke really,” Wills told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview. The 39-year-old had a lengthy career as a comedian, clown, circus act and street performer before ever pasting black tape across his mouth. “I took elements of my street performing into comedy so it was always audience interaction, but I talked a lot,” he said. Then, when he won a 2005 comedy award in his home country, he “kind of devised the tape face act to prove I could do a whole show without talking at all.”

Wills saw success in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, but one fateful TV appearance last year changed his life forever.

Wills, as Tape Face, of course, appeared on the 11th season of America’s Got Talent, wowing the judges with his comedy mime act and making it all the way to finale night.

“There’s just been genuine worldwide recognition of the act” after AGT aired, said Wills.

The YouTube clip of his performances on the TV program has now been viewed more than 38 million times. “It was definitely America that very much kicked open the doors for us touring and doing the show… we can start laying the foundation to going into even more countries and just start touring around.”



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