Good year for local comedy ahead of industry awards
The usually laid-back yet classy Katzy’s in the Hyatt Shopping Centre in Rosebank was invaded this week by a rowdy bunch of comedians with buckets of Savanna ciders, courtesy of the event’s sponsor, for the announcement of this year’s Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards nominees. The theme for the 7th edition of the awards is “freedom of funny”. And the involvement of sponsor Nando’s prompted host Lihle Lindzi to say: “They know all about having to fight for their freedom of funny.”
Lindzi did a slick job hosting this event without breaking a sweat. The journalists present played along with the help of the new Savanna tequila flavour and a lovely light lunch with (to-die-for) calamari kebabs on offer.
Local comedians have been breaking ground, not waiting for international comics to drop certain schemes or punch lines for them to replicate for local audiences. They have been steadily generating unique styles and fresh content.
It has been a good year for comedy with some really solid offerings at events such as Blacks Only and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Comedians including Robby Collins, Pelepele, the entertaining Skhumba Hlophe and queen of vernacular comedy Celeste Ntuli have kept the nation giggling if not bruised with carpet burns.
Lindzi was jokingly surprised to see Hlophe nominated in a category for writing. “You write these days, bra? I didn’t know.” Of course, Hlophe replied: “I don’t write, I just talk and it’s sold out.”
The highlight of the event was the presence of comedy veteran Cyril Green, who is “an elderly gentleman” (cough) and even had to be helped up to the podium. But once he was up there, he delivered what must surely be one of the longest and funniest jokes in recollection.
As a master of the art, he’s set to receive the Lifetime Achiever Award at the awards ceremony in September.