Seriously, they re funny
OMEDY in South Africa has come a long way since aired on SABC1 more than a decade ago.
Thanks to the original kings of comedy, who starred and wrote for the comedy skit
Kagiso Lediga, Loyiso Gola, David Kau and Joey Rasdien it has grown into a lucrative career for many.
These guys themselves have expanded the industry by establishing their own shows, such as Gola’s
which has a steady audience and has won several awards.
Riaad Moosa left the medical profession to take up the hilarity.
Trevor Noah has grown in leaps and bounds from the shy boy he was back in 2007. He has become one of the most successful guys to represent South Africa on the global stage, having appeared on with Jay Leno and taken part in a show.
Rasdien, whose one-man show leaves you with awkward questions about evolution, says comedy is the reason he lives comfortably.
I get paid to talk s**t. How awesome is that?” he once said.
Many of these comedians were discovered by John Vlismas and Kedibone Mulaudzi and have in turn opened up paths for many others.
But the established stars are not the only ones making waves up-andcoming comedians are as funny and are working hard to make a name for themselves.
The guys at Cafe Del Khuze, next to the popular House 22 in Pretoria, remind you of the good old underground days at Melville s Cool Runnings in Joburg.
Every week you get to experience raw talent at this
And unlike comedy shows that repeat comedians where those in the audience already know the punchlines, this one doesn’t.
This weekly event which is free has been running for the past year. It’s fast gaining popularity and will soon be asking patrons for an entrance fee of 50 bucks to feed the funny guys who are hungry for fame.
organiser Peter Mashata Mabuse, a comedian by night and residence manager at the Tshwane University of Technology by day, says he is always on the prowl for new talent.
This is a business and
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/ + " 3 # '& 8& + %. " " " also bread and butter for many of these guys who rely on comedy to make a living. We go to schools, parks, anywhere you can think of, to discover newbies You can’t learn to be funny. It’s either you are or you are not.”
He says its important for South Africans to laugh at least once a week.
We live in a very stressful environment, so we encourage people to come here, buy a beverage and just sit back and forget their problems. And the jokes we tell here are real jokes, not stolen or old material. It’s content for mature adults not too much swearing and it doesn’t involve dissing people, cos that’s just not funny,” he says.
Rising star Elton Mduduzi started on this stage and this year won the audience choice award at the Comic’s Choice Awards another initiative by Vlismas.
Mabuse says others to look out for are Collen Salesman” Chepi and Noko Moswete.
Salesman is very popular and has become a headline act here. Noko will be the hottest female in the next few months I am confident of this. She does 99% Sesotho comedy and is helluva funny.
Kau says the evolution of the comedy scene has been especially great for black comedians, who are using their talent to make a living.
It’s been good for transformation. I think some comedians still struggle with acceptance in terms of the industry, especially corporates, which are still very white.
The companies that book you and the booking agents if they don’t understand your comedy in vernacular, it’s hard to make corporate money and charge corporate fees.”
A lot of comedians try to fit into that and lose a bit of who they are or how funny they are, because naturally we re funnier in our mother tongue. But it’s getting better, a lot of comedians are realising there’s nothing wrong with being funny in other languages.”
Kau s annual show has also introduced new talent.
He says Skhumba Skhumbuzo Hlophe, Loyiso Madinga and Thapelo Tips Seemise are comics to watch out for.
If you want to tickle your funny bone further, Dilan Oliphant, Carvin H Goldstone, Simmi Areff, Robby Collins and Mojak Lehoko are also hot new talent to check out. These boys are the rewriting the rules of comedy and making the circle so much bigger.
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