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Bafunny Bafanas

Bafunny Bafanas

by Daniel Friedman / 15.06.2010

The premise behind Bafunny Bafunny is that if South Africa had to choose a team to represent us at some kind of Comedy World Cup, it would be these guys, complete with cute World Cup nicknames – Barry “the Cousin” Hilton, Kagiso “Ka Ka” Lediga, Markos Santanos Bankos, John “Die Voel” Vlismas, Lloyiso “Laduuuma” Gola, Nik “Bokkie” Rabbinowitz, Trevor “Delicious” Noah and Mark “Long Shot” Lottering. This is the premiere league – the comedy A team. And while some may have issues with the selection (why are names like David Kau, Riaad Moosa, Tumi Morake and Chris Forrest on the bench, you could ask), you have to admit it’s a heavyweight list of funnymen to see on one bill. So impressive is this line-up that I decided to hop into my time machine and brave the casino that time forgot – Carnival City – to check it out for myself.

And as much as my smarmy journalistic side would like to get all critical about the show, this is difficult. See, lately I have started doing the comedy circuit. It’s been going well. And it occurs to me that I have to tread lightly here in my dual role as comic and critic, so I will try not to insult anyone too deeply, for fear that I will end up annoying an important promoter or comic to the point of being told that I’ll “never work in this town again”.

So instead, let’s distract ourselves by talking about Carnival City. It’s very big. And very neon. Some would say that it’s a hideous shrine to excess, greed and money-lust, but I think it’s fairly charming. It’s so tacky that it kind of pushes through the ugliness and emerges on the other side with its own unconventional beauty in tact. It’s on the same level as a Jeff Koons sculpture, or at least a Tretchikoff painting. Ok, I give up. Let’s talk about the show.

Kagiso Lediga

King of Fart Jokes

My personal highlight was a fart joke told by Kagiso Lediga. It was an unusually stylish fart joke – lyrical and poetic and a little edgy, and it restored my faith in this underrated and misunderstood branch of comedy. Aside from that, I really enjoyed Gola. Vlismas was great although it has to be said that I prefer him in a smaller room (Carnival City Arena was too big for him to pick on people, and the highlight of his shows, for me at least, is the way he relentlessly picks on people), and Lottering was solidly funny. I appreciated the professionalism and craft of Banks and Hilton even though I personally don’t feel their material, and was disappointed in Nik Rabinowitz for doing the same stuff I saw him doing recently in his one-man show uNik, although the crowd, who laughed hysterically, clearly did not share my disappointment.

Trevor Noah

The Head Boy

Then there was Trevor Noah. I would call him the “rock star” of the stand-up circuit, because of how many screaming fans he has, but to tell the truth he’s more like the “head boy” of local comedy. You can understand why he’s so big – he’s charismatic, has a winning smile, wholesome boy-next-door looks and a sense of humour that is fully in touch with the average South African’s desire not to be too hectically challenged. I am not going to hate on him just because he probably gets laid more often than I buy airtime.

Just putting it out there. I hope this doesn’t mean that I’ll “never work in this town again”. If you are an important Joburg-based promoter, call me.
My contact details can be found here. And did I mention that I love your tie?

Bafunny Bafunny is back at Carnival City on July 9. It’s also in Durban and Cape Town soon. For more info go here.

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RESPONSES (13)
  1. Brian Green says:

    What a pity most of these guys aren’t funny

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  2. You don't know me anyways says:

    Fuck that joke stealing cunt.

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  3. Mike says:

    Did you hear the one about the bergie? ‘

    Knock-knock.

    Who’s there?

    A bergie.

    Hello bergie.

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  4. eskimo sneeze says:

    “Lottering was solidly funny” – now that’s the silliest joke of all.

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  5. Eish says:

    These comedians are past their sell by date. there some new comedians on the circuit though with fresh material..at Cool Runnings, Wish etc…so theres hope

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  6. alakenja says:

    interesting to know that out of all these comedians, Nik Rabinowitz was the one chosen to appear on the BBC comedy show Mock the Week, being recorded in London next week. Intelligent humour doesn’t have to rely on cheap scatological tricks

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  7. Matt says:

    If this is Bafunny Bafunny then we’re the Italy of the comedy world. Could they have cobbled together a list of more over the hill and past it comedians? Trevor Noah and Loyiso Gola are the only ones who are still relevant and Trevor steals his material. What a disappointment. I agree with Eish, it’s time to get some of the youngbloods in.

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  8. Just Not Funny says:

    The other day I saw Trevor Noah schmoozing some chick, telling her (in bizarre fake American accent) that he is a major investor in the stock market. The only thing he invests in is other people’s material. Also when is SA going to see through Nik Rabinowitz? He’s got one joke – “Hau! I can speak Xhosa and I’m Jewish, how HECTIC and OUTRAGEOUS is that?” and I still can’t believe he publicly advertised that Tom Eaton co-wrote his last show. Surely you keep it hush-hush if you can’t come up with your own jokes?

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  9. Margo says:

    The top row in that first photograph are all superb comedians.
    The bottom three well… Jon Vlismas was incediary before he quit comedy and just started slinging toilet humour at us.

    @ JustNotFunny – your name says it all. Both Nik Rabinowitz and Trevor Noah are shining lights in comedy – your response wreaks of someone who was unpopular in high school and just never got over it.

    @ Daniel – I am your fan but – there is a problem with an up-and-coming comic being a critic here – and that is that your article lacks any real information and gives way to your all-too-transparent desire to be up there in one of those school uniforms amongst the school boys.

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  10. daniel friedman says:

    @margo ok cool, point taken, as long as you’re my fan 🙂

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I attended the Bafunny show yesterday in Cape Town…….what a disapointment …..I think with all the white jokes they tried to pull…..our politicians in this country give us more hmour……the two acts that were outstanding and always is, was Marc lottering and Loyiso whatever his surname is…….

    What a waste of money to have the others on stage!

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  12. Tracy Rajnarain says:

    I loved every minute of the show. It was fun, fabulous, comdy and great SA talent.
    Keep up the great great work. As the saying goes – Local is definately Lekker. I will defiantely attend any show again withhte comedians.

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  13. Arie says:

    Holy shit. Here is Daniel – Deep Fried Man – Friedman talking about being disappointed by a comedian doing his one man show material at another event. How the wheel has turned.

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