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Comedy Central

Pomping your sister, and the vortex of kakness

by Hagen Engler / Images by Lee-Roy Jason / 01.06.2012

Oh god. Sometimes it’s just a bit of an off night. SA comedy can be a shining gift from Valhalla, delivered by a cohort of brave, hilarious warriors of awesomeness. But other times, a couple of mistimed punchlines, a misread audience, a dodgy delivery, a nervous comic… things can combine to throw an evening to the dogs.

That was Wednesday night at Parkers. The place was chockers, as it often is. So maybe it was also me. Forced to stand, I was hemmed into a corner next some dude. If he was any more in my space, we’d have needed connies.

Things start well enough, with genial owner and comedy ledge Joe Parker doing the housekeeping and some intro gags. This thing, Comedy Central Live @ Parkers, has a host, and a star, as well as a headliner. More chiefs than Indians up there, but that isn’t the problem.

Martin Jonas, a true SA comedy king, has a lame one by his usual standards. His impressions we’ve seen before, the ghoefball jokes have been done, the white guy speaking Sotho… meh. We not feeling it. The dodo impression almost saves him, but he goes for one more bit, which misses, and Jonas faces the ultimate embarrassment of having to leave the stage to confused murmurs instead of applause.

Next comic: Lazola Gola. Both he and Loyiso seem at pains not to overplay the “Loy’s boet” card, but there it is. Tonight’s stage seems too big for him. He clings trembling to his mic as he fucks up his first joke about white ladies’ bags. The punchline comes out a beat early and he scoops himself.

Eish. Okes are wincing. Then he limps through some weak material about sex lines, his bro and gayness, and at one point, achieves the quietest few seconds we’ve seen on stage since the one Lebo tribute. Not funny-quiet. WTF-quiet.
“So… Nik-naks, ey?”
Ogh. The thing is, Laz cuts an endearing figure, and we want him to succeed. He surely will, but not tonight. He leaves to sympathetic applause, which is probably worse than boos.

After the break, Joe decides to liven things up with some of his vintage material. It’s not helping. He confuses Paul Adams with Herschelle Gibbs in a weed sketch, and by the time “Baas” whips out one from 1987 about fruit sellers at the robots, we are spiralling down a vortex of kakness towards certain doom.

And then… Then! Like a Jewish messiah of talent, relevance and skill, Deep Fried Man arrives to save the day.

Acoustic adaptations of popular classics is an old one, but Deep Fried’s savvy wordplay puts him in a class of his own. He also knows how to work a crowd. He gets chanting sing-alongs going to the one about making coloured people and the one about pomping your babe’s sister.
His material is fresh, topical and of now. The Malema-JZ relationship, SMS speak, bribery and lank stuff about shagging… we laugh orgasmic roars of such release that people are crying tears, as much of relief as of joy.

“Sing us a song!” heckles someone who looks like that poes Joey Barton, when Loyiso returns.
Truth be told, Loy also saved us. A true pro. As host, he actually does about six sets, all of which rock. He’s got the disciplines: impersonations, political suss, improv, a filthy mouth, and courage. He ends with a two-minute volley of non-stop swearing to an audience of Fourways punters and lands it. Parker bullies him into doing an encore and he wins again, despite dredging the pit of his material by that stage.

He’s rightly the star, but as he’s the guy intro-ing the other comics, you tend to look past him. Couple of those comics had an off night. Salvaged in the end, and I’m sure it’ll look fine in the edit. But a couple of guys saw flames. The tall black dude and the Jewish oke with the guitar rinsed this one.

*All images © Lee-Roy Jason.

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  1. Endermans says:

    What the hell is the point of this review? Other than being poorly written, unfunny, uncharming, it also literally just tells us, sequentially, that some comics were bad and some were good. This is, therefore, pretty irrelevant. What are we supposed to have gained from this?

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  2. Jeffrey says:

    Why is every 2nd article written by this anus? This is one kak muthafucka

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  3. Jirre says:

    ‘…meh. We not feeling it.’

    Jirre, Engler. Maybe go back to writing for EC rags and giving us 10 Reasons Why Cape Town Can Fuck Off.

    Kak grammar, much?

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  4. Elizabeth says:

    Ha, no one can get over that CT article. Come on guys, get over yourselves! Cape Town is not the be-all and end-all, travel a bit and get some perspective and stop taking yourselves so seriously.

    That being said, “connies”? I wince at the unnecessary bastardization of the English language frequently performed by this… “dude”.

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  5. kropotkin says:

    Actually, I like it. Nice

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  6. K says:

    I also like it.

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  7. Ubuntu Bob says:

    Cape Town never forgets… nor forgives! Not even on a story about a comedy gig in Jozi. Nice review by the way

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  8. No Mahala no says:

    Hagen, you can’t fucken write and you’re not fucken funny. for christ’s sake, when are you gonna get over the ya schweet boet, chinas n connies brand of SA pseudo humour (and cringeworthy, trying-so-hard-to-be-with-the-times slang)? And seriously, lines like ” a cohort of brave, hilarious warriors of awesomeness.” ??? Who have you been taking writing classes from, Max? Whattafail.

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  9. Simba says:

    Just don’t get all the Hagen hate from the trolls on this site? The writing is good, the writing is fine. Don’t be such douche bags all the time.

    Seriously, I reckon we should do some analysis of the Mahala comment boards – would make for a good sociological study on SA reactions to underground culture and criticism. Tall poppy syndrome much?

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  10. DomKopf says:

    What a surprise; the former editor of FHM likes cock jokes and doesn’t get the smarter stuff. Still it’s interesting to see Martin Jonas has managed to sink to a point where he can’t even entertain the stupid.

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  11. quipper says:

    Yeah, I also really don’t understand the Hagen-haters. He chooses to write the way that some people speak. I figure that people have such a strong reaction against it because they recognise their own speech in his writing, and can’t stand how dumb they sound. Welcome to the vernacular, fuckers. If you broadened your literary horizons to not only include abstract adjectives and over-wrought phrases, you might just enjoy it.

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