1. At what point did you realise you wanted to be a comedian?
Since around the age of 15 I remember enjoying making groups of people feel super comfortable. And even better, making people smile and laugh. But there was never a conscious decision to become a comedian. I did my first “gig” at 30. And once you hear the sound of laughter from the audience, you’re hooked. It’s my drug of choice.
2. How do you come up with material?
I experience life and constantly make notes of the funny stuff that won’t leave my brain. Those are the stories that get told on stage. The response from the first few audiences is usually the deciding factor as to whether those stories remain in the show or not.
3. What really makes you laugh?
Gosh. The list is endless. If I have to put it in a nutshell, it’s the funny things that human beings casually do. Like the gratitude South African pedestrians bestow upon a driver who actually stops at a legal pedestrian crossing and allows us to cross. We are in shock. And we are eternally grateful.
4. If you weren’t a comedian, what would you be?
I’ve always wanted to be a back-up vocalist for a stadium-filling rock star. Back-up vocalists have the best lives. They travel the world. They have that sexy easy-swaying choreography. They know all the dirt surrounding the star. They get free whisky backstage. What a life.
5. Is there anything you won’t joke about?
The topic is not the problem. It’s all about the punchline and how you’ve treated the topic.
6. At what point do you lie?
Never. (I’m a follower of Judge Judy.)
7. What embarrasses you?
Anything that makes life awkward for a few seconds. Like when I’ve been sharing my astounding viewpoints for seven minutes and someone at the table says to me afterwards , “there’s a bogie dangling from your nose”. Why did you not tell me the moment it appeared? Whyyy?!
8. Do you apologise to people?
On a personal level, of course. It’s a very adult thing to do. And I make a point of apologising the moment I realise I was in the wrong. It’s something you almost have to train yourself to do. It doesn’t come naturally. People honestly struggle with the words “I’m sorry”.
Professionally, as a comedian, I’ve never apologised for a gag.
9. Who do you admire?
I admire anyone on the planet who’s focused and works hard to get to where they want to be. Those are usually the people who rise to the top. Those are usually the people who light up a room.
10. What is the quality about yourself that you dislike the most?
I’m wayyy too sensitive for this comedy life. To the point where I no longer read comments on social media. People are mostly kind but I’m the kinda guy who will focus on the two mean comments and dwell on them for days.
11. Your favourite author?
I don’t have a favourite author. My partner Anwar is the bookworm and I read everything that he raves about because he knows my taste. So right now I’m reading Anwar’s latest recommendation, The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese, and I’m totally hooked.
12. Your favourite quote?
“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” — Dr Maya Angelou
13. What do you listen to in your car?
Everything and anything, and then it always somehow ends up with Whitney Houston. Last month I was besotted with Lewis Capaldi. But Whitney remains the love of my life.
14. How do you combat heckling?
My fans are not hecklers. They want to sit back and be entertained by me for 80 minutes. And then the hecklers who do come to my shows quickly realise “this is not that vibe”.
15. Top five favourite stand-up comedians?
* So I Wrote That Musical can be seen on October 5 and 6 at the Kalk Bay Theatre, on October 14 at The Drama Factory, Somerset West, and from November 22 to January 6 at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town.
♦ VWB ♦
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