SA’s best and brightest comedic minds offer “solutions” to our political quagmire

SA’s best and brightest comedic minds offer “solutions” to our political quagmire


n all-star cast of local comedy talent is currently assembled at The Teatro at Montecasino for Nando’s Mass Hysteria 2015 – ‘The Long Bunfight to Freedom’.

The comedy showcase aims to provide relief to South Africans battered and bruised by the shenanigans of the political class of late. Nando’s is committed to keeping the heat on those responsible, and even though they don’t profess to have all the answers, they sure know how to turn on the burn, courtesy of the likes of John Vlismas and Tumi Morake.

Quite simply, if comedy had a government, this would be it. From the makers of The Comics’ Choice Awards, ‘Revelations’, ‘Bitches’ and other great comedy shows comes one of the most anticipated comedy productions of the year.Look forward to a handpicked line-up of the best stand-ups in the country each night on one stage.

The line-up is as follows:

• Nik Rabinowitz: Minister of Shark Infested Water Affairs

• Chester Missing: Shadow Puppet Minister

• Tumi Morake: Minister of Ben 10’s, YOLO and Homesteads

• Mpho Popps Modikoane: Minister of Television and Gratuitous Adverts

• John Vlismas: Minister of Non-Communicative Diseases

And for the first time in years…

Marc Lottering as Minister of the Cape, Retail Therapy and Statues

PETER TROMP threw some questioning curveballs VLISMAS, MISSING and RABINOWITZ’s ways to get to heart of the issues comedy fans have on their collective minds right now.

What does your ministerial portfolio entail exactly?

JOHN VLISMAS: The Ministry of Non-Communicative Diseases is a very important one, as we bring little-known diseases to the fore. We have had enough of these Ebolas and HIV’s that hog the limelight, and take all the budget. And then we are flooded by all these cheap Asian generics as well. What about the Common Cold? Why must the common ones be left with no headlines? We want to see an African flu dominating the news by 2018.

CHESTER MISSING: I have no idea. I can’t even remember which one it was. I am a puppet. I serve whichever portfolio seems expedient for easy laughs.

NIK RABINOWITZ: As the Minister of Shark Infested Water Affairs, my job is to ensure the safety of both humans and sharks when in one another’s presence.

Usually this occurs in the water. Specifically Cape waters. Also, I have never succeeded. Seems our methods need some attention.

TUMI MORAKE: It entails protecting ‘Ben10’ and benefactors of such, maintaining national morale with the spirit of YOLO and the general upkeep of homesteads.

What qualifies you to hold an office of such immense responsibility?

VLISMAS: This is not an appropriate question, you bloody agent. What qualifies you to ask it? I will wait for my day in court, and anyway, my dog ate my certificate, but I don’t owe you any proof. Panzi, whistleblower, Panzi.

MISSING: This puppet situation isn’t getting through, is it?

RABINOWITZ: This is not widely known, but I am actually half Jewish, half Dolphin.

MORAKE: My years in the comedy struggle, while dabbling at some point or other with issues related to said portfolio.

Where can people report you if they’re lacking in service delivery?

VLISMAS: They must reach me on Twitter: @fortyshort, because my office phone hasn’t been paid due to CIA tapping via agent Madonsela and the colonial forces of Imperialism.

MISSING: They can call Telkom enquiries, if they still exist. 1023 people, 1023.

RABINOWITZ: All negative comments/reports/thoughts/ideas can be sent, by South African Postal Service only, to the Shark Spotters’ Society Headquarters on Muizenberg beach. Or to the Human Spotters’ Society in the middle of the ocean. Whatever’s easiest.

MORAKE: There is a B13 form which needs to be filled in with black fine ink, stamped with the E78 stamp, then certified, including original copy of show ticket, and submitted in person to the Minister of Mass Deaths.

As the show is called ‘Mass Hysteria’, I guess it’s only fair to ask: What is the most hysterical you’ve ever been?

VLISMAS: When I was asked Question 2, I was quite worried as I was promised by Number One that nobody would ask about that. Maybe not hysterical, but close.

MISSING: When I found out they are releasing Oscar during Woman’s Month. WTF man? What’s next? ‘Cosby Show’ re-runs?

RABINOWITZ: I’m usually quite hysterical anytime I mistake a seal for a shark. I would also become hysterical if I were to mistake a navy seal for a seal. I think I would become hysterical on seeing an actual shark too.

MORAKE: When minister Lottering thought someone had put relaxer in his hair.

Do you have any particular public figures in your comedic crosshairs?

VLISMAS: There are a few, but the way number one has been behaving, it was better when his job description was still number two.

MISSING: I don’t know what comedic cross hairs are. I am bald.

RABINOWITZ: Yes, the Minister for Redistribution of Land Rovers and I often disagree on public policy.

MORAKE: That is a very un-democratic question; I do not recognize you.

What is your best joke in 140 characters or less?

VLISMAS: Please don’t be ignorant; I am saving my best joke for the show, not giving it for free to some bloody agent.

MISSING: Steve Hofmeyr.

RABINOWITZ: “We are going to close Twitter.” – J. Malema

MORAKE: Wanna get laid, crawl up a chicken’s ass and wait.

If you were a for-real minister, how would you go about livening up Parliament? Or should that be livening down, in lieu of recent events?

VLISMAS: I think I would allow honourable members to carry tazers, set to non-lethal, of course. I would also schedule Roasts, rather than let them happen at random, and I would definitely allow EFC cage fighters to handle security. The dress code would be “Mampara Formal” and I would allow drinks and snacks in the house, so maybe more members would come to work and earn their salaries.

MISSING: I would cut the time for the buffet and only provide enough plates for half the parliamentarians. Eat faster, bitches.

RABINOWITZ: It’s obvious – I would move Parliament to the beach.

MORAKE: I would begin by saying “the money is on its way”, before opening the floor to questions.

* Mass Hysteria 2015 – ‘The Long Bunfight, is running until Sunday, August 23.

Book at Computicket (search “Nando’s Mass Hysteria”).

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