‘Blacks only Comedy’ – the fastest growing comedy brand in the country – is back in Jozi this weekend with the showcase ‘The Expendables’. Comedy fans can look forward to a line-up that includes the likes of David Kau, Chris Forrest, Joey Rasdien, Issac Gampu, Loyiso Gola, Skhumba Hlophe, Donovan Goliath and Tshepiso Mogale, at Centre Court at Emperors Palace on Friday, September 25, at 8pm.
PETER TROMP chatted with KAU on the eve of the comedy extravaganza.
I read a quote of yours where you said, “I’d never had experience in stand-up comedy. The first comedy show I ever saw was the first one I was in.” Yet here you still are, seemingly still going strong. What do you attribute your ongoing success to?
It’s simple, really. The more you do it, the better you’re going to become. You have to be really s–t at something to keep getting worse at it. It’s just like any other job, where you improve with time. Of course you have to keep working at it. I write a lot. I change my material quite often, so it’s easy for me to keep going. I’m not afraid of the same audience seeing me again in a few months, because during that time my material will have changed already. The only time I will repeat a joke is when I’ve managed to improve on it substantially. A lot of comedians are lazy, that’s why they won’t be able to sustain a TV show, for instance.
You sound a bit like a workaholic. Would that be an accurate statement?
I think I might be a bit of a workaholic, but I was enjoying what I was doing before I started making money from it. When I was growing up I enjoyed making people laugh; it wasn’t a job at all for me then. It’s never felt like a job, really. It’s never been like, “Eish, here we go again”. It’s more like I can’t wait to get in front of an audience again.
Can you still remember your first time on stage?
Of course I do. I was performing to six people in a 200 seater upstairs at the Smirnoff Comedy Festival. They were letting people in for free from the main show.
How would you describe your brand of comedy?
I’ve never tried to describe it. It is what it is. I try and have as many people understand what I’m trying to express, and I guess my first audience in my head is South African. I don’t perform for any one group.
Are there any particular comedians, both locally and internationally, that you look up to?
I’ve always admired Riaad Moose, Kagiso Lediga; guys like that. They’ve got these gags that almost make me wish that I had come up with them. You can tell Riaad is a fully qualified doctor, because his comedy is so clinical; there’s nothing you can add, or do differently.
I’m also enjoying some of the new comics coming through, and I even try and put some of them in my shows. I’ve been doing this for (more than 15 years), and it got a bit boring at one stage, so it’s exciting to see new comics. They definitely keep you on your toes and almost force you to keep things fresh.
You finished a Speech And Drama degree at UCT. How seriously were you contemplating acting as a career path?
It was always my plan to become an actor. The comedy thing only really came together during my third year. To graduate you have to write your own shows, and whatever I wrote turned out funny.
Sam Hendrickse, the organiser of the Smirnoff Comedy Festival, attended my final year play and he approached me to be part of the Festival afterwards. Before you knew it I was up there, and I still am.
* Tickets priced between R250 and R380 can be booked at Computicket.
Doors open at 7pm.