Local funny man Yaaseen Barnes supports his comedic hero

Local funny man Yaaseen Barnes supports his comedic hero

Nik Rabinowitz has just turned 40 and is on the verge of a midlife crisis. Except that apparently 40 is the new 30, so now he’s not sure when to have the crisis, which is a crisis in itself. He has also just had a third baby – so really, he can’t have a midlife crisis – there’s no time. Sounds like fun yes? In the meantime, while he is figuring all this out, he has decided that instead of buying a Ferrari and abandoning his family, he’s going to put on another one man show – ‘Fortyfied’, showing at the Baxter until January 14.
Local comic Yaaseen Barnes is the opening act for ‘Fortyfied’. Peter Tromp caught up with the Capetonian funny man.

When did you first discover you could make people laugh? And at what point did you seriously consider stand-up as a career?
It was only on my fourth time on stage that I discovered and believed that I could make people laugh (the first three times on stage were not that good). It was a in an open mic competition and I only did three of the five minutes needed, but in that set I knew that this was what I wanted to do forever. That feeling was cemented by me actually winning the competition. Two years into comedy I was in an internship, working and studying, and I got asked to do Comedy Central, which happened to be in the same week as my exams. I had to choose between an office job and a qualification, or joke telling and well, I’m here now.

Who are your comedy heroes and what do you admire about these folks?
On the local scene it’s the comedic wave of Nik Rabinowitz, Riaad Moosa, Loyiso Gola…(the list is quite long). They were the fresh funny voices of the New South Africa. They showed South Africans that we are funny people and we can laugh at ourselves and that we’re more alike than different. They also made it possible for me to have a career as a comedian, which I will forever be grateful for.

Tell us why audiences should be excited for ‘Fortyfied’.
It’s Nik Rabinowitz at his best. It’s a mix of laughs and honest stories from a man turning 40 that everyone can relate to. The audience should also be excited for me! It’s also Cape Town’s boys performing for our home town.

What is a normal day like in “the life of a comedian”? Is it anything like ‘Seinfeld’?
It’s like ‘Seinfeld’ in the sense of nothing really happens and we just watch people all day. People-watching is our favourite thing to do. Some days we just do admin work, responding to emails to make sure we’re still working, but some days we’re also just meeting other comedians, telling jokes.

* Performances of ‘Fortyfied’ are at 8.30pm, nightly.
Tickets priced from R100 to R150 can be booked via Computicket.