South African comedy took on a new life after the heavy cloak of apartheid oppression lifted in 1994, creating a multitude of diverse comedic personalities, styles and lingoes. Comedy in South Africa is now in hot demand, filling out venues and putting the country’s comedy acts on an international level.

Did you know?

One of South Africa's best-loved comics Trevor Noah appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in January 2013 kickstarting his career in the United States.

South Africa often depicts its various cultures, interesting history and assortment of colourful characters through humour, so it's not surprising that it makes for some excellent and often satirical material for truly indigenous comedy.

South African comedy culture is alive and well and is, in fact, showing significant growth across all the different disciplines including television, stand-up, satirical/comic theatre and even print media, where columnists showcase their pertinently witty points-of-views.

Whether from the country's dramatic political past and present, or from the people of a multitude of different cultures and backgrounds; comedy in South Africa has more than enough material to draw from.

The best way to experience South African comedy is by visiting the country's theatres and comedy clubs, hosted in restaurants, bars and other venues on specific evenings only.

Most South African comedians mix up their acts with various different stories, lingoes and representations, yet still manage to express themselves with their own distinctive styles.

Among them are commentators, satirists and witty observationists like Trevor Noah, John Vlismis, David Kau, Chris Forrest, Loyiso Gola, Al Prodgers, Aaron Mcilroy, David Kibuuka, Joe Parker, Krijay Govender and Darren Maule. Alan Committie, Casper De Vries, Soli Philander and Mark Lottering, meanwhile, are impersonators and physical expressionists .

Most of the major cities will have a comedy event being performed somewhere and even a few quirky small towns put on some excellent shows, like Darling, in the Cape, where one of South Africa's most famous satirists, Pieter-Dirk Uys' alter-ego, Evita Bezuidenhout, performs outrageous comic theatre in the delightfully over-the-top venue, Evita se Perron.

Cartoons and comic strips play an important role in South African comedy culture. Famous cartoonist Zapiro has controversially poked fun at the country's politics through the years of apartheid to its current post-apartheid era, often provoking politicians. Then, the comic strip, Madam & Eve, arrived on the scene, depicting hilarious situations between a white 'madam' and her African domestic worker and has, over the years, become a South African treasure.

Thanks to the country's turbulent past and integrated present, comedy in South Africa is an authentic experience of a truly mult-icultural nation.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Tel: +27 (0)11-340-8000

Evita se Perron
Tel: +27 (0)22 492-3930

How to get here

Comedy venues are mostly city or town-based, so therefore easily accessible by car or taxi.

What to eat

Comedy venues are often in restaurant-cum-bars, so dine while you laugh.

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