The comedians of South Africa may have grown up in extremely diverse communities, providing each of them with a unique style of comedy, byt they do, however, have a common bond; the country’s dramatic contrasts and the multitude of funny and fascinating stories stemming from its origins.

Did you know?

Leon Schuster's more recent comedy film, Mr. Bones, is the highest grossing South African movie ever, earning R32m at the box-office.

Just as South Africa is truly multi-cultural, so are the country's comedians, who offer a variety of styles to their humour. Whether they stand out because they're satirical, controversial or speak in slang, they all have one thing in common; they are South African, affording them the opportunity to perform against a backdrop that is vibrant, diverse and often radical; abundant with material perfect for South African comedians to feast on.

Probably the most loved of South Africa's top comedians is Pieter Dirk Uys, who may be better known by his famous alter-ego Evita Bezuidenhout; her pertinent satire has turned her into the country's unofficial ambassador. Aside from her charmingly over-the-top cabaret-style venue called Evita se Perron, situated in Darling, in the Cape, she and Uys also perform in some of South Africa's larger, more commercial theatres.

Other popular South African comedians include Marc Lottering and Soli Philander, who both hale from the Cape Flats and bring their own unique interpretations and impersonations of life there; David Newton, who is known to give true-life performances that anyone can relate to; John Vlismis, Kurt Schoonraad, Joey Rasdien, Al Prodgers, Chris Forrest and Mark Banks, all known to be either controversial, sardonic or completely wacky.

Then there's David Kau, who lives in Joburg and wittily showcases South African current affairs, while bringing a slice of township life to his routines; Casper De Vries, who is an Afrikaans comedian known for his off-the-wall personality, which makes him popular with a large English-speaking audience, too; Nik Rabinowitz, well-known as South Africa's Jewish, Xhosa-speaking comedian; and Barry Hilton, one of the 'big daddies' of South African comedy, synonymous with a few famous South Africanisms and with a brand of humour that personifies all South Africans.

Another rising start in the comedy world is Trevor Noah who has sold more DVDs than any other comedian in the country and who also secured a slot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His career has taken on international dimensions.

With the wave of contemporary comics and some legendary ones, like Mel Miller, Joe Parker, famous funny man and comedy filmmaker Leon Schuster and Eddie Eckstein, South Africa's best comedians' list is comprehensive and growing.

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