Comedy in South Africa
Did you know?
Well known South African comedian Mel Miller was arrested in 1985 for making anti-government remarks in his routines - after his arrest he withdrew from the limelight and only made a comeback in 1990 after being convinced by fellow comedian Joe Parker to return to the public arena.
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. To find out where and when, check out South African comedy blogs, Computicket online or go to The Comedy Shop's website, which covers everything on South African comedy.
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: Beryl on +27 (0)22 492-3930
Jou Ma se Comedy Club
Tel: +27 (0) 21 447-7237