When we spoke to Kenny Kunene about him being the brunt of jokes on Comedy Central Roast a fortnight ago, he seemed unperturbed and yet unprepared to fire back at the roasters.
With sharp-tongued people like Khanyi Mbau and Dineo Ranaka on the panel of roasters, it was almost sad to hear Kunene’s plan of retaliation.
He reminded me of this fellow with bad comic lines at a small comedy club in Melville. He was so bad people laughed at his surprise when they did not find his material funny.
“You know I want to use the Nando’s hot sauce on Jimmy Carr, because they do not have Nando’s in Britain,” he had said in an earlier interview. (Actually Kenny, they do – and have had for quite a while now.)
“As for people like PJ Powers, I will not even attack her; all I will do is take a very old All Star shoe, and burn it. That would be enough roasting for her,” he said, again trying to contain his giggles.
With this in mind, when the actual night of the roast came upon us last week, most of us were not really expecting much from the self-styled “King of Sushi”.
But we had to eat humble pie, as Kunene took us by surprise and delivered an amazing show. He had witty comebacks for the panelists, and his prepared material was nothing short of classic. Being a politician now, Kunene used his newfound political persona and aimed his spats at everyone.
The varied panel included the likes of Rian van Heerden, Tumi Morake, Jack Parow and John Vlismas – who all fell victim to Kunene’s jabs.
Morake had confessed that she suspected panelists would make fun of her weight – and she was right.
Without spoiling it for you, when the show airs on TV, expect a great line from roast master Jimmy Carr.
Although some of the material was quite harsh, Morake was a good sport and she laughed heartily at all that came her way.
With Kunene and Mbau rumoured to have had a “friendship”, it was intriguing to see her show up to roast him.
She did really well, to the surprise of many – but Kunene saved face by taking advantage of any opportunity to grope her.
Although PJ Powers swallowed some cringe-worthy insults, she came out swinging and proved to be a hit with the audience. She even used the F word carelessly, which is a long way from the lyrics of Jabulani.
Van Heerden was mute throughout the proceedings, then surprised everyone when he got his chance on the podium. He was animated and threw out corny lines which left everyone in stitches.
Of all roasters, Ranaka had the least jokes on everyone. She had great delivery but it felt like she was trying to avoid any fights with the roasters on the show.
While it was questionable to have Carr, the British comedian, host an African roast, he did good and was worth every cent.
Although he obviously had to Google everyone’s profiles, Carr spoke with some knowledge of the country and the participants – but then again, he’s almost a regular here.
• The Comedy Central Roast Of Kenny Kunene will premiere on April 28 at 9pm on Comedy Central, DStv Channel 122.