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The second annual Comics Choice Awards took place at the Teatro Theatre inside Montecasino in Fourways last night. The who's who of the comedy industry gathered to acknowledge and celebrate the excellence that is embodied by South African funnymen.
The most coveted award of the night, the Comic Of The Year, was won by Trevor Noah who was absent from the ceremony. As is the tradition at these awards, the comedians are not allowed to make acceptance speeches. Instead, they are asked to perform seven minutes of stand-up as their speech. Needless to say, the jetsetting Noah was not available to perform his seven minutes but a clip from his live DVD was screened.
While there was no official host, there was a voice-over who had their own two cents to add to the proceedings. Presenters included Elana Afrika, Desmond Dube and Krijay Govender while the audience was treated to outstanding stand-up routines by Mpho Popps Modikoane, an insightful and witty presentation by Dave Levinhson and a revolution-inspired opening speech by John Vlismas. The Vlismas (whose company, Whacked Entertainment is the Awards organiser) monologue was accompanied by a violinist, a black Slash impersonator and a DJ and is probably a taste of what's to come in the Mass Hysteria comedy tour later this year.
All things random seemed to get the biggest laughs of the night. Everything from a foursome of ballerinas who dance in between set changes and get shot later and a stark naked pianist accompanying Celeste Ntuli in a ditty about being in need of “a n**i.”
Other award winners included Alyn Adams in The Times Comic’s Pen Award, Sifiso Nene in The Audience Choice Award, Dillan Oliphant in The Newcomer Award, Tats Nkonzo in The BlackBerry Breakthrough Act Award and Joe Parker was this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
A definite step-up from the inaugural event, the visual spectacle that was the Comics Choice Awards was a great display of what's happening in the comedy industry and perhaps, a reminder to some comics, to step their game up.