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Kenny Kunene, beware. You may have been the founder of a political party and the the king of sushi, but you could soon be toast.
The Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene is being recorded in front of a live audience tonight at Gold Reef City in Joburg. This is the global comedy network’s second Roast outing in South Africa, following the 2012 Roast of Steve Hofmeyr.
The new Roast will premiere on TV on April 28 at 9pm to DStv subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa on channel 122.
It is a simple format: a celebrity is chosen to be the target of jabs from a panel of celebrities and professional comedians. The show is chaired by a professional called the roastmaster. This time it will be Briton Jimmy Carr.
Cape Town-based Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow is among a panel that includes John Vlismas, PJ Powers and Khanyi Mbau, who will tear into Patriotic Alliance secretary-general Kunene.
Parow, real name Zander Tyler, said he agreed to do the roast “because it sounds like fun”, and because he’s a fan of Carr.
Parow recently released his new double album Nag Van Die Lang Pette, which features an acoustic set of tracks.
With a faint look of the mischief to come, Parow said he did not want to spoil the surprise, but that viewers could expect “something different” for his planned sear of Kunene.
“I am a big fan of comedy and standup. It comes across in my music. I don’t think I take things too seriously,” he said.
Kunene was a recent replacement for the Roast, which was initially going to target comic actor Leon Schuster. He pulled out after doctors advised him to rest after shooting two films consecutively.
Speaking about what a Roast of Leon Schuster would have been like, Parow said: “The Roast is all in good spirit. I am a huge fan of Schuster. I was in a movie with him. I can think of things to p**s him off, but I can do the same for Kenny.”
Parow appeared as the butt of a gag in Schuster’s recent Schuks! Your Country Needs You.
In the tradition of Roasts, panelists can take a stab at each other.
“They can all take a dig at me, but I’m going to take a stab too, no one is safe. We all end up taking each other out, instead of the roastee.”
Knowing Vlismas and Jacaranda shock jock Rian van Heerden personally, Parow will have enough material on them. He has met Mbau and Kunene previously.
“There is so much ammunition. My being away from the press means they won’t really know who I am. I’m a little scared. I have written my roast. There is some playing on politics, but I generally stay away from that vibe.”
Parow has very defined opinions on his roast victim.
“Kenny is not misunderstood... I don’t know him on a personal level; he plays to character. I did have to research him.
“I knew about the sushi, the party, him being a teacher and an ex-convict, but I had to research under that.”
Some would argue that a South African roastmaster would know more about Kunene.
“I think it’s cool (that Carr is the host). It shows the strength of the roast. He is an amazing comedian... I knew only a few things about Kenny myself.
“I look forward to (Carr’s) gags. I look forward to being taken out by him. He comes in with a clean sheet of paper.”