The first ever African Comedy Central Roast, which took place at the Gold Reef City Lyric Theatre yesterday, proved to be huge success. The star of the night was the ever controversial musician and actor Steve Hofmeyr.
Originally an American concept, the Comedy Central Roast is a TV show where a celebrity ( referred to as a roastee) is invited to a stage to be taunted and teased by a selection of his/her peers. The material often hits very close to the bone, but since it is all in the name of comedy, it is expected that the participants do not take anything to heart.
Celebrity roastees in the US have included the likes of Donald Trump, Joan Rivers and Charlie Sheen.
While some people who have been on the American version of the show requested to have some topics off limits, our own Hofmeyr left his panel of 'roasters' do their worst.
The panel included the roastermaster (MC) Trevor Noah, Casper de Vries, David Kau, John Vlismas, Kuli Roberts, Minki van der Westhuizen, Robert Whitehead and Shaleen Surti-Richards.
Each of the media personalities had an interesting take on Hofmeyr's life.
The ‘Pampoen’ singer played to the crowd, strapping himself into a chair just in case he could not take the heat and decided to attack someone.
With subjects ranging from Hofmeyr's infidelities, racist rants and his music career, there were witty and cringe-worthy moments aplenty.
Robert Whitehead had the audience in stitches with his Scottish kilt that kept fanning towards the roastee. David Kau focused a bit long on Trevor Noah, hinting that they may have some unresolved trade issues there. John Vlismas was sharp throughout and got Hofmeyr to react by playfully shoving the paper with Vlimas' jokes in the comics' mouth.
Surprisingly, some of the best material came from “actress” Minki van der Westhuizen whose act was based on the lack of affection that Hofmeyr showed towards her when they worked together. That said, the night seemed to belong to Hofmeyr himself who played out his unashamedly arrogant persona very well.
“It is almost the end of the night and I am still wondering, when is the roasting going to start,” he said, challenging the panel.
Being a first in Africa, skeptics were unsure of how well this maiden episode would do, but by the end of the night it was safe to conclude that it was a huge success.
A number of celebrities who attended the recording said that a show like this opened up many possibilities and that comedy had taken a giant step in the right direction.
‘The Comedy Central Roast Of Steve Hofmeyr’ will air on September 24 at 9pm on Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122)