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John Vlismas isn’t as tall as Loyiso Gola, but you know what they say about dynamite and packages that aren’t all that huge. Vlismas packs the heat – a .38 special as you’ll attest if you’ve seen his one-man show.
So it’s no wonder that Parker’s Comedy and Jive and Comedy Central’s partnership resulted in Vlismas being the first South African stand-up comedian to headline the Comedy Central Presents… Live At Parker’s shows. The show will be televised on Friday on the DStv channel.
Although some people were sceptical about Comedy Central paying any attention to the Mzansi funny market once it started broadcasting at the southern tip of Africa, the channel has proven itself to not only be interested but be willing to put their name behind the industry.
So that means you won’t only catch cartoons and comedy by American and UK acts on the channel, you’ll be able to watch the likes of Vlismas and Loyiso Gola (who is the headliner for the upcoming Comedy Central Presents... Live At Parker’s event) do what they do best.
The bonus here is that as South Africa’s only all-day, every day stand-up comedy venue, Parker’s – which is a club inside Montecasino in Fourways, Johannesburg – was the perfect place to host this event. And not only do the big names get to be on stage but some of the budding funnymen (and hopefully women too) get a chance too.
One person who got to do that at the inaugural Comedy Central Presents... Live at Parkers was Mpho Popps. This young comedian’s strongest point is his ability to relate his experiences with those of the people in the audience. He just gets it.
Good thing the show is taped in front of a live audience and not one that could pass for a rent-a-crowd. The Parker’s audience is a tough one to crack because most of them are regulars.
They don’t go to Montecasino just to sit at the slots, so making them laugh is really working for your cheque.
The other acts that performed their stand-up sets on the night include Vittorio Leonardi, who has been in the game for quite some time, as well as relative newcomer Donovan Goliath whom you absolutely must see live. Even though the small screen will do.
As one of the people behind the Comic’s Choice Awards, Vlismas cares not only about being one of the funniest men in the world but also about growing and celebrating the comedy industry. His dark humour and ability to make you see logic where there may have seemed to be none – like in the political realm – is uncanny. He’s a cut above the rest and he’s also the first comedian Comedy Central decided to debut this new series with, so don’t miss it.
• Comedy Central Presents... Live at Parkers featuring John Vlismas airs on Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122) on May 18 at 8.55pm.