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Comedy is the new ruling party

Hysteria. According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, hysteria is “a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability…” and other disturbances that don’t necessarily apply for the purposes of this article.

And when you put the word “mass” in front of hysteria? Well, then you have a whole lot of folks who are emotionally excited.

Cape Town,14.08.07.Actor Stephen Jubber who will be perfoming in a new play at Onbroadway called "In Briefs".Picture Gary Van Wyk/Reporter Derek. Credit: INLSA

You also have Mass Hysteria, a comedy show that will tour Joburg and Cape Town and feature some of the finest comics this country has to offer.

The eight headliners of Mass Hysteria are John Vlismas, Mark Banks, Ndumiso Lindi, Eugene Khoza, Marc Lottering, Nik Rabinowitz, Casper de Vries and Tumi Morake.

For the longest time, many comedians had some gag or other about how the way politicians run this country is a joke in itself.

All one had to do was point out some or other remark Juju – back when he had a platform to speak, you know – had made and that would guarantee some laughs from an audience.

But a good comedian does not rely solely on the mind-boggling deeds of people in parliament to come up with side-splitting material.

The Mass Hysteria crew are of that calibre of comedians.

As their collective twitter page states: “If comedy had a government – this would be it.”

The implication extends to the fact that the comedians have decided to govern themselves and create the laws to live by when it comes to their careers.

In a sense, Mass Hysteria extends the trend that Vlismas and Taffia Keight of Whacked Management have already started through the Comics Choice Awards (CCA).

The second awards ceremony takes place early next month.

Besides one category that is voted for by the audience, the awards rely on professional comedians who have registered for consideration at the CCA site to, using a secret ballot system, vote for their favourite comedians in a number of categories.

This is comedy for comedians, by comedians, at its best.

Mass Hysteria is a show put together by comedians (that means all the behind-the-scenes admin, bookings and stuff), featuring comedians all for you, the public.

Vlismas told the Daily Maverick that the idea came about after he and the comedians on this Mass Hysteria line-up weren’t paid on time by Hunta Live, the organisers of the popular Bafunny Bafunny comedy tours.

They have since decided to not partake in this year’s Bafunny Bafunny and Vlismas says he “decided to look into putting a tour together without the promoter, and see how we could rearrange it so that the artists had a say in the production, and (could) benefit from great sales”.

The Comics Choice Awards have proved that this concept can work and as long as the public gets quality comedians, then we’re guaranteed big laughs and that’s something to be emotionally excited about.

• Mass Hysteria will take place at the Teatro in Montecasino, Fourways from July 11 to 14. Dates for the Cape Town show will be announced soon. Visit www.whacked.co.za for more information.

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