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It used to be a running joke that stand-up comedians Donovan David Goliath (his real name) and Jason Goliath were brothers.
They’re not. Then new comedian Nicholas Goliath burst on to the scene and we half-expected even more comedians to claim the surname.
Veteran comedian Mark Banks jokingly called the Goliaths the Spur restaurant franchise of comedy on account of how there seemed to be one on every comedy bill.
Goliath and Goliath comprises former advertising industry creative director Donovan, stand-up comedians and cousins Jason and Nicholas, as well as Jason’s sister, Kate, the PR person and manager.
“A year and a half ago you would have never known the name Goliath,” Jason tells me as he leaves a radio station after a comedy slot, “but now everyone respects and appreciates what we do.”
What they do – aside from performing at venues across the country – is spearhead AWEdnes-day Comedy at Honeydew Shopping Centre every last Wednesday of the month, The Box comedy sessions at Pop Art in the Maboneng Precinct every Sunday night, and now, Comedy at 20:13.
Dubbed The Beginning, Comedy at 20:13 takes place at the Market Theatre in Newtown from March 5 to 17 then every first Thursday from next month onwards.
“In the development stages, we wanted to invoke the old Def Comedy Jam show where you have comedians ranging from top to intermediate and even newcomers and the DJ gets the crowd nice and hyped,” says Jason.
“So we’ll have an open spot and a headliner, but four comedians in total for each show. The Market Theatre has a beautiful feel – its Laager Theatre may not be the biggest venue but it will get the biggest laughs.”
Comedy at 20:13 is the brainchild of Jason, Donovan and fellow funnyman Sifiso Nene, who all performed at the Market Theatre’s Comedy and Music Extravaganza late last year.
“People like Mpho Popps and John Vlismas are known as some of the greatest hosts South African comedy has seen so I think you’ll see them host in the future but for The Beginning, the three of us (Donovan, Sifiso and Jason) will be the hosts,” says Jason.
“The stage will be shared by Chris Forrest, Tumi Morake, John Vlismas, Tol A$$ Mo, Skhumba, Kedibone Mulaudzi and more.”
Goliath and Goliath seem to have carved a niche on the comedy circuit and have taken it upon themselves to focus on grass-roots comedy. “The thing about South Africans is that while they enjoy comedy, there is a culture of only supporting big gigs like Blacks Only or the Heavyweight Comedy Jam,” says Jason.
“We love those shows but we have a strong focus on open spots and providing a platform for young comedians to share the stage with some of the biggest acts.”
He hopes his comedy clan will continue to do just that from here on out.
• Catch Comedy at 20:13, The Beginning, at the Market Theatre from March 5-17. Tickets start at R75 from Computicket and the box office. The show lasts two hours.