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Introducing a few stand-up guys

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Last weekend, South Africans celebrated 20 years of democracy. This week, four white comedians who are based in Cape Town let us into their lives as young people in this era. But instead of pushing a rainbow nation agenda, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Glen Biderman-Pam, Oliver Booth and Bradford Keen present an even more colourful blend of comedy styles.

With the award-winning theatre director, Tara Notcutt, at the helm of this produc-tion, the young comedians have performed two sold out shows in Cape Town.

Ahead of their Joburg run, Tonight decided to get a few laughs from the comedians and fire some questions at the funny foursome. Here’s what they had to say:

As a comedian, is Johannesburg a harder terrain to conquer?

Schalk: I think each city has its challenges. I do find Joburg a challenging terrain, not because of the audiences, but more because there are just so many good comics up there. That’s why I always bring my A-game when I’m up there. If you don’t stand out you’ll disappear in the crowd.

Bradford: Jozi people supposedly take themselves less seriously than Capetonians. We are ironically uptight for being so laid back. Jozi people like to laugh louder, which will at least give more affirmation to us.

Oliver: It is an incredibly tough terrain to conquer. On my last attempt to conquer the terrain, my Polo was destroyed by a pothole in Glenhazel.

Glen: I don’t think it is easier or harder in Joburg compared to Cape Town, although I do think there is more opportunity in Joburg as a comedian. There are more gigs and therefore more stage time. This means stiffer competition but each comic is growing more rapidly. That’s why Four Young Whites will start our own weekly comedy gig. To give comics more stage time in Cape Town.

Who among the Four Young Whites gets the most groupie love?

Schalk: I would definitely say Bradford. He is the oldest, wisest and, despite Glen’s efforts, the sexiest young white. My female friends always ask me after a Four Young Whites show: “Who is that older guy? I want his beard in my mouth.” So in terms of groupies Brad wins. Oli gets a lot of love from his girlfriend. I get a lot of love from my mom. Glen gets a lot of love from himself.

Bradford: Groupie love would suggest that we have some type of sexual magnetism. You must be confusing us with a band. Glen has great abs though, Schalkie’s eyes and lashes reveal an endearing innocence and Oli drives a Polo.

Oliver: Brad does. His beard is like cat nip for the ladies. In bars and clubs you often see ladies using his beard as a scratching pole whilst he whispers sweet somethings into their ears. However, I have a groupie also! There’s this one girl who I see everywhere, she comes to all my shows, she knows all my jokes AND she sometimes even shows up at my house. Oh wait no, that’s my girlfriend, Francie.

Glen: Brad gets all the groupie love. I’ve seen girls divorce their husbands in the audience while Brad is on stage. Not to mention the boys.

If you were to give Glen a signature hairstyle other than The Berliner, what would it be?

Schalk: I would put a big afro wig and a mustache on Glen and call it the Schalkie B. That way people won’t be able to tell us apart and I can steal his jokes like I’ve always wanted to.

Bradford: Firstly, to have a style called anything is pretty camp. But it is Glen after all. I think I’d give him the Schalk Bezuidenhout. They already have an endearing bromance, so matching cuts would complete the fantasy. Whose fantasy, you are wondering...

Oliver: It would be a completely shaved head, with a small patch of hair on the crown of his head, I would call it the Yarmulke.

Glen: I would want the Patagonian. It’s just like the Berliner, but more Shabby Chic. It has not helped my comedy, but it has helped me with finding religion as the Berliner ironically doubles up as a built in yarmulke - short back and sides, long up top.

What else can we expect from you this year?

Schalk: From the Four Young Whites you can definitely expect our biggest show yet. We are also looking to tour to a few other cities. Other than that, we all will keep doing what we do in our personal capacity and keep on writing new material and just becoming funnier and funnier in general. Glen and I have also decided that we are adopting Oli and raising him as our own. Brad will probably be dead by the end of this year due to a groupie stampede.

Bradford: My beard to grow a bit longer. And hopefully a few more national runs of this fine comedic collaboration.

Oliver: Another Joburg run, a Durban run, and a two-week run in Cape Town in December.

We will be doing all these runs because our fitness is atrocious.

Glen: We are in the process of applying for the Cape Town Fringe festival. We are also planning an East Coast tour in December. Oli was born in The Wilderness so it would be a ‘home coming’ gig for him.

And there you have it. Oliver may love his girlfriend and Bradford gets all the girls but all of these comedians are able to deliver plenty of laughs for everyone.

• Four Young Whites is on at the POPArt Theatre at Main Street Life on 286 Fox Street until May 3 only, at 8pm. Tickets are R80.

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