It’s always a pleasure to speak to a comedian who takes their craft seriously. While some people may be easily blinded by the cheques the corporates cut and yes, even twoupies (what else can you call groupies on Twitter?), there are still people who work on churning out the best gags, whether using just a microphone or with the help of a musical instrument.
Daniel Friedman, better known as Deep Fried Man, is one such comedian. His first one-man show, Deep Fried Man is Deeply Fried, kicks off next week and will definitely be worth checking out.
We spoke to the man who loves “the idea of doing my own thing in a theatre. Club gigs are great and serve their purpose but there’s nothing better than getting laughs in a theatre where everyone came there just to see you”.
You started comedy professionally two years ago; what was the bigger picture?
I started doing comedy because my gran said try it, but I didn’t expect it to take off. Then I kept doing it and realised there’s something in it and that I could get better and make a career out of it. So I began to put pressure on myself to do things like this one-man show because I felt I got into the game so late and I’m making up for lost time. I want to be one of South Africa’s top comedians and I’m not naïve enough or arrogant enough to think that I’m there yet.
In the past, having a one-man show used to be a big deal, almost like a rite of passage; is it still like that today?
People’s perspectives are different, so different guys are motivated by different things. There are young guys I know who don’t have the perspective that a one-man show is a necessary thing to do. They may be more drawn to putting effort into getting into advertising, corporate gigs or endorsements. See, a one-man show is not the route to fame and fortune. I see it as working on my craft.
A while ago, I spoke to Tats Nkonzo who said when he started his career, people couldn’t see that he’s funny beyond the guitar…
The funny thing is that people always compare Tats and I, but anyone who’s ever heard both of us can see how different we are. Just because we are both standing there with a guitar.
And The Brothers Streep too…
Yes, even with The Brothers Streep. But, they’ve got songs. What me and Tats do is more stand-up comedy with a guitar. We get the laugh and move on. I always tell Tats that if he wanted to stop comedy he could actually be an R&B superstar. He’s got that smooth thing. He’s funny without being dirty so you could probably invite him to your church’s year-end function. But I like dirty, it’s just what I’m into. The worst thing is when I get called a novelty act. It’s like I’m on a unicycle juggling or I breathe fire – that’s not what I see myself as. I really respect a stand-up comedian who can just be on stage talking and you don’t even see the time going by. That’s what I’ve been trying to do. I want to get to a stage where I can get up without a guitar and still rock it.
What do you want people to come away with at your show?
I want people to have laughed about stuff they wouldn’t normally laugh about. I want to create that expectation of ‘what is he going to do next?’ So expect an hour of laughter and music.
l Deep Fried Man is Deeply Fried is at the Old Mutual Theatre On The Square from November 22 to December 3. Tickets are R120. Book through the box office at 011883 8606
COMEDY GIG GUIDE
l Joe Parker, Brian Higgins, Robbie Collins and Martin Jonas are at Parker’s Comedy and Jive inside Montecasino, Fourways, on November 24. Tickets R90 at Computicket and through the box office at 011 511 0081/2.
l The annual 46664 It’s No Joke comedy night features Riaad Moosa, Nik Rabinowitz, David Kau, Tumi Morake, Chris Forrest, Deep Fried Man, Joey Rasdien, Conrad Koch and MC, Darren Simpson. At Emperors Palace on December 1. Tickets from R186 at Computicket.
l Actor turned comedian, Siyabonga Radebe aka Siya Botherwise presents his first one-man show, Smiles and Cries, at the Market Theatre in Newtown from November 23 to December 4. Tickets from R80 through Computicket or through the box office at 011 832 1641.
l See Casper de Vries in Vark in Hel at Emperors Palace, Brakpan, from November 27 to December 18. Tickets from R160 at Computicket.
l Barry Hilton is the Serial Comic at Emperors Palace from November 18 to 20. Tickets R120. Phone 011 928 1000. The Cousin is also at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria on November 30. Tickets from R175. Book at Computicket.
l Kevin Perkins transforms into Mike Naicker at the Lyric Theatre inside Gold Reef City on November 18 and 19. Tickets from R120 at Computicket or through the box office on 011 248 5130.
l Catch Tony King, the UK’s Brian Higgins, Schalk Bezuidenhout and Chris Forrest at Parker’s Comedy and Jive inside Montecasino, Fourways, on November 18 and 19. Tickets from R90 at Computicket or box office.
l Nik Rabinowitz’s You Can’t Be Serious is on at the Market Theatre in Newtown until November 19. Tickets from R120 at Computicket.
l Joe Parker, Improv Express and Brian Higgins are at Parker’s Comedy and Jive inside Montecasino, Fourways, on November 23. Tickets are R70 at Computicket or the box office.
l Catch Dave Levinsohn, Improv Express and Australian comic Jacques Barratt at Parker’s Comedy and Jive inside Montecasino, Fourways, on November 30. Tickets from R70 at Computicket or the box office.
l Tony King, Jacques Barratt, Don Packett and Siya B are at Parker’s Comedy and Jive inside Montecasino, Fourways, from December 1 to 3. Tickets from R90 at Computicket or the box office.
l Africa Clockwise, Mark Sampson’s one-man comedy show, is on at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square in Sandton until November 19. Book at 011 883 8606.
l Parker’s Urban Comedy Nights at Supersports Action Bar, Carnival City, Brakpan, hosted by Kedibone Mulaudzi, every Thursday. Tickets R30 at 011 898 7000.
l E-mail helen.herimbi@ inl.co.za with comedy column in the subject line.