Funnyman Joey in KZN

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TO NDR Rasdien1

A man who has definitely made a name for himself on the South African comedy circuit is the hysterical Joey Rasdien. The talented actor and writer never ceases to amaze his fans with his witty South African brand of humour. Now he is making his way to the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World with his brand-new offering, Evolved, running on Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1.

For those of you who are not so clued up on the comedy scene, Rasdien has been doing what he loves for years.

He is well known for his roles in the films Running Riot, Bunny Chow, Vaatjie Sien Sy Gat, Dollars and White Pipes, Blitz Patrollie and Material with Riaad Moosa. He also wrote, co-produced and acted in his own sitcom, Rasdien, on SABC2, and holds a tower of accolades to his name.

In terms of stand-up comedy, Rasdien has performed in many major comedy festivals throughout the country. And if you’ve ever wondered who was the voice behind those Scrutinise animated adverts (a public health campaign that aims to get people to examine their life- style and change their behaviour, particularly focusing on HIV/Aids prevention), it’s none other than Rasdien.

Tonight chatted to the funnyman about his upcoming stand-up comedy show. I must admit it was quite an odd interview. He tends to turn the questions around on me and relate it to journalism. “So, were you always funny?”

“Were you always good at writing?” I respond: “Err yes, so I’ve been told.” He answers: “Yeah, same with me.” And that’s basically how the rest of our interview went.

He does open up about his upcoming show, Evolved, which, according to a press release, tackles the touchy subject of evolution and how natural selection has blessed many of the figures that loom over South African life. Topics under scrutiny range from the devil and Charles Darwin to Julius Malema and Stephen Hawking.

The interesting thing about Rasdien as a comedian is his financial background, which allows him to relate to his corporate audiences in a way that not many comedians can.

About Evolved he says: “People will laugh, that’s the most important. That’s my task as a comedian. But I do speak about how society has evolved, how this evolution has come about and when people come into a position of power, they evolve. In general, people become more successful.

“For instance, I’m speaking to you now and you’re typing what I’m saying to you. Fifteen years ago we couldn’t do that. It was not possible. So there are always new technologies and that’s one way that time has evolved; things are always changing.

“The only thing that hasn’t evolved has been the matric pass rate (laughs). My mother always says to understand the past and the future, there are two aspects: you need to understand how things have changed and how it’s going to change.”

In terms of his show, he says: “In the words of DJ Fresh, if people like it they will come and if they don’t, then they won’t. I can only do what I do.”

Is there anything you would like to add? “I would like to add that one plus one equals two,” he answers. That’s Joey Rasdien for you.

• Catch Joey Rasdien’s Evolved at the Suncoast Casino on Friday and Saturday. Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are available at Computicket for R100. For info, visit www.suncoastcasino.co.za

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