Nicholas Goliath, Donovan Goliath and Donovan Goliath. Picture: Instagram

In what seems like a short time, Goliath and Goliath has become synonymous with South African comedy. 

Comedian, Jason Goliath and his sister, marketing and PR maven, Kate, got together with their cousin and comedian Nicholas and their friend and comedian Donovan Goliath and formed Goliath and Goliath.

Since then they’ve put on stand-up nights with a cult following like Awednesday, put out DVD specials and in 2016, they started the Goliath Comedy Experience. This year, the festival is back for four days of comedy shows that sees a large chunk of the industry stepping onto the stage.

The likes of Mpho Popps, Joey Rasdien, Robby Collins, Kagiso “KG” Mokgadi and Yaaseen Barnes will be on stage.

However, the only person in that collective who isn’t a comedian will be debuting an event that is close to her heart. Kate Goliath, who is the managing director of Goliath and Goliath, is thrilled to have put together the first Comedy Con that will take place over the weekend. It’s for comedians, by comedians.

“It’s wonderful to see how the comedians love it and come out to support the Experience. Even though it’s not a proper festival, it feels like Christmas. Our main aim is to educate audiences and we’ve been doing that.”

Her newest challenge is Comedy Con, a day-long conference that allows established and younger comedians to talk openly, share skills and network at the end of the Goliath Comedy Experience. The invite-only conference is a step in a direction that Goliath believes is necessary in a multi-million-rand industry.

“I want the conversations to be honest and open and myself and Rabin Harduth will be facilitating the whole day,” she says.

“But I also don’t want emotions and ego to be in there because the (Comedy Con) is about business and there’s no room for that in business. It’s honestly about saying: what do we need?”

The panels will discuss topics such as production and broadcasting with the likes of Comedy Central head, Dillan Khan and comedian, TV and film-maker, Kagiso Lediga. There will be a digital and social media panel including representatives from YouTube and NuTicket as well as comedian and business owner, Donovan Goliath.

The corporate booking agents and talent management panel includes Whacked owner and talent manager, Taffia Keight, as well as business owner and comedy producer, Osman Osman. The final panel will see comedians like John Vlismas, Sifiso Nene, Tumi Morake, Chris Forrest, Joey Rasdien as well as behind the scenes trailblazers, Ryan Harduth and Takunda Bimha in conversation.

At the core of the Comedy Con is the drive to take the industry further through sharing and mentorship. As business owners and culture champs who have won the Best Friend of Comedy Waldo every year since the inception of Comics’ Choice Awards, Goliath and Goliath believe sharing is caring.

Goliath says: “Why not pass the knowledge on and make everybody in comedy look amazing so that our industry can grow?

“We have to make sure everyone is getting their happiness but it’s done professionally so that we’re not just be clowns all the time.

“Entertainment is a much-needed industry and these are jobs, it’s not a favour. I’m just so tired of people being robbed.”

Globally, many comedians are able to live off being comedians but that narrative doesn’t ring true here. Goliath believes this is a travesty - especially because Mzansi comedians are world-class - that can be solved through events like Comedy Con.

“I’ve seen comedy overseas and I’ve seen our guys perform with internationals and there is a richness in South African and African comedy that you cannot believe.

“You see people’s reactions and there’s that spice, that chakalaka that we throw in.

“It’s real. You just have to look at the vernac scene to see that this is something to be so proud of.

“As much as we support it, we also know our place within it. A lot of the guys who come from the UK and the States die on our stages as our audiences are clever. I do believe our stories are the best.”

The Goliath Comedy Experience takes place at the Goliath Comedy Club at Melrose Arch from June 6- June 9. Visit goliathandgoliath.com.

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