It has been decided that Leon Schuster (pictured) will be the next roastee on the second Comedy Central’s African Roast.
Speaking to Evert van der Veer, head of Comedy Central, Africa, we gained some insight on what to expect this time around.
“I was responsible for bringing the first Roast to South Africa and going by its success, we are ready to do it again,” said Van der Veer.
Justifying why there is such a show coming to our screens, Van der Veer said the country and the continent need comedy.
“With comedy we get to talk about those things we are not always comfortable talking about in general. It makes people look at the world through other glasses and makes for a good night out,” he explained.
Looking back at the first Roast which was held in September 2012 when Steve Hofmeyr was the roastee, Van der Veer explained that the maiden effort was hard, but it did very well for them.
“It was also our launch event. The channel was almost a year old but hadn’t done anything national that could put the channel on the map. So we thought Roast would put us on the map, but it did four times better than we expected.
“The share of the premium DStv bouquet was 23 percent and that meant one in every four people who have the bouquet actually watched that Roast that night. For a small channel like ours compared to the others, it was a very good result,” he said.
For those who could not catch the show live or on TV, the Comedy Central team also availed some DVDs at music stores. These also sold out.
“I can’t give the exact number, but the DVDs sold out in a short time. After organising the live show and the TV version we saw that we were approaching Christmas and decided to cut some DVDs of the show and that succeeded too,” Van der Veer.
But all that is past glory. Van der Veer and his team are not naive, knowing they have new challenges this time around as expectations are high.
“Steve Hofmeyr was the first roastee we did and it was hard for us to find another one. However, I think with Leon Schuster, we’ve found someone who crosses over to the entire country. Everybody knows him and I think a lot of people would want to get back at him because he is the South African national prankster. In that regard I think he is some- one to be roasted,” he said.
Although he would not tell us who the roasters are yet, Van der Veer hinted at who to expect, judging by what they do.
“We have a diverse group of interesting people on the panel. We have two TV stars, radio stars, one rock star, one sports star and three comedians. We selected them because they appeal to the whole country. They are big enough, everyone knows them,” he explained.
• The second Comedy Central’s African Roast will be held on April 3 at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City. Book at Compu- ticket from the end of next month. The show will air on Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122) on April 28 at 9pm.