John Vlismas

Munya Vomo

Peek at the comments on any subject on the internet and you will see just how divided we are as people.

You could be online reading a story about a man going to the moon and if you scrolled down to see the public’s comments it would not be at all surprising to find some deviants had made nasty comments relating to someone’s earlier posting. Soon it could escalate into a war of words which might sometimes hurt each other, and the race card could also be thrown into the mix.

If we are to take this example as a reflection of how we relate to each other, then it is safe to say we still have a long way to go when it comes to getting along.

With this in mind, comedian John Vlismas (pictured) has come up with a brilliant idea to address the race issue and other holy cows that get South Africans in heated arguments.

In the Comedy Central Presents… Live at the Lyric show, Vlismas and a few other comedians will perform stand-up comedy talking about race, sex and religion.

“These are three relevant topics South Africans really don’t like talking about rationally,” said Vlismas.

For him comedy has to be about more than just telling jokes. Instead, he feels comics should stimulate the thought process to get people talking about subjects that dir- ectly affect them.

“I am not about fluff comedy. I believe comedy needs to scratch the surface and have people talking,” he explained.

For him the topics of sex, race and religion either have South Africans passionately agreeing or arguing. In some cases they are treated as holy cows and people avoid them in an effort to be polite.

“I read somewhere that at any given point in time 68 million people are having sex. The rest of us are waiting for them to finish so we can get our turn,” he said, chuckling.

But you rarely find people talking openly about sex because it is considered a private matter in many cases.

“Conservatives will not dare talk about it and so we will do it for them. We will do the same for race and religion,” he said.

Vlismas will be the emcee on the night and his team of comics will include Trevor Gumbi, Celeste Ntuli, Anele Mdoda and Nik Rabinowitz.

“These all are outspoken people so it should be interesting to hear what they have to say. We have a lot of ideas on how to make it appealing. For instance, since we all have never watched porn, we thought to take some scenes of old porn movies and use them in the sex talk. We will obviously use the parts without the real action, but just the talking. So we will mute the original dialogue and get our comic to say something over the porn actors, suggesting what they might have said to each other,” he said.

The comics will focus on one subject at a time and Comedy Central will then shoot the shows and bring them to TV at a later date.

“We want to try out the sex subject first and see how that goes. Obviously there is pressure to prove to the channel and the people that we can do this, so once that is out of the way we will do the other two in the year,” he explained.

lThe show’s first instalment is scheduled to take place on February 21 and 22, at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, in Joburg. Tickets for Comedy Central Presents Sex Live at the Lyric are on sale at Computicket outlets, priced between R205 and R390 (discounts for early bird, groups, pensioners, students).