Brendan Jack (pictured) is back. But this time, this comedian and actor wants to introduce audiences across the continent to David Leno.
The David Leno Show, which began as a web series, debuted on DStv’s Comedy Central on April 1 and will air every Monday as well as online. David Leno is introduced as a brand consultant to the stars and in Jack’s signature off-kilter comedy, in each episode, different South African celebrities are “helped” by this motivational marketing guru.
“Through David Leno,” starts Jack, “I just want to help people actually. Most brand gurus are self-serving and pretend that they know all the answers to everything. Nonsense. No one has the answers. I come from a background of advertising so I’ve grown with that sense of business and marketing to people.”
On the show, David Leno attempts a “destiny trajectory launch” for the likes of Danny K – whom Leno suggests change his name to something with a letter that isn’t K – and Tamara Dey among others.
But first: what is a destiny trajectory launch? “It’s the starting point of figuring out how to push your life to the next level,” Jack explains, “launching your career or life.”
Jack has personal experience of moving his career to the next level. He was the face of Benoni for a bit (thanks to Crazymonkey Presents: Straight Outta Benoni) and even championed footskating in the country.
“I’ve stopped footskating since then,” he shares, “It’s a young man’s game now so I only do it privately.” His latest character, David Leno, is obviously a mash-up of two famous American late night talkshow hosts: David Letterman and Jay Leno.
“Well, the show is about celebrities and branding,” says Jack, “and in the style of the biggest icons of late night talkshows, the concept is in an interview-style.
“We’re putting together a longer format of the show which will be out on Comedy Central later on.”
On making the move to television, Jack says David Leno was something “we experimented with as a web-series but I spoke to Comedy Central and they loved the idea so now everything has been put on hold on the website so we can roll it out on TV properly”.
As we’ve seen with the success of, say, South African comedian Anne Hirsch and her web series, The Anne Hirsch Show, there is a market for comedy on the even smaller screen. But it’s not a question of online versus television, at least not to Jack.
“It’s about the more the merrier,” according to Jack, “TV in South Africa is still standard – it’s where the audiences are. Online is still very niché and it’s great because there are people who seek out that stuff and get what you’re doing but it’s still good to get the TV audience.”
As far as David Leno goes, Jack says that David Leno would absolutely love to be a career consultant to Charlize Theron above everyone else. First Leno would “tell Charlize to change her surname back to Teron and change her accent back”.
“If Gerard Butler is British and he can change back into his original accent then so can she. She just needs one more Oscar. If only she would answer my calls.”
Well, Charlize, if you’re reading…
• David Leno is on Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122) every Monday at 8.30pm.