John Vlismas

Munya Vomo

John Vlismas (pictured) has really gone all out this year. He has pushed the bar when it comes to stand-up comedy.

Ordinarily, what we get when it comes to stand-up is a simple format of a man or woman on stage telling a handful of jokes and hoping for the best. Yet when it is a John Vlismas production you will have to expect several out-of-the-box ideas.

If you caught the recent show, Colourblind, which he organised over a month ago, you can actually see just how far the man is willing to push the bar. Before Colourblind, Vlismas had produced the Sex show which had the likes of Celeste Ntuli and Tumi Morake.

It proved to be a success and by the time Colourblind came through with Debora Patta as host even she, though not a comedian, got the crowds roaring with laughter.

The third instalment of that series will be called Divine and it will feature yet another non-comedian, Gareth Cliff, who will obviously do okay.

So what’s Vlismas’ secret? With his one-man show, Revelations, airing tonight, the foul-mouthed comedian spoke about all things comedy.

“I wanted to do something that is a little bit edgy so in my search I found out that another name for the Bible’s book of Revelations is the Book of John.

“So I thought that was quite cool because John is quite an interesting character. He is a madman that wrote the end of the world,” said the comedian.

Surprisingly, knowing many verses from the Bible, Vlismas plans to use that information for his set.

“John was a hallucinogenic writer who had a very intriguing account of how the world would come to an end. When you read the book of Revelations, you understand that a big book of fiction needed to end on a high note and so that explains the last book of the Bible.

“I always say that calling the Bible the Word of God is like calling a Big Mac a cow. It has been so re-edited by politicians, kings and questions.

“So for us to have someone hold a Bible and then we ask them to swear by it is to as to get the truth is quite funny,” explained Vlismas.

Taking this observation, the comedian toyed around with ideas around Christianity and other religions, to research for the Revelations show.

“All religions have an end-of-the-world story, which is something I found fascinating. There is a psychological thing about that which I explore on this show. Here is my thing though, when you die, the world ends for you but as humans we can’t fathom that because we want the world to end for everyone,” he said.

Although he does not believe in the Bible, Vlismas admitted that he had read it before and found the stories in there quite amusing.

“I found out that a forgetful guy called Gideon kept forgetting his Bibles at hotels and so I keep collecting them hoping to give them back to him when I saw him eventually.

“While I was holding them for him, I ended up reading them just to understand what they were about,” he said, chuckling.

Explaining further how Revelations would work, Vlismas said that the primary focus will be on him.

“In the other shows I always make fun of other people’s holy cows but in this show I focus on my holy cows. It’s a revelation of me. I asked questions like, ‘what’s the end of the world?’

“For me that’s when we stop caring, and that’s there right now. So I will be attacking all things that people would not ordinarily want to chat about,” he said.

Revelations airs tonight at 9pm on Comedy Central Africa (DStv channel 122).