Schalk Bezuidenhout to host the ‘Savanna Newcomer Showcase’

Host: Schalk Bezuidenhout. Picture: Supplied

Host: Schalk Bezuidenhout. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 31, 2023


The fresh faces of Mzansi’s comedy scene will descend on Cape Town in February, to try their hand at becoming the next best thing in comedy through the “Savanna Newcomer Showcase”.

For the first time, the showcase will be hosted in Cape Town. Presented by the Savanna Comic’s Choice Awards, the event will introduce 20 newcomers, who get five minutes to wow the crown with their original jokes.

It’s the first in a series of build-up events ahead of the awards ceremony in April and it has become a regular annual feature on the comedy calendar.

Manuela Dias de Deus, the managing director of One-eyed Jack and owner of the awards, said: “The showcase was created a number of years ago as an event for 20 newcomer comedians to each perform five minutes of comedy for the industry, so that they’d know who to vote for in the newcomer category for the upcoming awards.

“It quickly grew a personality of its own, and has become a bit of a ‘if you’re in the know, you’re in the know’ kind of a gig that’s attended by some of our country’s best comedians, ad agencies, casting agents and talent scouts - all looking to discover the next big thing.

She added: “Essentially, it’s opening the industry for up-and-coming comedians.

“We’ve worked on the awards since 2012 with its previous owners and have seen first-hand the difference that it makes to our industry, and to comedians’ careers.

“By taking the reins, our aim is to rebuild the platform, to support new talent and to profile and celebrate industry icons. We’re doing our bit to help SA’s incredible talent shine.”

This year’s event is hosted by two-time award winner Schalk Bezuidenhout, who won the “Savanna Newcomer Award” in 2013 and the “Intermediate Award” in 2015.

This year, he is not only the host but also in the running for the “Comedian of the Year Award”.

“The Savanna Newcomer Showcase” takes place on Friday, February 17, at the Star Theatre at The Homecoming Centre in Cape Town.

Tickets cost R120 and include a complimentary Savanna on arrival.

The shortlisted newcomers will be announced in March, and the awards event will take place on April 15 in Johannesburg.