There was a multitude of people who could have been chosen, but Loyiso Madinga came out tops.
The 31-year-old debuted on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last night for an African segment that broke down South African politics.
The show was broadcast on Comedy Central (DStv channel 122) and is set to be the local touch needed for the show.
The South African-based correspondent’s segments will air intermittently on Comedy Central across the continent with the report replacing some of the main edition’s original content.
“Loyiso’s comic timing and fast-thinking humour make him the ideal choice as a Daily Show correspondent. He is indicative of the diverse and deep pool of talent that shines on our continent and beyond its shores,” said Dillon Khan, vice-president for Comedy Central and Creative Services for VIMN Africa.
The stand-up comedian said he was ready for the work after acing the audition.
“There was a multitude of people they could choose from on the continent, let alone in the country. That’s definitely something I realised before they chose me. They chose this country, this continent to do this on.”
Madinga is fast on the rise after starting his career in 2012. He has already bagged some accolades for his work, and has worked with top local and international comedians.
“The fact that they chose to put their name, the biggest comedy show in the world, here in SA is testament to the work and how fertile our comedy and grind is here and producing really good comics,” he said.
Madinga said that for their audition they pitched a “bunch of ideas” on what they would like to cover for the segment, and it was approved.
“That’s the one that would be flighted for the pilot for the first broadcast outside America. We shot it and put it together, and it will be slotted into the show as if it is all part of it.”
He said the idea to focus on the ANC elective conference and corruption was fitting and relevant for the segment.
“It really is a fun, insightful piece. We worked with a great writing team led by director Kagiso Lediga, who has been absolutely brilliant in putting together a really great team.”
Madinga has always known he would be in the comedy space.
“It’s definitely something I signed up for, but you don’t really see when you’re coming from a small village in the Eastern Cape. You don’t say ‘Oh yeah, that’s totally what I’m going to do’ and your parents don’t say ‘okay, cool, do that’.”
In the US, The Daily Show ranks as the top late-night talk show among millennial men (18-34) and is the No 2 talk show with all millennials, behind The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
“Comedy has always been something that I knew I would love to do one day, and when I got my opportunity I jumped on it, and it has been rewarding since day one,” said Madinga.
He said his family had been supportive of him but he was still explaining to his parents exactly what it is he does.
“As long as I keep sending the money back home,” he joked.
With such a big gig already in the works, Madinga’s plans are to focus on making this opportunity go far.
“I peaked way too soon. The biggest things we are hoping for - because this is a pilot - is that we have done such a great job that we get to do this more and become a permanent feature and global feature on the show.
“So for us it’s back to work, brainstorming and creating bigger and better content,” he said.