7 stands up to make you double over
A group of comedians is known as a gaggle or riot. Whether you’re planning on having a few gaggles yourself or preparing for a full-blown laugh riot, here’s a selection of the funniest local and international stand ups to give you that feel-good buzz.
23 Hours to Kill – Jerry Seinfeld (Netflix)
Jerry Seinfeld is the king of observational comedy and being funny has made him one of the wealthiest entertainers on the planet. Taking an alien perspective, he deconstructs and reflects our strange customs back to us with hilarious insight. 23 Hours to Kill finds Seinfeld airdropping in to “hack out” his latest special.
He loves the limelight and apart from his voice cracking, he’s still got it! Ripping into technology, outdated services, modern attitudes and poking fun at his own life as a husband and father in his 60s (can you believe it?), he crafts his most animated and candid show with his typical wit and imagination.
Jason Goliath is the kingpin of the Joburg comedy mafia, owning comedy clubs, restaurants and the stage in his one-man show, Manstruation. Affectionately known as “the big one” among the trio of brothers, he makes no big bones about it… wielding an authentic, comfortable-in-his-skin stage presence and motormouth.
Manstruation is about the battle of the sexes, effortlessly blending stand up with a message about love, dating and modern relationships. Funny, warm, thought-provoking and at times crude, Goliath is always likeable and sincere. From teasing the front row to creating his own vernacular, he delivers thoughtful homespun laugh-out-loud comedy with rich entertainment value.
I Love Everything – Patton Oswalt (Netflix)
Patton Oswalt is a Star Wars fan from Virginia who used to be a wedding DJ. The lovable comic is now 50-something, using the opportunity to launch into a Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon style rant. From switching breakfast cereals to hiking, Oswalt lampoons his new lifestyle from an oval platform against a set inspired by pop art icon, The Splash.
A gifted comedian who can make virtually any story funny, he wrestles with his new marriage, home and fatherhood. Keeping things light and breezy, he dips his toe into Trump politics and the Old Testament, opting to rip into health junkies and American diner chain Denny’s instead.
If you’re looking for someone who personifies the movie The Wedding Singer, Schalk Bezuidenhout is your manchild. His curly locks, moustache and frilly tuxedo make him funny before he even opens his mouth. Just like that best man who embarrasses all the guests, his comedy is edgy and his spontaneous riffs unpredictable.
Taken from his own bilingual misadventures from school to adulthood, Bezuidenhout flings jokes around the room using his vocal and body gymnastics to entertain. Chastising his audience members and riding sexual innuendo to breaking point, he uses his stand up comedy to craft sharp observations and beautifully awkward moments.
(The video above is not from Schalkie, but will give you a taste of what to expect.)
Douglas – Hannah Gadsby (Netflix)
Hannah Gadsby is best known for Nanette, her breakthrough stand up comedy special. Gay, raised on Tasmania and only diagnosed with autism a few years ago – she has a unique perspective on our crazy world. Her comedy follow-up doubles down on her word play, art “critiques” and personal journey storytelling as she recounts awkwardly funny moments from her life.
Douglas is laced with a strong yet comical take on patriarchal society, literal stick-it-to-the-man attitude, brilliant turn of phrase and prickly wit. Her quirky demeanour, honest approach and charmingly matter-of-fact style demonstrates her fearless spirit and masterful control of an audience.
Robby Collins is an entertaining, funny, honest, master storyteller. A lanky guy who often gets cast as “the coloured gangster”, his height is already intimidating without a stage. Sitting in an intimate theatre, all that’s missing is a campfire. The comic is brutally honest, using real-life stories to entertain and tickle.
From opening for Trevor Noah to being booed off stage at Oppikoppi, his frank delivery is refreshing with tales that teeter on becoming confessional. While it may take a minute to adjust to his surprisingly warm vibration, easy-going stage presence and storytelling format, it’s a joy to be in his company.
Dalin Oliver is Dom Torretto and Howard Wolowitz’s lovechild. Naturally gifted with the features of both icons, the radio personality turned stand up comic was born to do comedy. Recalling growing pain tales from his youth in the suburb of Retreat in Cape Town, he unpacks his rich culture and heritage against a classic stand up venue backdrop.
Nostalgic for some and eye-opening for others, Oliver’s show is compelled by his infectious charm, enthusiasm and funny insights. Recounting popular songs, shared histories and “being French”, the entertainer leverages the “face for radio” theme, homegrown slang and local flavour to great effect.
Bonus Pick: Don’t miss Dillan Oliphant in his new show In a Lonely Place.
Here’s a taste of his style: