Stream two decades of the best of Casper de Vries
When it comes to Afrikaans comedy, Casper de Vries isn’t part of the proverbial furniture but rather that distinct and fancy bespoke couch that makes the room pop. That couch invites you into the room and makes you acknowledge the role of the other furniture as well: “Hey, that coffee table isn’t as kak as I thought it would be. I’ll have a coffee here”.
Casper has been lifting the industry’s game and keeping everyone inspired and on their toes since the early 80s. That’s four decades! Today we’ll be looking at some of Cassie’s best work, spanning the last two decades, all on Showmax.
Before we dive into the truly laugh out loud stuff, we need to look at a very unexpected role. In Snaaks Genoeg (Funny Enough, 2016) Casper plays himself (kind of only by name?) as a down-and-out comedian who drifts from one small town to the next as a result of having alienated his audience with his dirty humour and crude comments.
It is a journey of survival as he resorts to doing shows in one-horse dorpies gigging for food and a place to rest his head, but it is also a journey to rediscover that spark he once had. But there is a dark plot twist – as he drifts in and out of these dorpies, successful comedians are being kidnapped, tortured and murdered in the most bizarre ways and Casper seems to be heading right for centre of the storm.
These kidnappings and murders are being orchestrated by an evil genius lawyer, Koos van der Merwe (played by the magnificent Tobie Cronje), who gets hardcore criminals off their charges in exchange for “sorting out” comedians who offend him and his family name.
This is a very entertaining but poignant, dark comedy. It explores the pain that humour can inflict on the average human being. There is a somewhat unexpected finale to the tale, but I will leave you to discover it for yourself.
As I started rewatching Die Casper Rasper Show (2001), I was completely caught off guard within the first few seconds as it felt overly familiar. I then realised that the show was filmed in Pretoria at the UNISA Kleinteater in Pretoria and that I attended the taping of one of the episodes as part of the live audience!
Now I just need to watch all of them to figure out which one it was and if I ever actually made it onto TV! Die Casper Rasper Show was one of DStv’s flagship Afrikaans productions two decades ago. It is a hilarious variety comedy show with satirical commentary, interviews with kids and people on the street and their hilarious reactions.
The show has dancers on stage, interviews with celebs, pre-filmed comedy sketches, which includes Casper as various characters, and finally an interview with a musical guest who also plays out the show. Here is a biggie for you – legendary Johannes Kerkorrel was the very first celeb guest on the show in one of his last TV appearances.
It took nearly a decade but Die Casper Rasper Show made a triumphant comeback in the form of Casper Rasper Weer (2010), which got a bit of a facelift. Not to take anything away from its predecessor, but with Casper Rasper Weer, the show’s production quality improved considerably.
Building on the success of the first version, we saw the return of some of the characters, such as Hanno Gelderblom and, at the same time, Casper de Vries, Karen Wessels, Marion Holm and Pierre Breytenbach breathe comic life into witty sketches, with surprise appearances by famous local actors, singers and celebrities. Expect typical naughty Casper jokes and a variety of artists that will brighten up any dark day.
In Konfetti (2014) Casper takes on the role of Barry White, the neurotic and difficult Afrikaans manager of a wedding venue on a farm, who refuses to speak Afrikaans to his Afrikaans clientele. We all know someone like that, don’t we? Hilariously, his dog’s character is named Casper.
It also stars the beautiful Kim Engelbrecht as the wedding singer, Louw Venter as Lukas Basson and Nico Panagio as Jean Vorster. Mr Panagio has me totally confused because I didn’t know that the Survivor South Africa presenter spoke Afrikaans like he was born with it. Back to Casper though – he really gives this movie a seasoned and truly South African comedy flavour.
And now, for Casper’s most recent outing: Cas Oppie Kassie (2020). The show is heavy meta – a few shows within the concept of a character (Oom Kallie Marie) watching a show. Casper takes the mickey out of a shedload of kykNET productions such as Getroud met Rugby, Suidooster, Glam Guru, Voetspore and Maak My Famous.
There is also a spoof news section in each episode as well as returning character Blertsie as an ASMR YouTuber and an animated feature called Con Se Storie, spoofing typical Afrikaans church vibes.
The majority of the budget, however, clearly went into recreating a well-produced send-up of Survivor, simultaneously poking fun at Die Groot Trek, called Die Laager.
It doesn’t matter where you kick off with your dose of Casper de Vries entertainment on Showmax because he is still as funny as he was, two decades ago.