INTERVIEW: Hysterics Interview with
So your own episode of Live at Parkers on
Comedy Central. That's pretty great right?
Are you nervous? Looking forward to it?
Yep, it’s terrific to be invited to host the
show. I get my name on the evening and lots
of stage time. I also get the opportunity to
introduce some of my favourite fellow
comedians who will hopefully return the
favour in my old age (which I
believe officially begins next
June). I’m mostly nervous ab
out the audience, because
we need a true comedy crowd
to make it an optimum event. The kind of
cheerfully unhinged South Africans who make
up regular comedy audiences and who “get”
local comedy are the best people to work for
and I hope they’ll be there on the night.
As an actor you have been on TV a lot.
People probably would recognise you most
from Generations or Isidingo. Do you think
those fans will be surprised to see the
lighter side of Al Prodgers?
Generations was a comedy part, especially
the salary, and in Isidingo I played a
stalker/maniac/kidnapper/suicide which is
always good for laughs. I think it’s more likely
that your readers, who are probably stand-up
connoisseurs, are now thinking, “Wasn’t this
guy Mr Patchitt, from Kideo?”
Yes folks, you can blame me for all that deep-
rooted childhood anger. My stand-up is
marginally cheaper and mercifully shorter
than therapy and we all go away a bit more
damaged and smiling.
Are you planning on putting together a
specific set of jokes or will you change it up
dependent on what happens on the night?
It’s going to be weird to try to cater for two
different audiences. As you know, live stand-
up works best when you build a relationship
with your audience in that specific venue on
that particular evening. But for CCLAP (love
that acronym, by the way, it sounds like an
enthusiastic STD) the comics will have to keep
in mind that the biggest audience will be
watching on TV a month later. It’s a unique
challenge that I’ve never faced before. I
believe the best way to solve it is to make the
live show work as well as possible, but not
anchor it too rigidly in a specific time and
place. For example, although this is filmed in
February 2013, with a murder trial dominating
the headlines, those topics might be very
distant by the time the show is screened. I’ll
try to avoid jokes that could date, but I’ll also
rely on the editors to cut out stuff that will
get stale before the transmission. There’ll
definitely be a lot happening on the night of
the 27th that’ll be too hot for TV and will end
up on the digital junk pile. All the more
reason to come to the unedited, uncensored
Seeing as how this is your show there must
be a lot of other stuff you'll be doing behind
the scenes before it screens? Can you take
us through what it's like having your own
show on CCLAP?
I’m probably the most follically challenged
comic who’s ever appeared on the show, so I
envisage lots and lots of time in the make-up
chair to stop the glare from my head blinding
the audience. There are specific rules of TV-
land to get used to, like where to stand and
not throwing up into the lapel mic, but other
than that, nothing out of the ordinary.
Can you give us some indication of who the
guests are going to be on your show? How
do they get chosen?
I’ve worked with Warren Robertson many
times before and really admire his
pyrotechnic mind and expert wordplay. We’ve
toured together doing a two man stand-up
show called “Double Take” and our styles
complement without competing. He was an
obvious first choice.
Warren mentioned Nqoba Ngcobo and right
away, I agreed. We’ve also shared the
trenches of club gigs and touring, so I know he
is a sure-fire act whose comedy adds yet
another brilliantly funny dimension to the
show. Plus both of these guys are so damned
likeable that they’ll make the whole
experience relaxed and fun.
With Gavin Kelly in the mix as a hungry, young
lion out to make an impression, I believe we
have a really good line-up that caters for a
wide variety of tastes and makes for exciting
I believe that the show shoots for much
longer than what we will finally get to see
on air. Do you choose which jokes make it
and which ones don't?
I do have some input into my own
performance, not that of the other
comedians, but Comedy Central has the final
say. They’ve been gracious and encouraging
and they’ve shown a real sensitivity to
comics’ neuroses, so I have full confidence in
the final product.
And finally? Any idea what you are wearing?
is this that kind of occasion, where it's
polite to ask?
I believe the fashionista question is “who”
will I be wearing. I liked the idea of wearing
Mr Roland Cilliers of Boksburg, but Comedy
Central said his complexion didn’t work on
camera, so I’ve gone with the more
traditional ensemble of jeans and collared
shirt, lovingly crafted by barely legal labour in
China. However, I might set out to shock and
surprise. Why don’t you come see for
10th February 2013