Al Prodgers Comedy INTERVIEW: Hysterics Interview with Al Prodgers
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 live event. 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 TV. 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 yourself?
10th February 2013
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INTERVIEW: Hysterics Interview with Al Prodgers
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 live event. 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 TV. 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 yourself?
10th February 2013
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