Review: Blacks Only Over Extends Itself

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blacks only comedy show the bling bling tourFor its first run in Cape Town in 4 years, and with a line up of comedians such as David Kau and Marc Lottering,  this show should have been one big laugh. And it was a big laugh – funny to loyal fans but laughable to others. Blacks Only fell short.

The audience upon arrival were treated to the sounds of DJ Franky who remained on stage the entire evening, providing soundtracks to each comedian’s appearance. The well-known David Kau was warmly welcomed by fans. His start was quite slow but eventually the ball was rolling and audiences felt comfortable enough to be introduced to the next act.

The younger, upcoming comedians in the line up were no doubt thrilled to be sharing the stage with established favourites such as Kau, Lottering, Tumi Morake and Chester Missing and Conrad Koch. But the total of eight comedians was a long haul, not least because Kau, in the role of host, over-extended each of his introductions. It was fine in the beginning when the audience was still fresh but the show ran for over 3 and a half hours, way past the point where the audience was still able to catch punchlines or giggle at subtleties. Because of this, a good comedian such as Thapelo ‘Tips’ Shampoo who was saved for last, may not have got the reception and credit that he deserved. Nevertheless, the young comedian was a personal favourite.

The show was inevitably full of references to Zuma and the Guptas, Vavi’s sex scandal, and of course Miley Cyrus’s twerking. Even Conrad Koch, who reused the majority of his material from Mass Hysteria 2013, had added some slight changes in light of recent headlines. Another comedian worth mentioning was Jason Goliath, who had audiences in stitches with his own rendition of Liam Neeson’s threatening Taken speech… as Nataniël.

Minor international soap star, Texas Battle,  was in the audience which caused a small flurry of excitement . It is a very South African tradition to make our international visitors feel welcome, but the the comedians’ constant references to him quickly became boring, if not embarrassing.  Another downfall was the heavy dose of sex jokes by some comedians which, while enjoyed by some members of the audience, was loathed by many others.

The Blacks Only comedy show was funny but the material provided was often more clever than humorous. Comic timing was seriously lacking in its extended duration: it was more like a David Kau show in a double bill with other comedians. Nevertheless, it was a show that could be enjoyed by the fans and it was a great opportunity to spot young comedians who may turn out to be favourites in the future.

Lauren Vogt

Blacks Only took place at the Grandwest Grand Arena on 4 October 2013.

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