COMEDY IS UNIVERSAL and I sat down with South African comedian, Schalk Bezuidenhout, who has been taking his special brand of comedy to all corners of South Africa, to find out a bit more about the man. When asked how he saw himself, Schalk replied in jocular vein: “I normally see myself in the mirror. Sometimes someone would take a photo of me and then I see myself on Facebook. I would describe myself as the guy that always gets asked to describe himself in interviews.”
THERE IS A DICTUM THAT LAUGHTER IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE, AS HAPPINESS IS SPOKEN FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE.
He believes that the only thing that defines one’s performance is one’s material. “A good Zuma joke won’t work in Britain,” he says, “just as a British political joke won’t work here. But, by changing material, a true comedian will provide his audience with a memorable performance.” Schalk, who is known for his improv work, reveals that in the beginning he was so nervous that he would hardly ever depart from his script, adding, however, that the more you trust yourself as a comedian, the more you start to realise that even if you go off your script you can still be funny. Surprise, he contends, plays a big role when providing a punch line because if they can’t see it coming the chances are the joke will end with a good laugh. ‘Jersey Boy’, Schalk’s English show and ‘Voksbesit’, his Afrikaans show, have had an incredible impact on the stand-up comic industry.
The name ‘Jersey Boy’ originated from the fact that the comedian always wears a unique and colourful jersey – and it’s impossible to imagine him without it. His plans include continuing his South African tour and returning later this year to the UK comedy circuit where he will introduce his special brand of South African humour to his audience.