I find that stand-up comedy involves some interesting dynamics. From the perspective of the crowd, it’s a classic example of priming (read Blink for more about that). It’s evident from the fact that they start laughing at the very first words which come out of the comedian’s mouth, even though they are not particularly humorous. From the standpoint of the comedian, it’s must be quite stressful deciding what material to use for each crowd and adapting as they go along depending on the response. This applies particularly when they are perfoming in another country.
Last night was the opening of the International Comedy Festival at the Baxter. The format is as before, 2 hours of stand-up comedy presented by a mix of local and overseas comedians. As usual, some are funnier than others but none are below the standard which is quite high. I found two of the seven particularly funny, one was a local Jewish guy who really got the crowd going with some hilarious racial stereotypes presented with very convincing impersonations. The other guy I liked was from Australia, he used simple, clean humour very effectively.
The Main Arena, which we went to, is just one part of the International Comedy Festival. There are many other venues and shows to suit your taste. It runs from the 3rd September to the 23rd September and tickets are R110 for most shows. Check out the details on the website http://www.comedyfestival.co.za/ and book at Computicket.
To be honest, I think I enjoyed last year’s more (you can read that review here) but this one is still good and worth a visit if you like stand-up comedy.