Trevor Noah: South Africa’s answer to Michael McIntyre
Amused Moose Soho,
Saturday 5th January 2013
It’s official. Not only is Trevor Noah South Africa’s biggest selling Comedian, he’s also just broken all box office records at London’s Soho Theatre. He is now the biggest selling comedian there of all time. Take that Lee Nelson, Reginald D Huunter, Shappi Khorshandi and others.
Alas I didn’t make it to see him at Soho Theatre, so it was great to get the opportunity, at late notice, to see him at Amused Moose Soho, which is just around the corner from Soho Theatre. He had in fact been booked to do this show months before his star rose in London.
His show opening was sublime, original and hilarious. It’s a wonder it’s not been done before. From thereon he had the packed audience in the palms of his hands. He’s like the South African Michael McIntyre in his ability to mine the everyday, seemingly mundane and turn it into comedy gold. He demonstrated this with tales of the London Underground, moving the audience to laughter with his razor sharp observations of tube etiquette, “the stare, look away” routine many commuters engage in. This lead him to make comparisons with his fellow countrymen and women back home in South Africa and how they are more friendly in the way that chatting to strangers is viewed as completely acceptable and normal behaviour.
Escalators and Traffic lights
Noah’s Zambian escalators joke was hilarious as he highlighted how something as everyday as escalators, that we take for granted in Britain, is actually a thing of great fascination and pride for Zambians, where the first escalators in the country were only just installed in August 2012.
The traffic light system in S Africa is an interesting one too. I won’t say much more, other than that I think I’d enjoy driving over there and you probably would to. If you can drive that is.
We also learnt that Black Africans don’t go in much for sarcasm. They just tell it as it is. A throw away sarcastic comment to his mother over dinner one evening beautifully proved the point.
The material about being mixed race was on point. As well as being funny, it’s a further insight into other people’s way of life. Noah brought into vivid colour, with a touch of wit, via one small, but significant audience observation of a Black and White couple sitting together, of how it must have been so difficult for Black people living in apartheid South Africa, where that just wouldn’t have happened. Not without consequences anyway.
As the opening act for 2013 comedy in London Trevor Noah put on a teriffic show. The acts following him in 2013 have a lot to live up too.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
8th January 2013
Trevor Noah will almost certainly be a nominee for ‘Best International Comedian’ at The Black Comedy Awards 2013. Read this Blog and the brand new Tiemo site when it is launched in the Spring for further information on the nominations and voting process.