Thursday, 23 August 2012

Nando’s Jozi Comedy Festival

This year, the 5th Annual Nando’s Jozi Comedy Festival will once again bring the biggest laughs to Jozi when the hottest comedians get together on one stage at the Teatro, Montecasino from 20–26 August 2012. Last night I was very fortunate to be invited and see what the fuss (or in this case laughter) was all about ... ...  

The Stage at the Teatro at Montecasino

What is the Nando’s Jozi Comedy Festival?

It is part of the biggest international comedy festival on the African continent and comedy fans can catch 7 of the best stand-up acts on offer every night from some of the best acts including Mitch Fatel, Brian Haner, Christina Paszitsky, Finesse Mitchell (Host), Ian Bagg and Tom Segura alongside local funny men David Kau (who was my favourite Comedian of the Evening) and Loyiso Madinga (the Graça Comedy Showdown Winner)

This is one of the funniest shows I've been to and my cheeks are still cramping from laughing so much, and my stomach muscles are are one step closer to a 6-pack from all the laughter during the evening!

Meeting the Crew of Comedians:


What a great way to open up a show!! Brian Haner, Best known as Guitar Guy from The Jeff Dunham Show entertained the audience with impressive guitar skills and humorous lyrics! — He is that perfect combination of Amazing guitar player and stand-up comedian!

Brian spent 25 years as a guitarist, recording and touring with musicians ranging from Avenged Sevenfold to Frank Zappa. For the last 4 years he has opened for The Jeff Dunham Tour on more than 500 shows, in just about every city in America, as well as South Africa, Australia, and a tour across Europe. Brian is now headlining clubs across the country in his own rock ‘n’ roll comedy show. With over 4.2 million views on his YouTube page, Brian has created a rabid fanbase for his live shows.


Finesse and Me during the interval
The Host for the evening is comedian, actor, author and ESSENCE Magazine columnist Finesse Mitchell. He got his first big break when he was asked to be a featured player on the hit NBC sketch comedy Saturday Night Live, joining the cast in 2005. Since leaving the cast of SNL, Finesse has been making audiences laugh out loud with his witty sense of humor, showmanship and smooth Southern charm. He's been seen on the big screen in films such as Who's Your Caddy?The Comebacks, and Mad Money. Apart from being a regular on E!’s Chelsea Lately, Finesse is a recurring guest on television on shows including The Today ShowTYRAThe Early ShowThe Tom Joyner Morning Show and The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet as an expert on love and relationships.


Tom is a comedian originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, though he was raised in too many places to list. His television credits include ConanComedy Central Presents (half-hour special), Showtimes’ Russell Peters Presents, and Live at Gotham! 

When he’s not on tour Tom continues to perform at the top comedy festivals in the world, including Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy FestivalThe Melbourne International Comedy FestivalThe Comedy Festival - Las VegasThe South Beach Comedy Festival, and The Global Comedy Festival in Vancouver.


Back by popular demand after killing it as host of the Nando’s Cape Town Festival in 2010, Ian Bagg is no stranger to comedy stages around the world. Within 3 short years of starting doing stand up, he had made 3 appearances on NBC’s The Conan O’Brien Show, rocked HBO’s Aspen Comedy Festival, and destroyed Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival. He has made several appearances in independent movies and sitcoms; has worked as a correspondent for MySpace, hosted Ripe TV’s The Hollywood Burn and even had his own live talk show The Ian Bagg Show. He’s added credits like NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay LenoCBS’s Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and CBS’s The Craig Ferguson Show. Al Gore described his comedy as “controlled chaos”, President Reagan on his death bed described it as an “interactive delight”. Nancy agreed.


Stand-Up Comedian, Writer and LA native Christina Pazsitzky is a series regular on Tru TV’s World’s Dumbest, you saw her as a roundtable regular on E!’s Chelsea Lately and will be seeing her in Showtime’s new Live From Amsterdam Series! Headlining comedy clubs around the country, Christina has also entertained our troops in the Middle East, Africa and South Korea. Christina has been called “pure comedy: honesty and a lot of outspokenness.” Fearless, empowering, and observational, Christina is a modern day Rosanne Barr - with a dash of truck stop waitress. Christina has lent her voice and written on various animated television series, like Trolls and Dr. Doolittle and in the feature film TV: The Movie with the boys from Jackass.


One of the most sought-after comedians in South Africa, and my personal favourite funny guy of the evening was David Kau. His name is synonymous with many firsts; he stormed onto the scene with a performance at the first Nando’s Comedy Festival in 1998 (then called the Smirnoff Comedy Festival), becoming the first black stand-up comedian on this coveted comedy stage. He wrote and performed The Rainbow Nation Tour, his first one-man show in 1998, and never looked back. 

He continued with politically-savvy comedy with his next play, Introducing The Peoples Comic — he left Cape Town for Johannesburg where he performed in Heavyweight Comedy Jams from 2000 and Comedy Black Out in 2002 until 2004.


Is that a sparkle in his eye or is he just confused? With his innocence and friendly demeanor Mitch Fatel quickly engages the audience and then catches them off guard with his mixture of mischievous dialog and off color comments. The number one requested comedian on Satellite Radio, Mitch has appeared numerous times on both the "Late Show with David Letterman" and the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno". In 2006 he took home honors as "Best Comedian" at the prestigious HBO Aspen Comedy Festival and in April of 2007 his half hour stand up special debuted on Comedy Central and was ranked #6 all time by viewers. Mitch recently appeared on Showtime’s “Live From Amsterdam,” and Mitch's One Hour Comedy Central Special, "Mitch Fatel is Magical" is now available on DVD.


The festival is running in conjunction with the Graça Comedy Showdown contest for fledgling comedians. That put the winner, Loyiso Madinga, on stage for only his 8th time, and he was ridiculously funny! He didn't even look nervous and he 'hit the nail on the head' with each of his jokes! I really think he really has the potential to take centre stage one day if he keeps up his humour!

So if you are in need of a good dose of Laughter to chase away the Winter Blues (they do say that 'Laughter is the best Medicine') make sure you get your tickets for this show — I really recommend it! And if you can't make the Johannesburg show, there are still performances in Soweto and Cape Town — So there's really no excuses for not going! 

More Details for the Montecasino Event:

Date: 20 -26 August 2012

Venue: Teatro at Montecasino

Genre: Comedy

Ticket Price: From R 160 - R 250

Official Website:

Other Show Dates:

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