Interview with the Comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout
Schalk Bezuidenhout is a well-known South African comedian and was born and raised in Gauteng. You may be familiar with him as he has opened shows for big names such as Trevor Noah, and has had his own great comedy shows. PDBY spoke to him about his career and his upcoming performance at the Capital Craft Beer Festival.
You studied drama at the University of Cape Town. Were you planning on becoming an actor or did you always know that comedy would be where you would end up?
I saw myself as someone who would one day be more of an actor who sometimes plays comedic roles. Comedy started as more of a hobby, but I very quickly realized that it would become my full time gig. Acting will always be my first love and I still try to act as much as I can.
When you are on stage you are distinctly South African and represent our rainbow nation by appealing to all cultures and races, do you plan your jokes out in order for them to appeal to all or is that just your view of the world?
I think the only rule in comedy is just to be funny. We all want to know about each other’s experiences and views and if you offer that, people will listen (and laugh). I can enjoy Chris Rock’s comedy, even though I am not American or black. Appealing to more than one culture or race is not something that I planned. I don’t know if it is something you can plan. All I can do is write as much as I can and make it funny.
What makes you different to other stand-up comedians and what do you hope will make you stand out to people at the Beer Festival?
Every comedian is different just by being them. Even if there is another Afrikaans guy performing… just me being me and him being him makes us different. And it’s not about standing out. That implies that there is some sort of competition between the comedians. It’s a comradery. Yes, everyone want to kill as hard as they can, but we just want people to have the best possible time. It’s about putting on a great comedy show as a whole, not hoping that you will be more memorable than they comic before and after you.
What drew you to the Capital Craft Beer Festival and are you there solely for your performance or are you interested in the festival itself? Do you enjoy the art of beer making?
I love beer. I think I’d need to catch a lift with someone that day, otherwise I won’t be able to enjoy a few beers. Outdoorsy events are always fun. Music. Beer. Comedy. What more do you need from a day out?
When you were younger, who was your role model and who is your role model now? Do you take inspiration from other comedians?
To be honest, every comedian that performs on the same line-up as me is a role model in some way or another. Whether it’s a piece of new material or some audience interaction that is brilliantly executed.