Two Comedians and one Comedy Magician in a car for 7 hours… roadtripping to Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay as part of our “Black Magic Woman” Garden Route Comedy Tour.
*you think you know. but you have no idea – this is MY diary of the roadtrip*
KG, Marcel and I left the Mother city at around 10am on an overcast Wednesday morning… taking the more scenic N1 route through Robertson we bopped along to my outdated and very scratched CDs that were remixing themselves into dubstep with all the jumps.
Who buys CDs after 1999? Not me – evidently. The boys are just lucky that I spared them from the abundance of Westlife and Backstreet Boys albums in my CD folder. Safetly nestled there since the days of my high-school obsessions.
Luckily I do still buy LOCAL CDs post “Mp3 apocalypse” era, so there were a few modern additions. The most popular CD of the trip turned out to be local legends The Dirty Skirts with ‘Homewrecker’ playing on repeat as part of our evening amp up ritual. “Let’s punch a hole in this Saturday night!”
Somewhere between Riversdale and Montagu we were stuck behind a fancy Volvo with the license plate “BANTU-WP” amused by the choice of douche-plate, we were triple amused as we overtook, by the fact that it was a WHITE GUY driving it. Bantu Van Der Merwe? Which begs the question… was it a stolen car? (We probably should have reported it instead of laughing our heads off.)
The first night at the swanky Bravo Lounge in Mossel Bay’s Casino went pretty well all considered. They’ve booked us to come back again which I guess is positive and speaks for itself. The venue is amazing, I wish we had more stages like that in Cape Town. It had a backstage, big screen TVs that showed our faces live around the walls and a nicely elevated stage.
Marcel during soundcheck on the Bravo Lounge Stage
KG killed with his normal consistency and Marcel was on top form as headliner. My own self critique says I did “Ok” as my first ever time hosting. My second set was much stronger than my opening bit, once my nerves had settled and the audience had got used to me. Hosting is a different experience but I’m glad I finally bit the bullet and attempted it. I have a long way to go, and lots to learn but it’s nice having 3 or 4 times on stage to try out different 5 -10 min sets all through the evening. Much more liberating to be able to work through all your material… however. It can backfire…
I did manage to offend a fair chunk of the (what I have since found out) was the bible belt with my “Guardian Angels are like Car Guards” closing rant. I had the audience with me right until that moment. And then you can’t abandon a bit in the middle so I pushed through it with one or two people killing themselves laughing, and the rest staring at me mutely. I had a middle aged woman berate me for my blaspheming after the show. *eye roll and face palm* I guess I’m just grateful I wasn’t showered with holy water. My jacket was dry clean only.
Honestly though. I did feel bad that I’d offended them. I’ve performed it in both Joburg and Cape Town with great success in the past. There was nothing blasphemous about my rant in my opinion. I do not negate the existence of angels (obviously, it’s my NAME) nor do I claim atheism in any avenue is accurate. I don’t intend to open up a religious debate, but I know in my heart that I’m not violating my beliefs and will leave it at that.
The silver lining is that I’ve now learnt that some bits DON’T always work, even if you have the audience on your side. And that’s invaluable. Will I ever learn when a certain bit is appropriate and another bit not? Probably not. But I suppose most of my comedy idols are offending someone, somewhere – so you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Besides, one or two people in the audience were laughing. Hard. And to them I say a silent thank you and mental high five. *you get me*
KG, Angel, Marcel - Post show at the Bravo Lounge in Mossel Bay
Post show was full of lots of high fives, shots of Jagers and chats. We eventually made our way back to the big pimpin BEACH HOUSE accomodation (what what!) that Marcel’s family had lent us to give our pillows head.
KG on our Beach House Balcony in Glentana near George
The following day we rolled into the lagoon town of Knysna to try and hustle a potential show. Turns out sleepy Garden Route Towns don’t like to be hustled. Despite the 2 week warning we’d given them – they seemed completely unprepared for us.
The positive was that we got to meet and greet all the ‘hot’ venues and have canvassed the way for comedy in the future. These towns have never considered stand-up as an entertainment option and there is a great niche to be carved for the Cape Town comics to create a viable circuit up there… watch this space.
Thursday night was the gig we were all looking forward to: Zanzibar in George.
We're Big in George baby - KG
After a day of hard hustle we (rather exhaustedly) rolled into the long narrow venue (that is made out of a train carriage) to be greeted by high energy, cheap drinks and very excited faces. The club had set out the perfect layout of about 10 rows of chairs stage middle and then tables toward the back. Each table was pre-booked and even had signs with our poster on them.
Our faces on the tables.
It was one of those awesome packed gigs where the crowd starts cheering and laughing as soon as you open your mouth. They heckled, and then killed themselves laughing as you shot down the heckler. It was a combination of a start of the long weekend, R5 a shot alcohol and a small town who was stoked to have some different entertainment. Some of the kids even came up to me afterwards to say it’s the first live comedy they’d ever seen in George. *aww*
All in all – we were treated like rock-stars. With shots being delivered on stage and lots of cheering. KG was undoubtedly the biggest rock-star of the night. (And I mean that both figuratively and literally) as the pure white crowd cheered anything he said with pep-rally like fervour. Even when he called them “mother fucking racists” and mistakenly addressed them as Mossel Bay, when they yelled ‘George’ he replied “Who the fuck is George?” to further cheers.
Marcel’s table tricks that he performed around the club after the show baffled the drunk kids AND myself and KG. That shit is impressive, yo. It’s like real magic.
The night ended like all good nights should. With us pretending to be in a car (complete with sound effects) as we walked through the 24hr McDonald’s drive-thru. Yes, George has a McDonalds. Can’t be all bad.
We rounded off the trip with a night stop at my childhood home in Keurboomsstrand outside Plettenberg Bay – to see my Nanna AND to check in with the Plett night clubs that we’d emailed to canvass the town for future gigs.
Sunset in Keurbooms.
Plett was friggen freezing, and crawling with cop-cars (oddly enough). Marcel dazzled my Nanna with his magic tricks, and my Nanna dazzled KG with her wit. (He has promised her a 5 min set to open for his show when he’s back in Plett… She’s 83 and totally up for it. haha, Betty White, watch your back)
Shout out to the late great Mitch Hedburg for making us die with laughter on his Comedy Central Special late that night as we gathered round my laptop to round off a pretty awesome and successful Comedy road trip.
We made the 7hr roadtrip back in one piece. KG revealed that he’d had a stash of awesome CDs so we jammed to Kanye, Hugh Masekela and Bob Marley under the pink skies.
Bob Marley under an African Sky
Thank you Garden Route, KG, Marcel, Marcel’s family, my Nanna and all the people in Mossel Bay and George who came out to show us love.
We’ll be back very soon.
*Black Magic Woman high five*