Nik Rabinowitz and Jimmy Carr

by biltong101

imageI saw two comedy shows last week in Cape Town and I’d like to share my humble opinion about them with my Dear Readers.

I’ll start with Nik Rabinowitz as you can still catch his new show at the Baxter theatre. “Power struggle” is a comedy show loosely constructed around the history of the world (and power struggle). It was the third time for me to see him on stage. He’s always good but never  amazing. Don’t get me wrong, his shows give me moments of unstoppable laughter. His observations of Cape Town and South Africa are very funny and true. Some could argue that the way he portrays coloured people and rendition of their accents are stereotypical (and maybe slighly offensive) but I think this is just what comedy does. If one tries not to offend anyone I guess there’ll be no space to be actually funny. Besides, Rabinowitz  is Jewish and mocks the culture mercilessly which shows that he doesn’t have any barriers. I must say he’s very good with modulating his voice and that’s something he should focus on. What “Power Struggle” lacked was a more unified and consistent structure of the show. I also didn’t think that characters he created were particularly funny and seemed a forced technique aimed at pretending that the formula of the show made more sense than it actually did. I’ll definitely go to see Rabinowitz again because regardless of his flaws he remains a good stand-up comedian. Tickets are at 165 Rand which is not the cheapest but still worth it.

imageLet’s move on to our international star, Mr Jimmy Carr. The comedian came all the way from the country famous for ugliest men in the world, the UK. Unfortunately I cannot confirm positively whether Jimmy is an exception to the rule as I was sitting too far from the stage to notice. There was a big picture of himself (see above) behind him so at least I had an idea about his looks. I didn’t go to the show aware of who he really is, my fiancé’s sister won the tickets and couldn’t go. Thanks Satan for that because if I had paid 700 bucks to see what I saw I would have really regretted it. Rabintowitz’s show was at least an attempt on structure, Carr couldn’t care about such things. He started off with few South Africa related comments. He attacked the president a bit, told a few of racial inequality jokes and beautifully mocked the Afrikaans accent. Some of what he said was wrong on many levels but funny, other things disgusting. Unfortunately, from there it was just getting worse. The jokes were really loosely linked to each other and they often seemed chosen at random. The show reminded me more of someone reading jokes out of a book than of actual stand-up comedy. This isn’t to say that Carr isn’t resourceful. He asked the audience to join in and his responses to silly comments such as “Jimmyyyyyyy, Trevor Noah, Daily Show” were quick and sharp (Some people would say that Trevor Noah is funnier than me, others that I’m funnier than him, but what’s important is that everyone would say we’re both funnier than you, Sir). Exchanges like this one bought him a lot of laughter but unfortunately the formula wore off quickly and I started to be bored after 45 minutes. I don’t think Carr’s problem is that he isn’t funny – I really thought he was hilarious at times. I think that people should be able to joke about anything so his being inappropriate wasn’t shocking to me either. I reckon the problem was that you can only say so many short, quick and unrelated to each other jokes before they get boring. In other words, bless Jimmy Carr for all his jokes about pedophilia, women, stupidity, racism, immigration and religion but you, Sir, would be so much funnier if you put more effort into the flow and structure of the show.

Comments welcome. If you have any suggestions about good comedians in CT or simply have something to say, you’re more than welcome to.