One of Durban’s top comedians, Carvin Goldstone, will be performing a one-night-show-only next Saturday. ECR’s Anisa Ussuph caught up with the funnyman, who will also be launching his new comedy DVD, iBruino, on the night of the performance…
Carvin, you’ve made a name for yourself as being incredibly funny without being profane. In an industry where it seems swearing and vulgarity is the norm, did you find it hard going against the grade so-to-speak?
In the beginning I found it very difficult to be a part of the comedy industry because of the vulgarity. It’s not how I was raised and I felt very uncomfortable. I soldiered on for a bit but after a year I gave up comedy. That was in 2007. I come from a very conservative upbringing and so I stopped performing. I was encouraged by other comedians to come back and to chart my own path if the vulgarity was such an issue for me and I did and well that’s where I am now in my career.
You’re a well-known comedian, do people expect you to be funny all the time even during normal everyday situations?
I live in the pursuit of funny. Always have since I was a kid. I became a comedian because I was good at impersonating people. And so I’ve always got a funny impersonation in my locker, even if it’s someone I just met it doesn’t take me long to subconsciously learn mannerisms, accents and voice tones.
Tell us a bit about the DVD….
This is my second DVD. My first was No Swearing because I was my celebration of surviving comedy without swearing. My new DVD is titled iBruino because I talk about growing up in Durban as a coloured person but I think the stereotype coloured person or bruino is evolving and just like how the phone has developed into the iPhone which is smart with many applications and capabilities but remains at its core a phone.
I see myself as a man of many talents and abilities but at my core I’m a Bruino so like an iBruino.
What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had during a show?
Performing for about eight minutes before realising that the audience didn’t speak English.
The organiser assumed I could speak basic Zulu, but my basic Zulu is very basic. It’s not the everyday Zulu basic Zulu’s speak. My throat got dry, I started mixing up my stories, not that it mattered because they didn’t understand anyway.
Your wife is very supportive of your work, do you test your jokes out on your family?
Well she hears my best jokes, most of those never make it to stage because they're inside jokes. But she’s my number one sounding board because she has a pretty general sense of humour which is what I encounter when I hit the stage in Durban or South Africa.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals? A lucky charm perhaps?
I like to get there early, read in my room, feel the anticipation and then use the toilet. Any performer in a high pressure art form like comedy understands how important using the toilet is before hitting the stage.
Which comedian would you like to work with on stage?
Who’d comedy work do you admire the most?
I really admire Jim Gaffigan an American comedian from Indiana. He talks a lot about food and general everyday stuff which I find the funniest. He also gives life and accents to objects which is an awesome comedy skill.
I am at my best when…
I’m under tremendous pressure
Where do you get inspiration for your jokes?
I don’t write. I let comedy happen. So if you watch No Swearing or iBruino you will actually feel like the things I’m talking about really did happen and they did. I often tell a story and people will say afterwards that has to be a true story because its just too random. I’m observational but most of my comedy is about my mother, my son, my wife and Durbanites because my comedy comes from my genuine experiences with these people every day. My characters are actual people I’ve met in my life.