On Tuesday Night ZAlebs had the pleasure of being a part of the Grilling of a Lifetime as some of SA’s biggest comedians took to the stage to honor (Read; shamelessly lay waste) to legendary comic, Barry Hilton. Old school heavy weights such as Mel Miller, Joe Parker and Mark Banks were joined by the familiar faces of John Vlismas and David Kau as well as the relative youngsters that were, Robbie Collins and Joey Rasdien.
The night was MC’d by veteran, Mel Miller who kicked off proceedings by having a go at the first comic for the night, Robbie Collins. Collins was clever, witty but ultimately average barring a few moments of gold. In fact, for most the evening we were subjected to underhanded slurs disguised as humor.
By all means there were a few moments of genius, even within the racey gags. Robby Collins on David Kau’s Film career joked:
“David Kau is now a film director. You’ll find his 1-hour films on Mzansi Magic. They would have been 2-hour films but his Blackberry ran out of battery. “
While the crowd certainly enjoyed some of the jokes, it seems that it was the comedians themselves who laughed more than anybody else; such was the ‘inside joke’-esque nature of the comedy that night.
Mel Miller was relentless as a host, not long. His i so much grilling as leaving every comedian in the room on the fire for way toontroductions were as kind as they were funny (Not very!) as he found every possible gag to insult his fellow comics.
That set the tone for the night as everybody from the potty-mouthed John Vlismas to Joe Parker took to the stage and found as many ways to belittle each other as possible. The only person who was in any way capable of changing the tone of the evening was the man of the hour himself, Barry Hilton.
When the Lifetime Achievement Award winner took to the podium he showed just why he was such an incredible comic and a legend in the South African industry. He steered away from the slander, the sexist remarks and did what he does best; sent the crowd into raptures.
The night was not a complete disaster, but it certainly came extremely short of being a success. It was a poor reflection of South Africa’s booming comedy industry and we expected a lot more entertainment than we received from such a star-studded lineup.