Depends on your definition of funny

July 23, 2007 at 8:31 am (Mark Lottering, On Broadway)

Does being a good entertainer necessarily mean you’re a good comedian? This is what I found myself wondering after I went to see Mark Lottering at On Broadway in Cape Town.
You must be entertaining to be a good comedian but you don’t have to be a comedian to be a great entertainer, I think.
Don’t get me wrong, I was cracking up with the rest of them – most of the time…
See, the thing is, I find his jokes just a bit too insincere, a bit too stylised, a bit too…well, much. It felt more clownish than comedy-ish.
Obviously the jokes are funny in many ways but there’s something – and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is – that is off-putting.
It lacks the sincerity, the realness, of something like Joe Barber. These guys breathe and live the Flats. Their humour is one borne from their history as well as their current reality.
Mark, I think, has moved out of that reality and draws only on history for his repertoire.
I happen to think he’s a nice person having met him before, in case anyone was thinking I’m having a go at him, but I just don’t think he’s that funny anymore.
Maybe it’s knowing he’s tailored his show for audiences who aren’t coloured (a good thing because otherwise non-Cape Flats audience members would not get any of the jokes). Or maybe I’ve just heard the same old jokes being told one to many times.
For example, simply using the word fokken a lot doesn’t make a joke funny (although you wouldn’t have said that if you were there – are we so shallow???).
Are we not clever enough to get something a bit more sophisticated than that?
And using stereotypes that really have run their course isn’t particularly witty.
Then again, maybe I just need to take a chill pill.



  1. kash99 said,

    I completely get what ur saying, but when u dont live in ct anymore u miss all that. Let me tell u, the last time i was home i decided to take a taxi from my moms house to teh rank in teh CBD..when we pulled up two guys were having an argument and the one said to the other..”Jou ma se p**s!!”and i thought, wow i’m home!! people dont say those things here..when its gone, even those really vile swaer words, u miss it!!!

  2. madamm said,

    Interesting observation, there.
    Seeing as how I had a suprise party going on, I didn’t get to see Mark, but I think comedians are like novelties, this week its Kurt, next week is Mark.
    I can’t agree or disagree with you here as I have to be there to make the observation…

  3. Toby Hanks said,

    Hee, hee. Mrs M, trust me, the party was a thousand times better than the show… (not being biased here at all!).

    Kash – I can’t imagine leaving CT for Jozi. Ever.

  4. kash99 said,

    i used to say that too..but fate had other plans for me..i honestly think that i would still be doing same-old same-old as i was three years ago at the Cape Times..besides, i make tons more money now!!! Albeit before all my skuld goes off..

  5. tbhanks said,

    I guess it worked for you Kash but I KNOW I would slowly die there. It just isn’t the place for me.

  6. kash99 said,

    Hey..i’m not planning to die is rather kak..but work-wise, its given me another perspective..which is great. The people are different…the coloureds..i can safely say that i do not relate to them..its just different..not bad..and i appreciate my home town so much more now..

  7. tbhanks said,

    Well that’s a good thing then. Nothing like a worse place to make one appreciate what you had. Glad to hear you’ll come back one day but somehow can’t picture you slowing down for life here again, to be honest!

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