A-Listers

Trevor Noah, gasp, brings Winnie Madikizela-Mandela into his act

08 April 2018 - 00:00 By Craig Jacobs

For some folk, taking time off work means putting your feet up. But when it comes to our man in Trumpville, Trevor Noah, a break in filming The Daily Show allows for a quick trip home to launch his own charity and to tread the boards.
That's how I find myself at Gold Reef City Casino's Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg on Thursday evening for the recording of Trev's new M-Net show, Nation Wild.
I was hoping for a quick catch up with the man whose fee must have mushroomed from the R3-million he asked before replacing Jon Stewart on the US political satire show three years ago, but no interviews were allowed.
Instead, I am left to catch up with local celebs before the show.
Claire Mawisa, the former Simunye presenter, has reinvented herself as a Carte Blanche presenter, and my fav, Rami Chuene, is wearing a bright red jumper to ward off the growing chill.
"It's almost winter. I am still single, and I don't think that's a good idea," groans Rami, who, as lead on DStv drama The Queen, attracts almost as many viewers here as the 1.5million Trev draws in the US.At least the actress's new gig on ThobelaFM will keep her warm.
I greet M-Net's Ashley Hayden, comedians Donovan Goliath and Mpho Popps and more Dancing with the Stars contestants than you can shake your sequins at, including another funnyman, Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, and my hope for this year's title, actor Eden Classens, there with his gorgeous girlfriend, Cato Meaker.
Trevor's Nation Wild showcases some of the land's freshest comedic talents and, after a slow start, we get a taste of what to expect.
He opens the live recording by touching on a few subjects like a recent trip to Bali, but you feel the audience collectively hold their breath when he raises the passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, pointing out that from the age of 80 you wake up every morning thinking: "Wow, I am still alive."Trev manages to win us back to the funny side when he points out how beautiful the Mother of our Nation was.
"If you look at celebrities now, and they're beautiful like Beyoncé and Rihanna - these women are gorgeous but they've got [Instagram] filters, they've got HD makeup, contouring what what.
"Winnie, what did she have? Teargas, baba. That's it!" he said.
Enough, though, about Trev. What about these new upstarts?
I am not wowed by the first act, Mo Mothebe, whose jokes need to be tighter than his skinny jeans.
I am bored by the constant references to "taking back the land" by a slew of this new comedic crop.
But you're bound to be rolling on the floor at quips from Limpopo Woolies roast-chicken lover Bongani Dube, and watch out for ukulele-playing Bloemfontein boy Phil de Lange, who says he's been told he looks like "the love child of Helen Zille and Tintin" and isn't shy to take the mickey out of Steve Hofmeyr and Oscar Pistorius.

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