Black Twitter has the best comedians in SA, says Robby Collins

14 November 2017 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Robby Collins opens up about the state of comedy in SA.
Robby Collins opens up about the state of comedy in SA.
Image: Via Robby's Instagram

Comedian Robbie Collins has hailed black Twitter as one of the funniest institutions in South Africa, claiming that the rise of "virtual comedians" were making comics sweat.

The comedian was recently part of the Trending Comics comedy nationwide tour and told TshisaLIVE that his biggest fear was trending over leaked nudes, because he could only imagine the memes that would be created to ridicule him.

"The one thing you don't want to be trending for is nudes. Yoh! Twitter is savage with the memes. They can take the most innocent picture and turn it into a trend. It's crazy. I always tell other comedians that our jobs have gotten a lot harder over the last two years because so many people on social media are virtual comedians. If something happens, within an hour they have done all the material you could have thought of doing. Black Twitter has the best comedians in SA."

He said the key to not being caught on the wrong end of the trends list was to "not do bullsh*t". Although he has been able to steer clear of trouble, Robby revealed that he once landed in hot water for making  jokes about TV personality Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu.

"When her show was very big I did this joke about Noleen loving pies. It was a bunch of fat jokes. And people loved it. But Noeleen heard about it and told Marc Lottering. I was acting all brave but when I saw her in Rosebank and she was staring at me, I just went into the (nearest) shop. I was like: 'I'm not even going to speak to this person. I'm not getting involved," he said. 

Robbie's comedy has evolved over the last few years, including a decision to not do any political jokes because of how many were already used in the industry.

"It's not even joke stealing. Sometimes people have the same ideas, especially when there is a very public incident like Jacob Zuma and the shower. In one night, three comedians can do a shower joke and by the time the fourth one comes on it is tired. So I decided to put it aside. That is a big reason why I stopped doing political jokes," he said. 

He also believed that modern comedians needed to move away from doing stereotypical jokes based on race.

"The older generation expect stereotype jokes from comedians. So, if I am coloured, I must make jokes about not having teeth. It is outdated and we all know that it is not true. We have to change that kind of thinking," he said.

Robbie recently used his talent to try convince expats in Australia to come back home, jetting to the country as part of a Tourism SA's drive to showcase local talent to those who missed home.

He is now back home and will be filming a live DVD performance at the Goliath Comedy Club in Braamfontein from November 29 to December 2.