Make comedy pay - top tips for turning laughs into randsWant to to earn a living from comedy? Kagiso Lediga, creator of The Pure Monate Show, explains how.
1 If producers keep rejecting your scripts and show ideas, it could simply be that you’re living in the wrong city. Kagiso Lediga says he loves Cape Town, the city in which he made his comedic start, but he adds that the glass ceiling there is quite low, and the appetite for new ideas not very great. “Johannesburg was the land of opportunity. It still is, more than Cape Town, but back then [in the noughties] it was El Dorado,” he says.
2 Make sure your comedy is true to your own experiences. “Doing really bad stereotypes and pandering to the audience’s expectations is bad for your soul,” says Lediga.
3 Don’t box in your comedy brand. “When we made The Pure Monate Show, I didn’t want it to be a black comedy sketch show,” Lediga says. “I wanted it to be as representative and crazy and diverse as possible. We wanted to be the South African comedy brand that speaks to everyone. So we had people like Cokey Falkow, a tattooed white Jew from Durban; Riaad Moosa, who has never seen a porno in his life but is extremely hilarious; and then a guy like Joey Rasdien, a slightly more corrupt soul, who kind of exposes himself in public sometimes. The thinking was, ‘Put them all together and something fantastic will come out of it.’ And it did.”
4 If your parents are telling you there’s no future in comedy, they haven’t been paying attention. The way Lediga sees it, comedy is a multi-billion dollar industry and only getting bigger. “I think it’s going global,” he says. “I can tell you there’s a big appetite for South African comedy content. The world is accessible now. The local broadcasters are becoming more adventurous but with the internet coming into play, we’re all less dependent on the broadcasters for a show. You can global straight off the bat. The world is asking ‘What’s out there, what’s funny?”, but with comedians now like brands in the SA entertainment space, others still prefer to work the township scene and the local clubs and that’s important too. So, yeah, exciting times.”