John Vlismas is one of South Africa's most outspoken, controversial and much loved stand-up comedians. In addition to his comedy work that has won him a broad fan base, he's also an entertainment promoter, being part of the team that started, back in 1997, Whacked Entertainment. Whacked has become synonymous with talent development and a number of huge initiatives including The Comedy Underground venue as well as The Savannah Comics' Choice Awards, an online self-governing voting system for comedians which has grown into a massive series of five events in Gauteng.
John was incredibly kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about all manner of things including:
- how his experiences in comedy and live television presenting helped develop his interest in tech
- how art and tech can be used to enhance the overall performance experience, even in stand up comedy, to turn it into an immersive event
- and we talk about transhumanism, and whether John would consider it in the comedy sphere.
Plus, John talks about is incredibly sneaky and subtle method to get his friends to store some of his artwork. Quite cunning indeed.
A point of clarification about the podcast: the beaver references that take place early in the interview, John is talking about the 'dead cat', the furry noise baffle that goes over the microphone we use. John's fascination with it meant ... well, that's kinda private.
Also, you might be interested to know that as of today, there are a couple of tickets still available for the Savannah Comics' Choice awards for next Saturday, 15th of August at Parker's Comedy at Montecasino so get on over to Computicket to grab one. Now entering its fifth year, you should really do yourself a favour and check out a sensational night when South Africa's comedians honour their own.
If you want more of John (and surely this episode is just not enough), you can follow him on Twitter (@fortyshorty) and also catch him performing LIVE at the Mass Hysteria comedy shows running from the 19th to the 23rd of August.