Fourteen Years Of The Jive Cape Town Funny Festival

A look back at Cape Town’s winter comedic tonic over the years, through the lens of Festival Producer, Eddy Cassar…

With the arrival of democracy twenty four years ago, came a basket filled of new concepts such as one man one vote and freedom of speech.

The arts, throughout history have been the vanguard of freedom of speech and have always been the litmus test of political and social tolerance.

Prior to 1994, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown attracted few comedians. Visit the Grahamstown Festival today and comedy looms large. Last I counted, there were over 20 stand-up comedians punting their wares to attract an audience.

There must be in excess of a hundred full time working comics in South Africa. Think, Marc Lottering, Trevor Noah, Riaad Moosa, Nik Rabinowitz, Shimmy Isaacs, Kurt Schoonraad, Tumi Morake, Conrad Koch, Stuart Taylor, Siv Ngesi, Alan Committie, Ndumiso Lindi, Tracy Klass, Angel Blythe-Campey, Kagiso Mokgadi, Loyiso Madinga and many more.

Trevor Noah’s ascendancy to The Daily Show stardom has focused the international comedy spotlight onto South Africa. Diverse countries like South Africa breed great comedic critics and I am confident that many more will follow Trevor’s supersonic footsteps.

Over the years, numerous local and international comedians have graced the Funny Festival stage and have left the Festival as ambassadors for the city of Cape Town and the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival.

All are in regular contact with us in some form, either wanting to return or recommending someone to us. Many have hit the big time. More recently comedy pianist Kev Orkian, who has visited for the last four years, is on his way to super stardom.

South African Trevor Noah, whose face graces billboards in London, New York and Edinburgh, still refers to the Funny Festival with fondness.

Julia Morris, who had the courage to accept my invitation for the first Funny Festival in 2005, is a huge celebrity and TV host in her native Australia.

The previous festivals I produced way back from 1997 to 2004, saw a young and unknown Jimmy Carr, who had just resigned from BP to pursue his new comedy career, grace this stage. Lee Mack, now of great fame on BBC and Ross Noble who fills stadia around the world, were also on these Festivals.

Here are the comics who have appeared on the Funny Festivals over the last 10 years. I trust their names bring a smile to your face.


Julia Morris (Australia), Tina C (England), Andrew Maxwell (Ireland), Earl Okin (England), Tony Gerrard + (England) Cokey Falkow (SA), Kurt Schoonraad (SA), Dave Levinson (SA), Stuart Taylor (SA), Ndumiso Lindi (SA), Riaad Moosa (SA), Nik Rabinowitz (SA)


Men in Coats (UK), Jackie Loeb (Australia), Dave Fulton (US), Marc Lottering (SA), Riaad Moosa (SA), Conrad Koch (SA), Mel Miller (SA), Dave Levinsohn (SA), Cokey Falkow (SA)


Stephen Grant (UK), Lucy Porter (UK), Rebecca Carrington (UK), Junior Simpson (Jamaica), Wayvinne Dawson (SA),  Martin Jonas (SA), Marc Lottering (SA), Nik Rabinowitz (SA)


Chris Forrest (SA), Les Bubb (UK), Iestyn Edwards (UK), Marc Lottering (SA), Riaad Moosa (SA), Nik Rabinowitz (SA)


Marc Lottering (SA), Trevor Noah (SA), Tumi Morake (SA), Nik Rabinowtz (SA), Gamarjobat (Japan), The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue (UK), John Lenahan (US), Jonathan Hearns (SA)


Alan Committie (SA) Craig Hill (Scotland), The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue (UK), Mario, Queen of the Circus (US), Paul Zerdin (UK), Paul Morocco (UK), Al Prodgers (SA), Ndumiso Lindi (SA), Riaad Moosa (SA)


Kev Orkian (UK), Miss Ro (South Korea), Kalki Henenberg (UK), Full House (Switzerland), The Boy with Tape on his Face (NZ), Alan Committie (SA), Carl Wastie (SA), Eugene Khoza (SA), Shimmy Isaacs (SA)


Imran Yusuf (Kenya), Kev Orkian (UK), The Boy with Tape on his Face (NZ), John Hicks (UK), Gamarjobat (Japan), Alan Committie (SA), Piet Potgieter (SA), Kurt Schoonraad (SA) Kagiso Mokgadi (SA), Angel Blythe Campey (SA), Carl Wastie (SA), Maxine Botha (SA), Oliver Booth (SA)


Wilfredo (UK), Mooky Cornish (US), Marc Lottering (SA), Steve Rawlings (UK), Carl Wastie (SA), Siv Ngesi (SA), Alan Committie (SA), Prince Abdi (Somalia), Guy McDonald (SA), Kev Orkian (UK), Ndumiso Tafeni (SA) Irshaad Mohamed (SA)


Shaleen Surtie Richards (SA), Carl Wastie (SA), Schalk Bezuidenhout (SA), Christian Lindemann (Germany), Felicity Ward (Australia), Mario – Queen of the Circus (US), Yosuke Ikeda (Japan), Kev Orkian (UK), Marc Lottering (SA), Nik Rabinowitz (SA), Riaad Moosa (SA)


Alistair Izobell (SA), Carl Wastie (SA), Shimmy Isaacs (SA), Tumi Morake (SA), Earl Okin (UK), Mike Raffone (UK), Bruce Airhead (UK), Tracy Klass (SA), Siv Ngesi (SA), Raymond and Mr Timpkins (UK), Carl Weber (SA), I Baccala Clowns (Italy), Dylan Skews (SA), Trevor Noah (SA)


Alan Committie (SA), Glen Biderman-Pam (SA), Carl Wastie (SA), Gino Fabbri (SA), Marc Lottering (SA), The Big Boys (SA), Kev Orkian (SA), Ennio Marchetto (Italy), Justin-Ray Stoffels (SA), Yaaseen Barnes (SA)


Alan Committie (SA), Captain Frodo (Norway), Paul Dabek (UK), Marc Lottering (SA), Mel Jones (SA), Mario – Queen of the Circus (US), Ndumiso Lindi (SA), Daniel Mpilo Richards (SA), Dalin Oliver (SA), Loyiso Madinga (SA)