A new world
For Jason Goliath, this whole new way of doing comedy has been a transition. “It’s all done digitally, and I have never done digital comedy before. It’s so weird. The most interesting thing is not to expect what we have before, as this is something completely different. It’s a new style of comedy that will exist in the near future, even if audiences are sometime during the foreseeable future allowed to come back to watch us doing our job live.”
The new way of doing these comedy shows was something Jason saw as a challenge, but also something he has embraced. “When you are learning something new, there is always that little bit of discomfort. It’s like driving an automatic car, then driving a manual car. You are going to get to a robot and forget to put the clutch in and the car will stall.”
And Jason is also excited about the new method of doing comedy. “I like this new challenge as I’ve seen so many permutations of digital comedy over the last six months due to COVID-19. I love the idea, especially when they use animation to articulate the storyline or jokes that you are telling. Some of my segments have animation. I have always said: If there is an issue, don’t be fearful, face it head-on and embrace it.”
Doing this type of digital comedy show taught Jason something very interesting. “I think I’m the only one that actually doesn’t stick to a script. My comedy has always been organic and very conversational, and although I have an idea what I’m going to say, and like any conversation, I allow that conversation to change when I’m in front of the cameras. The new way of doing comedy now is so interesting as you don’t have the audience to feed from, so you have to make sure you hit on the points. Also, the new way allowed me to, after filming, talk to the producers to see what animation can be used to bring over the comedy element in my segments.”
Jason also believes that comedy has changed dramatically over the last couple of months of lockdown. “I think we are now more like TV stars and TV presenters. The whole world has changed, and you have to find your foot in the door, keeping up with the changes by doing digital work. I think comedy always had a licence to speak about subject matter that has been deemed sensitive.”
“I found that many international comedians, like Jim Jefferies and Dave Chappelle, have changed their tactics where, instead of making audiences laugh at themselves, they are now telling jokes that will offend viewers. But in that offensive thing lies the comedy, as it’s told through a narrative that will still make audiences laugh at the expense of their own discomfort. Topics like gender-based violence, rape and Black Lives Matters are all presented in a way that will make audiences laugh, even though they are seen as taboo topics. But that is something I’ll never do,” says Jason.
Here comes Farieda
One of the new kids on the comedy block is Farieda Metsileng. “I am still very much wet behind the ears,” says Farieda. “I’ve only been doing comedy for the past four years.” She says that the idea of becoming a comedian had never crossed her mind, until some of her friends told her that she was funny and should look into starting a career as comedian.