Chit Chat: Chester Missing

2011-08-12 11:38

Chester Missing is currently starring in his first one-man show, thanks to ventriloquist Conrad Koch.

GAYLE EDMUNDS discovers that he’s no dummy when it comes to political analysis and satire

How did you get your start in showbiz?
About 14 years ago, I helped out a ventriloquist friend (Conrad Koch) by appearing with him at the Armchair Theatre in Observatory in Cape Town.

I had never been on stage before.

The ventriloquist was not very funny, but I was hysterical.

I then did some TV and a few big comedy shows. I had unintentionally become a comedian.

My real passion is being a political analyst, but as a puppet it’s quite hard to get people to take me seriously. I’m offended!

How long have you been working with Conrad Koch?

For about 14 years informally. ­Formally, for the past 10.

We have only recently firmed up the contractual side of our relationship.

There are no unions for puppets, and it is very ­difficult to take legal action when you don’t have an ID book.

They don’t give puppets ID books – except, of course, Jackson Mthembu.

What challenges do you face in your relationship?
I am building a career as a political analyst and satirist.

It’s very, very hard to do this with some weirdo white guy trailing around after you.

He ruins my buzz, he freaks people out and, to be honest, I think it would be better if he just remained out of sight. I am looking into enforcing this legally.

Who were those gate-crashers trying to share your limelight during your show, Chester Missing Live?
Let’s not waste time talking about those reprobates. Conrad has this has-been, alcoholic showgirl (and no, I’m not talking about Mara Louw from Idols) who tags along.

He also has this disgusting, out-of-control monster thing who keeps ­taking off his clothes . It’s disgusting! This is satire, not an ANC Youth League conference.

What’s the best use for a politician?
This question is misleading. There are no uses.

Which mover and shaker would you most like to put in the hot seat?
Kgalema Motlanthe.

His hair is black, his face is brown and his goatee is white.

Is it really appropriate for the deputy president of South Africa to look like the Group Areas Act?

How do you get away with saying some of the things you say?
Because people believe I’m just a “puppet”.

I’m offended by being treated like a second-class citizen, but at the same time, there are a few ­advantages.

Apparently the only thing worse than being insulted by a puppet is getting upset with one because he insulted you.

What is the most misunderstood thing about you?
People sometimes believe I am ­actually Conrad.

They couldn’t be more wrong. I really am my own ­person, with my own opinions and my own life.

It’s bloody offensive that people don’t take me seriously.

It’s like being a black guy or woman in the workplace. I have to prove myself all the time.

Why should people come see you in action?
I promise to speak the truth. You may not want to hear it, or you may love hearing it.

Either way, I will say what I think, even if it pisses you off.

I also promise to make you laugh until phlegm comes out your ears.

»? You can see Chester Missing and Conrad Koch in My ­Pro-Doll and his Nuro-Friends at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square in ­Sandton until August 30. 0 011 883 8606 to book 

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