Famous for 5 minutes – John Vlismas: Seriously funny

2014-05-20 08:00

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John Vlismas is known to some as the spectacularly funny short man with a weird haircut. But how would you describe yourself?

Probably as a fairly balanced person who swings between extreme empathy and appalling bursts of honesty. Also as someone who uses words that have been labelled as ‘bad’ by people who should know that it’s not really important.

There’s a rumour in comedy circles that you are also a kick-ass vegan chef. Tell me about that.

I’m not a vegan, I just don’t eat meat. To answer your next question, chicken and fish are meat?–?some people don’t know that?–?but I eat eggs and cheese and stuff. I do enjoy cooking, as I come from a family of food professionals. Great food should be simple, fresh and light with unusual flavour combinations.

What other weird things do you do, except get money for telling jokes?

Why is that weird? The ruling party does it all the time. I also read, paint, parent, scuba dive and try to be a decent father?–?it’s a pretty full list, it keeps me busy. Oh, and I also watch a lot of good TV.

Another little-known fact is that you are a dad to a wonderful daughter. Do you ever find it difficult to switch from being the funniest man in the country to a chore-dispensing father?

Not really, we have always kept things at home honest. My daughter has been raised to know that what I do on stage is a show and how we conduct ourselves as people is reality.

At the Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene, you were teased for being ‘the madam’, which was to say the boss of a few comedians. How extensive is your role as artist manager compared with your stand-up career?

I don’t manage anyone. I own shares in a business I founded in 1997 called Whacked. In Whacked, we have an agency, a management service and a production department. People assume I actually spend my days telling other comics what to do, but I don’t.

My partner Taffia Keight has the corporate background and handles the management.?Technically, I am managed by Whacked too. So the madam thing was a cheesy line.

You have a one-man show coming up next weekend. What can we expect from that?

Revelations is a show about my own sacred cows, the end of the world and my huge disrespect for the words and actions of our president over his homestead.

I’ll be roasting Mr President at the end of the show.

As usual, I’ll have a band opening the show and some audiovisual magic for the crowd.

Vlismas Returns Accompanied by the Apocalypse is at The Lyric theatre, Gold Reef City, Joburg, on May 23 and May 24. Book at Computicket

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