Comics come out to honour Mel Miller

2011-01-14 07:58

After 46 years in the business, Mel Miller doesn’t have many regrets. But he is sorry that he landed up in jail after telling former prime minister PW Botha that he should legalise dagga.

Miller was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the first Annual Comics Choice Awards yesterday.

Asked about his best joke, he remembers a time when people laughed for a good three minutes after the building he was performing next to was hit by a demolition ball. He held his stomach and people just cracked.

“That is the funniest thing I remember.”

He adds: “The best show I’ve ever done is the next one.”

South African comedy has changed significantly over the years, he says.

“When I first started, we told jokes and strung them to stories. Now there is freedom of speech and many forms of comedy.

“Today, there are a lot of platforms and comedy is well recognised.”

Young comedians “need to get their own style”, says Miller.

“(They) sound like each other, but eventually they diversify and find their own ground.”

Miller recognises Trevor Noah as “great talent” and Warren Robertson as “the cleverest comedian I’ve heard in a long time”.

» The nominees for the Comics’ Choice of the Year, to be announced on January 22, are:

Comics’ Choice

Joey Rasdien
Loyiso Lungile Gola
Nik Rabinowitz
Riaad Moosa


Deep Fried Man
Mojak Lehoko
Mpho Modikoane
Tol Ass Mo

Breakthrough Act

Chris Mapane
Robby Collins
Rob van Vuuren
Warren Robertson

Audience Choice

Bevan Cullinan
Fernando Lamy
Richelieu Beaunoir
Joey Rasdien

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