Catching up with Dr Funny, Riaad Moosa

2018-04-11 06:02

“BE like water” — a famous quote by martial arts legend Bruce Lee is what famous South African comedian, Riaad Moosa, used to describe his transition from being a doctor to a comedian.

He said becoming a comedian was never a dream of his growing up but as life led him down that path he decided to be just like water and flow with it. The Maritzburg Fever was lucky to conduct a telephonic interview with the comedian ahead of his Life Begins show at the Golden Horse Casino this Saturday.

BA: From medicine to comedy, why?

RM: It was never planned, it’s not like I went up to my parents and said, “Mom, dad I want to do comedy,” it was just a path that opened for me which I took but I am still involved in medicine.

I don’t run a practice because that would not be practical given my limited amount of time but I do a lot of health promotion aspects.

BA: What are some of the challenges with comedy?

RM: Going on to that stage your ego is never protected.

You can’t tell a joke twice because people are always expecting something new, a joke has a very short lifespan but the more comedy you do, the better you become.

Also there are a lot of comedians these days so you have to be unique and find different things to talk about.

BA: What was it like to act in a movie and how did it feel to win an award for acting?

RM: I enjoyed acting, I felt like it was really something that I could see myself doing.

To play the late Uncle Kathy (Ahmed Kathrada) was an honour and humbling experience.

Albeit it was not a very big role but I did my best to embody him as much as I could, it was a very significant moment in my life. It was very nice to win a few awards for acting but I did not attend any of the award shows to collect them because that’s the type of person I am, I felt kind of shy to accept an award in front of everyone.

BA: What is different about Life Begins from your other comedy shows?

RM: It’s basically a psychological declaration that I am only just getting started.

I confess that I do need therapy and talking to the audience about getting older and the things that go on in my life during the show is a kind of way for me to get my therapy.

It is a more honest show with an underlying serious theme, but still very funny.

BA: How do you balance your crazy life, from comedy, family and medicine?

RM: I won’t lie it is very difficult.

Right now while performing in Johannesburg I have my two oldest children with me and during the day we go out and do activities and then at night I perform while they are backstage watching movies.

One time while I was performing I could hear them shouting lines over a movie and I’m sure the audience heard as well so I stopped the show and went backstage to reprimand them which I used as material when I went back on stage.

It is a work in progress though, the more I know the less I know and ideally I would like to structure everything around my family.

I guess you could say I am conflicted.

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