Johannesburg – It’s been three years since his last one-man show, but SA comic Stuart Taylor says he’s ready for the challenge.
Chatting to The Juice about his new production, Funny You Should Say That, the star explains that the show takes "a comical look at the things you can and can’t say, and kind of questions the boundaries of what makes it okay for comics to say things when the general public can’t".
"I think what sparked it is people get into so much trouble on social media for saying inappropriate things, using words that they must not use. You hear those stories daily, and I was going, ‘how is it that you don’t understand what you can and can’t say’. But then, is it right for me as a comedian to say that? Because I do get away with saying some outlandish things," he adds.
While he has not performed a one man show in a while, Stuart says it’s kind of like riding a bicycle – you never forget. Comparing it to the successful Big 5 Comedy Show, which he took part in alongside other top local comics, he says the intimate setting of a solo performance leaves no space for the artist to hide.
"I love the fact that it’s me, a mic, a mic stand, and a chair, and I’m just here to make you laugh. There’s a lot more pressure, but I love it."
WORKING WITH ROB
Taking on Rob van Vuuren as his director also helped the comedian channel his ideas into one neat package. He sings Rob’s praises, saying having him on board is like working with an editor – allowing Stuart the opportunity to perform the material at comedy clubs, later showing recordings to Rob and having him "edit, cut, paste and panel beat".
After noting that his "tolerance for BS" has decreased somewhat as the years have gone by, the comedian says fans should expect a lot more honesty from him this time around.
NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY
"I would always skirt around a lot of the issues in terms of my political views and what I think about issues of the day. You go, ‘Oh well, I don’t want to offend some people’. I’m really so over having to offend you."
And though he’s not deliberately trying to ruffle feathers, he says at the end of the day it’s all about remaining true to himself. "I’ve got to perform what I find entertaining, I’ve got an opinion on something and I want to give it to you, and hopefully you’re not going to hold it against me too much if you disagree with my views on the world."
Touching on the current state of the comedy scene in South Africa, Stuart is blown away by the support and recognition local artists are receiving from fans and organisers alike.
"Comedy was always sort of the janitors of the entertainment industry – they didn’t need much. Just give them a mic and a mic stand and a corner to play in and they’ll be happy. I think we’re really stepping up and becoming a major scene and a staple of the entertainment industry."
(Photos: Supplied/Total Exposure)