Johannesburg - Comedy fans are bracing themselves for a veritable stampede of international and African comedy stars as preparations hot up for the Comedy Central International Comedy Festival brought to you by Savanna Premium Cider.
Playing to packed audiences at Silverstar Casino, Johannesburg from 26 November to 5 December 2015, the Festival will combine spectacular gala concerts at The Globe with more intimate Late Night Comedy shows and side-splitting Grab the Mic sessions at Parker's Comedy & Jive, themed specials, spontaneous street theatre and improv comedy "happenings" at other venues around Silverstar.
According to his official bio, Hannibal Buress is a comedian, actor, writer, musician, magician and poker dealer. The award-winning Chicago-born comic is an old friend of Comedy Central, with two critically acclaimed hour specials on the channel, his own weekly comedy series Why? with Hannibal Buress, and his beloved character "Lincoln Rice" on the Comedy Central hit TV series, Broad City.
Alongside Jeff Ross, Buress was among the Roasting panel who gave Justin Bieber a grilling at the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. Buress served as a writer on the legendary TV series Saturday Night Live, as well as 30 Rock, for which he was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in a Comedy Series" by the Writers Guild of America (20:00, Saturday 5 December, The Globe).
Adding some fast and furious New York style comedy to the Festival is international comedian, Mad TV comedy sketch veteran, improv genius and comedy actor Aries Spears, who'll be bringing down the house at the Saturday Comedy Gala with his quick wit, charisma and ferociously funny style of comedy (20:00, Saturday 5 December, The Globe).
Among the other artists joining the mad dash to line-up at Africa's biggest comedy festival are Celeste Ntuli, Dusty Rich, Chris Forrest, Trevor Gumbi, Dillan Oliphant and John Vlismas who will all be joining "Roastmaster General" and king of insult comedy, Jeff Ross, for some no-holds-barred humour at the Roast Gala (20:00, Friday 4 December, The Globe).
Representing the Cape Town comedy scene, Cape Town Comedy Club is flying up in force, bringing along a crack squad of comics including Kurt Schoonraad, Martin Evans, Lungelo Ndlovu and Devin Gray (22:30, Friday 4 December, The Comedy Cube).
Hilarious Kenyan comedian Churchill and Zimbabwean comic Carl Joshua Ncube will be bringing the laughs when they join previously announced comics Basketmouth and Salvado at the Best of Africa showcase (17:00, Saturday 5 December, The Globe).
Night owls and late night comedy buffs will thrill to the comic talents of Yaaseen Barnes and Simmi Areff at the Late Night Comedy Show on Friday night (23:00, Friday 4 December, Parker’s Comedy & Jive), while Robby Collins will cover off the comedy bases on Saturday night in the same slot (23:30, Saturday 5 December, Parker’s Comedy & Jive).
Celebrating the power of comedy in the vernacular will be Celeste Ntuli and Jay Boogie at The Vernac Show (20:00, Saturday 5 December, The Comedy Cube), while Casper de Vries joins previously announced Schalk Bezuidenhout at The Afrikaans Show (20:00, Saturday 5 December, Parker’s Comedy & Jive).
Head back to 'The Future' to see Comedy Central's pick of new and emerging comics such as Gavin Kelly, Prins and Snooze (winner of the Comedy Central Grab the Mic contest), with Mojak Lehoko at the helm as host (22:00, Saturday 5 December, The Comedy Cube).
Fans of homegrown animation should look out for My Child: Teenage Mutant Azanians (23:30, Saturday 5 December, The Comedy Cube) - a screening of the out-there new satirical comedy series by Nick Wilson, voiced by Richelieu Beaunoir, Nina Hastie, Griffy 2Trillion, Mpho Popps and Trevor Gumbi (who will also host).
Trevor Noah, fresh from his hosting duties at The Daily Show, will kick off the Festival on 26 November with the first of three gala performances of his upcoming SA tour, NationWild, at The Globe (26-28 November). Further performers and events will be announced shortly.
Funny, fearless and original, Comedy Central International Comedy Festival is an annual, comedy extravaganza designed to bring smiles to the faces of South African comedy fans, bringing African and international comedy stars together under one roof for a hilarious, world-class celebration of comedy genius.
Tickets for The Comedy Central International Comedy Festival are on sale now at Computicket from R120 to R650.