#aTypicalInterview: ‘People think I’m funny all the time’ – Schalk Bezuidenhout on the biggest misconception about him

Comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout. Supplied image.

Comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout. Supplied image.

Published Sep 18, 2022


Johannesburg - This week we feature award-winning comedian and actor Schalk Bezuidenhout.

Bezuidenhout is one of the most exciting voices in South African comedy, bringing his unique contemporary Afrikaans perspective to the global comedy stage.

With a host of accolades including winner of the Savanna Newcomer Award at the Comics Choice Awards 2013, nominee for Breakthrough Act at the Comics Choice Awards 2014, and winner of the Intermediate Award at the Comics Choice Awards 2015, Bezuidenhout also has a number of high-profile live appearances to his name, opening for Trevor Noah in 2015 and 2017, and recording his own stand-up special for Comedy Central.

In 2022 Bezuidenhout recorded a second stand-up special for Netflix as part of “Only Jokes Allowed”. As well as being a top stand-up performer, he can be seen playing the lead role in “Kanarie”, a major feature-length film.

Bezuidenhout’s international career has seen him sell out runs of his one-man show “South African White Boy” at London’s Leicester Square Theatre, Soho Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

He has also performed at the Trending Comics Gala at Montreux Comedy Festival in Switzerland and Dubai.

Bezuidenhout has been heard on radio shows such as Andrew Maxwell’s series “Welcome to Wherever You Are” (BBC Radio 4) and “Comedians vs The News” (BBC World Service).

Comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout. Supplied image.

If Schalk Bezuidenhout wasn’t a comedian, what would he be?

You'll think I'm joking, but I think a game ranger hey! I love the bush and as I am getting older I am enjoying the quietness more and more. When I was young I could never be alone for even one second! I was always looking for someone to go have a drink with or something. Now I could quite see myself driving around in the bush going: “Oh wow, an elephant took a k*k here less than 10 minutes ago.”

The meal that most reminds you of your childhood is…?

A single cold wet vienna on a plate.

You are able to share the stage with any comedian in the world. Who do you choose to share the stage with?

Yoh that’s tough. I am a big fan of John Mulaney at the moment and think he would be quite a fun guy to tour with! He tours in big tour buses, which seem fun. That seems like my vibe. I think I would have impostor syndrome on a private jet.

What is the biggest misconception people have of you?

That I’m funny all the time. The biggest mistake I make is to go sit at someone’s table and kuier with them after a show. They eventually ask me to leave just out of sheer boredom.

You’ve been invited to take part in a charity boxing match. You are able to go 12 rounds with any SA celebrity. Who do you choose to take on?

Here is me now googling: “Famous SA celebs under 12 years old”.

You are stuck in an elevator with President Cyril Ramaphosa. What is the first thing you ask him?

Do you want a hug?

Your favourite item of clothing in your closet is…?

I’d have to say all my jerseys. I can’t pick out one. I love all of them equally. Old, new, smells like mothballs, doesn’t matter.

What Netflix show should every South African be watching right now?

“Breaking Bad”. You’d be surprised how many people haven’t watched that show! It’s so good! I told my dad to watch it the other day and my mom almost divorced him. He did not get up from that chair until he was done with all five seasons. That is the most addictive show I have watched.

Comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout. Supplied image.

What one thing has caught your attention on social media in the last week?

Well, the Queen passing away has obviously been all over. Some people are mourning, some people are rejoicing. Quite crazy. But this is the part of my job that I love so much: observing people. Some people posting something about the Queen on social media and you think: “Wow! You? I would never have imagined that you would be this sentimental about the Queen of England.” Or equally: “Geez, didn’t think you are the type of person to say such harsh things on a public platform.” People surprise me every day, again and again and again.

You are on death row. You are allowed one last meal and drink. What do you choose to have?

Five Guys (a fast food place in the UK) with a Dr Pepper. I can’t say something like “my mother’s pampoenkoekies”, even though that would be my first choice. But I mos now know that the tannie in the prison is not gonna make it like my mother! I can’t feel that level of disappointment just before I am put to death! So I would rather them get me some Five Guys, then at least I know what I’m gonna get.

The Saturday Star