Starship Improvise

Alyn Adams

MC, Comedian, Writer

Starship Improvise - Alyn AdamsAlyn Adams has been a thoughtful, witty, controversial, supercilious, angry and frequently misunderstood comedic writer since 1994.

With degrees in Drama, English and Education, Alyn began writing his own jokes via live improvised comedy in Durban, in 1993/94’s Comedy Games, a shameless Whose Line Is It Anyway? clone. He soon switched to solo stand-up and was a founder comic at the Johannesburg (neé Civic) Theatre's Punchline Pub in 1996.

In the mid-Nineties’ “alternative” South African comedy explosion, he discovered that he needed at least a decade to learn his craft, one gig at a time. However, he also needed the money, so he took any jobs he could get, even the ones he was under-qualified for. After 18 years plugging away and getting masses of stage-time, he finally knows what he’s doing; these days his cheeky, self-deprecating style can win over any crowd, with the possible exception of the terminally drunk. His routines include observational comedy with a surreal twist, surprising tales from history, a cappella song parodies and, when all else fails, emergency jokes. The common threads running through all his humour are an eye for the absurd and bizarre mental gymnastics.

Alyn Adam's was a regular act (1996-1999) at Hysterix, Joburg’s first dedicated comedy club in the then Randburg Waterfront, and its sister branch in Hatfield, Pretoria. He has since built a dogged cult following at pub & club gigs all over the circuit, puzzling some but delighting many others, especially those who read. In 1996 and 1997, he performed in Durban, Johannesburg and Grahamstown with the smash-hit Durban Poison Comedy Roadshow (revived in 2006), and also featured at the Smirnoff International Comedy Festival in Cape Town (1996/1997) and Durban (1997). In 1998 and 1999, he toured a solo 90-minute stand-up show, Rant Boy, to theatres in Johannesburg, Durban and Grahamstown, garnering a Vita Award nomination and the admiration of dozens.

Alyn’s stand-up writing brought him to the attention of the publishing industry. A three-year stint writing weekly opinion columns for the Mail & Guardian Online in the late Nineties was followed by his appointment as the staff writer for FHM magazine, upon its South African launch in 1999. Part of his actual job description from publishers UpperCase Media (UCM) was “make it funny”.

He left the post of FHM entertainment & books editor in 2002, but was re-employed on UCM’s next project, Heat magazine. Again, he was hired as a writer; but had been promoted to features editor before he resigned again in 2006. This departure was to allow him to launch a short-lived stand-up comedy club in a shopping centre built on a Khoi-san graveyard that he still doesn’t like to talk about.

UCM then launched ZOO magazine, so from 2006 until the publication’s closure in 2008, Alyn was once again a staff writer. He then served as FHM’s copy editor, senior copy editor and later deputy editor, before moving back to Heat as deputy editor and then head rewriter, before parting ways with Media 24, UCM’s parent company, in 2012, to devote himself to personal projects.

In 2002, his second solo stand-up show, F*** Off, Mr Chips, debuted at the Hilton Festival. This performance prompted the KZN Sunday Tribune to hire Alyn as a weekly opinionista; he has since produced more than 500 Headspace columns.

Since April 2012, he has also produced a resident column for the bi-monthly magazine Afropolitan. In 2003, he wrote Jack And His Big Stalk; an adult panto presented by Carnival City casino and Parker’s Comedy, commissioned by Joe Parker.

Throughout his years in a day-job, Alyn remained a popular stand-up act on the Gauteng club circuit, as well as a host of independent gigs around the country, including Durban, Bloemfontein, PE, Cape Town, Pretoria and even Walkerville. He’s equally at home as an MC, having hosted several venues, including The Blues Room (Sandton), Parker’s Comedy and Jive (Fourways), Funnybones (Northcliff Corner) The Underground (Cool Runnings Melville) and Bubba J’s (Atlasville). He has also been the munki-punk band BOO!’s intro-comic-of-choice for more than 15 years.
In 2008, he won the Goodwill Award at the Acappella Comedy Industry Awards, presented to the comic “easiest to work with”. His Sunday Tribune column Headspace won the first Times Comic Pen award at the 2012 South African Comics’ Choice Awards.

Alyn also works as part of the troupe the Joburg Comedy Cartel, comprising himself, Vittorio Leonardi, Warren Robertson and Shaun Wewege. They launched the Cartel with a successful tour to Durban in October 2010, followed by a series of gigs throughout 2011 and 2012 at Houghton’s Foxwood Theatre. They are available for corporate bookings, either individually, or as a four-hander.

Comics Choice Awards Winner – Alyn Adams | Times LIVE

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Alyn Adams

MC, Comedian, Writer

Alyn Adams has been a thoughtful, witty, controversial, supercilious, angry and frequently misunderstood comedic writer since 1994.

With degrees in Drama, English and Education, Alyn began writing his own jokes via live improvised comedy in Durban, in 1993/94’s Comedy Games, a shameless Whose Line Is It Anyway? clone. He soon switched to solo stand-up and was a founder comic at the Johannesburg (neé Civic) Theatre's Punchline Pub in 1996.

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Bevan Cullinan

MC, Comedian, Director

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Bevan trained as a physical comedian. With an Honours in Twentieth Century clowning from Rhodes University, he has gone on to direct some of South Africa’s best loved commercials while keeping his sense of comic timing sharp as one the countries named stand-up comedians.

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Chris Forrest

Comedian, MC, Voiceover Artist, Actor & Radio Presenter

Some call him South Africa's answer to Steven Wright, others say who is Steven Wright, whilst others say we're out of milk can you please pick some up on your way home?

Chris Forrest has been on the forefront of the South African Comedy scene since the late nineties. His unique dry sense of humour, quick wit and intelligent comedy has made him one of the country’s most popular comedians and ensured that audiences are left in stitches wherever he goes.

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Hannes Brummer

MC, Comedian, Actor

Hannes Brümmer has often been asked if he is hyperactive, but he has never been able to sit still long enough to find out for sure. His comedic style is highly energetic and physical with his tongue virtually bursting through his cheek. He likes to rant honestly about his Afrikaans heritage, the influence of the media on society and the ever raging battle of the sexes. He is at times self-deprecating, but almost always foolishly optimistic.

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Malcolm Ferreira

Comedian, MC, Voiceover Artist, Actor, Radio Presenter

Malcolm burst onto the comedy scene in 2001, and hasn’t looked back since. With his life philosophy never far behind, a saying borrowed from Sir Francis Bacon “Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is”. A saying Malcolm has taken to heart, and has even been dubbed the Dr. Phil of politically incorrectness, due to his astute observational abilities and no holds barred delivery style. With this foundation he has worked many comedy rooms both locally and abroad. Malcolm has the unique ability to read just about any audience and adapt to any environment.

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Melt Sieberhagen

Comedian, MC, Voiceover Artist & Actor

In just 6 years Melt Sieberhagen has been hailed as anything from 'a slightly angry teddy' to 'a really funny Dutchman'. All in all he's a fresh, funny, strange, witty, hairy, cynical - yet optimistic – face and voice on the South African Stand-up scene. All these traits make so much more sense when considering that his roots lie in the infamous town of Ventersdorp. Yes, it's been a long and entertaining journey.

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Mojak Lehoko

Comedian

The first thing you’ll note with Mojak’s performance is that his style of comedy has an international feel. His humour will crack up a Sowetan and an Australian. Mojak loves telling people that he is an international comedian because he has performed in Botswana(Mojak Botswana is SA’s 10th province). The other thing you’ll notice about Mojak’s humour is that it is smart humour. He observe life and write jokes about it, hence it has an international feel. He is the young version of Steve Right.

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Monique Nortje

Comedian, MC, Actress, Writer

Comics Choice Award Nominee, Monique Nortjé finished her BA Drama degree at the University of Pretoria in 2000. After a short stint on a soapie, she quickly realised that she couldn’t let life take her very seriously for much longer. She is now an accomplished improvised comedy actress, stand up comedian, voice over artist and has been on writing teams for and performed in comedy television shows such as Kompleks (writer/performer), The Coconuts (assistant head writer/ assistant director/performer) and Parys Parys (writer).

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Mpho Popps

Comedian

On the 27th of July 2009 Mpho Popps Modikoane entered a local television show entitled So you think you’re funny. That’s where the general public first noticed him. He then went on to the club circuit in Johannesburg. Quickly making a name for himself and sharing the stage with some of the big names in the industry, Trevor Noah and Marc Lottering, to name a few.

His next stop was Blacks Only with David Kau and Chris Forrest.

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Richelieu Benoir

Comedian

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Robby Collins

Comedian

Robby Collins’ rise from actor on the Durban theatre circuit to fully fledged stand-up comedian has taken all of 4 years, still considered one of the emerging faces comedy Robby’s career achievements belies his years on the comedy circuit.

A comedian whose material draws on real life comes across at ease on the stage and has a very believable stage presence, endearing himself to audience with his gawky giraffe frame.

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Ryan Whittal

Comedian

Ryan started his stand-up comedy in May ’99 at the Randburg Waterfront’s Funny Farm. Since then he has worked in Comedy venues all over the country (he really has, in all nine provinces) and has performed at many corporate functions and golf days.

Ryan’s comedy is a mixture of impressions and alternative comedy. His stage persona is quite manic, with a charming naivety which audiences really enjoy. His infectious energy and left field humour make for an entertaining prospect on any comedy night line-up.

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Vittorio Leonardi

Comedian, MC, Vo Artist

In his 11 years on stage, Vittorio has tried to show audiences a new way to see the world - slightly skewed, a bit quirky and governed by cartoon law. Hailing from the streets of Welkom, this Italian-born stallion left home and successfully navigated the many pitfalls of a world with shoes and electricity in his travels around SA. From shoe sizes to the inner workings of the Roman Army; from heavy metal to relationship jargon, this comic takes the world, turns it sideways and gets us to see it as it could be if we'd all just reach behind our backs, pull out a cream pie, throw it and learn to laugh.

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Warren Robertson

Comedian, MC, Writer

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