The Most Amazing Show for white people


Amazing: causing great surprise or wonder, astonishing. Very impressive, excellent.

Including a phrase such as “most amazing” in the title of one’s show raises eyebrows and expectations. One is supposed to dazzle, impress and leave audiences not only satisfied with the money spent to be at your show, but also wanting more. It was clear that the production was created for white audiences. It was meant to impress and dazzle them, and that is perfectly fine. But we are in South Africa, so a black woman happened to walk in and watch. 

Walking onto a stage and spending an hour mispronouncing names and getting social and political events incorrect cannot possibly be described as amazing.

Rob van Vuuren (Twakkie) and Louw Venter (Corne) engaged with the crowd, which is always good. A few people were asked to join them on the stage and were given characters to play. They were willing participants and enjoyed it.

The show was specifically created for a white audience, it’s difficult to see how a black audience would find a deliberate mispronunciation of their names funny. So you pronounce Steve Hofmeyer and Jack Parrow’s names perfectly, but Baleka Mbete is called “resting bitch face Mabete.” Why?

Rob van Vuuren and Louw Venter including audience members into the show. Picture by Toby Ngomane

Transgender jokes have never been funny, they never will be. It’s important for comedians and artists to be socially and politically aware. Making jokes about the LGBTQI+ community in a time when their lives and safety are threatened globally is lazy and distasteful. No one is asking comedians to be overly PC, but awareness is necessary.

The first moments of the Most Amazing Show. Picture by Toby Ngomane

They tried to point out white privilege in some of their jokes. It seemed as though the jokes went over the audience’s heads, or maybe they couldn’t care less. If your aim is to make people feel uncomfortable or aware of their privilege, how do you make sure they understand it enough to feel uncomfortable, even for a few seconds?

Factually incorrect events were the order of the day. Donald Trump has not pulled children out of nurseries. If you are going to make jokes about immigrant children, at least be factually correct.

This was a typical case of white mediocrity: It was two white middle-aged men walking onto stage in 1970s outfits to say a lot of nothing. Using a few props they could have pulled out of their kitchen, they rambled for an entire hour on a main National Arts Festival stage in a central location. They are not funny, at all.

By Karabo Baloyi