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PROFILE / EMMA JORDAN
                                                                                             "When you
                                                                                         create a new

                                                                                               show you
                                                                                              bring a lot
 NIK RABINOWITz                                                                            to the table.
                                                                                             of material



                                                                                          You dig up a
 Funny man Nik Rabinowitz brings his                                                    lot of ore and

 one-man show to The Plett Arts Festival                                                   send trolley

                                                                                           loads to the
                                                                                         sorting place

 Nik Rabinowitz swears most of his friends will   “I did my little five minutes that was based on
 attest his wife is the funnier of the pair. In fact,   my  experience  in  Africa,”  he  says.  “They  said   to sift through,
 he says, he's not actually funny at all. Which is   come down on the Sunday night and do 'improv'
 peculiar as the forty-year old has, for the past   [impromptu  comedy].  I  did,  and  I’ve  never   looking for the
 fifteen  years  played  to  packed  houses  on  the   stopped.”
 stand-up comedy circuit.                                                                      nuggets.”
 THE HERE AND NOW
 He  also  had  Cape  Town  and  Jozi  Friday   Earlier  in  the  year  in  an  interview  with  The
 afternoon  drive  time  cramped  with  laughter  at   Sunday  Times  Rabinowitz  said  that  as  a
 his  The  Week  That  Wasn't  radio  show.  Sadly,   comedian he spends a lot of time observing. He
 it  came  off  702  and  Cape  Talk  last  year,  but   says his natural 'b*tch face' is not a funny face
 for  eight  years  his  racy  half-hour  highlighted   – hence the quip about his wife being the more
 controversial news and politics, covering rugby   jovial in the relationship.
 wins,  church  scandals and  of course,  South
 African governmental chaos.   And although he compares working on a new
 show to mining, explaining how labour intensive
 Today, he's fine-tuned his routine to be a more   it is to find the really juicy jokes –  “When you
 personal reflection of what he's undergoing as   create a new  show  you bring a lot of material
 a  family  man,  dealing  with  the  responsibilities   to the table,” he says.  “You dig up a lot of ore
 of three  children, suburbia  – and coming  ever   and  send  trolley  loads  to  the  sorting  place  to
 closer  to  the  'mid-life'  margin.  Appropriately   sift through, looking for the nuggets.” – he does
 named,  Fortyfied,  the  show  pokes  fun  at  his   constantly  work jokes  into the conversation.
 place as a South African charged with “bringing   He's on show, and that must be exhausting.
 home the macon”.
 “I  think  comedy  is  like  sex  for  parents  with
 THE EARLY YEARS   young children,” he quips. “It’s spur of moment
 Rabinowitz  was  born  and  lived  on  a  small-  only two percent of the time.”
 holding  outside  Cape  Town.  As  an  only  child,
 he  spent  his  time  up  trees  or  playing  with  his   His radio show often pushed the boundaries of
 imaginary  friend,  Jotcha.  It  could  be  said  this   taste,  it  could  be  offensive,  but  side-splitting.
 was  the  start  of  his  performance,  the  growth   Scrolling  through the  Radio  702 website,  the
 of a kernel of imagination  that was nurtured   comments are all positive: “This guy is hilarious,”
 through his liberal  education  at the Waldorf   says  OJ  Mwale  of  @isitbcoz,  Seitshiro  of
 school.  His  dad,  a  potter,  died  young  and  his   @Tshiro_Masilo says, “Nik is ungovernable.”
 mother hoped he'd do something “a little more
 financially secure than pottery”. So he enrolled   “There’s  an  expression  that  goes  it’s  only
 in a business science degree at UCT.   offensive  if  it’s  not  funny,”  says  Rabinowitz.
 “We live in the age of outrage and sometimes
 But he was intrigued by performance and joined   humour  can  mask something that is racist or
 Theatre for Africa as project manager. The World   derogatory.”
 Bank-sponsored  NGO  travelled  throughout
 the  continent  engaging  with  performers  and   Interestingly  it  appears  his  move  to  more
 presenting  shows.  Rabinowitz  jokes  he  did   personal  work  has  given  his  political  shake  a
 everything  from  long-drop  digging  to  tyre   break. Perhaps it's merely as we move forward,
 changing, except get on the stage.   the  national  consensus  is  to  re-evaluate  the
 where,  what  and  how  of  being  in  a  particular
 On his return a friend encouraged him to take   place at a particular time. It could be that, or it
 part  in  a  comedy  workshop  Mark  Sampson   could just be that he really is that close to the
 hosted at The Armchair Theatre in Observatory.  mid-life margin.



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