Laughing through lockdown with Schalk Bezuidenhout, SA’s seriously funniest man
30 Jul, 21 | Ruda Landman
Schalk Bezuidenhout is the kind of comedian who makes you laugh before he even opens his mouth.
With his bedspring-curly hair, his bird-wing moustache, and his lean and lanky frame, Schalk Bezuidenhout is the kind of comedian who makes you laugh before he even opens his mouth. And when he does have something to say, be it in his Afrikaans moedertaal or the heavily-accented English he says he learned in “self-defence” while growing up in Kempton Park, the laughter of recognition comes thick and fast, making Schalk one of the most distinctive and original talents on the South African comedy circuit.
Schalk cut his teeth in the merciless arena of stand-up, most notably as a warm-up act for Trevor Noah, but his repertoire runs deeper than the raw, lightning-quick observational riffs that became his trademark.
Schooled in drama at UCT, Schalk sidelined as an apprentice comedian in bars and clubs, where he would earn beers and burgers as well as a few laughs on a good night, but that classical training has stood Schalk in good stead, earning him a serious breakthrough role as a gay serviceman coming to terms with his identity in the conscription-era drama, Kanarie. With his star on the rise, the multitalented Schalk took a break from stage and screen for a candid and entertaining chat with Ruda, about laughter, lockdown, family life, and being caught on set with his pants down.
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Ruda Landman is known to many South Africans as one of the original co-anchors of Carte Blanche on M-Net, a role she fulfilled for 19 years and for
which the University of Stellenbosch awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2011.
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