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Cracker jokes this festive season

It’s been a hectic year, and you need a little comic relief; who doesn’t? So what’s on the menu?

South Africa’s biggest comedy brand is back with a brand new season of Blacks Only Comedy, back at Gold Reef City Casino tomorrow and Saturday. We know it’s a bit of a mission, but FOMO (fear of missing out) is far worse than the distance to the venue.

Featuring the country’s top black comedians, Blacks Only is one of the most highly anticipated events on the entertainment calendar.

Headlined and hosted by David Kau, the two-day show will reaffirm its place on the top comedy circuit by hosting a potpourri of brilliant comics, such as

Dillan Oliphant, Tol Ass Mo and Deep Fried Man.

An old-school comedian noted for his surreal humour as well as his bizarre thoughts on politics and current affairs, Kau and his entourage will deliver a brand new set of Dreaming of a Black Christmas.

As one of the pioneers of Blacks Only, Kau introduced it as a one-night-only affair in 2005. But fast-forward seven years and you have a show that has become a highlight on the stand-up scene.

Bringing a fresh dose of laughter to the show will be one of comedy’s new IT guys, singer-turned-comedian Daniel Friedman, aka Deep Fried Man.

Formerly part of the alternative folk scene in Joburg, he made the transition to comedy after being declared a winner of the 2010 Parkers Comedy Showdown – hosted annually by legendary South African comedian Joe Parker. A year later, he was voted the Best Newcomer at the first annual Comics’ Choice Awards, the brainchild of local funnyman John Vlismas.

A regular supporting act for the supremely talented Trevor Noah, Deep Fried Man’s satirical take on what it’s like to be a white person in South Africa has since earned him applause, accolades and a few BCCSA complaints. He became famous overnight with his satirical rendition of the national anthem, a collaboration with Durban comedian Gareth Woods.

As a follow-up to many of his appearances in shows such as Jozi UN Comedy Festival (alongside international names including Pablo Francisco, Mo Mandel and Iliza Shlesinger), his White Whine show at the Sandton Theatre on the Square is a wonderful weekend diversion.

Tol Ass Mo won the hearts of local comedy lovers courtesy of his hilarious theatrics and dazzling stage presence, first seen in the Nine Nine Comedy showcase. Representing a new generation of comedians, this Joburg funnyman has since appeared in a number of major comedy festivals around the country, not to mention his brand-new reality series, MoLove.

Comedy fans can also prepare themselves for hilarious comedic geniuses Krijay Govender, Leeanda Reddy and Kaseran Pillay as they perform a refreshed Queens Of Comedy run.

After the success of Queens of Comedy early this year, the hilarious trio return to share the funny side of being Indian. They will be jumping in and out of costume to play a range of quirky characters from November 30 to December 2.

Govender is a well-known South African actress, director and comedienne best known for her role as Hemali in the SABC3 soapie, Isidingo.

A former Miss India SA (1994), she began working as a stand-up in 1993. She is one of six comedians to appear in the 2010 film Outrageous, described as South Africa’s first stand-up comedy film. One of her accolades includes being nominated for the Mzansi’s top comedy award during the 2008 Mzansi Star Awards.

A TV actress who dabbles in stand-up every now and then, many would remember Reddy as detective inspector Priyanka Naicker on Isidingo.

Adored by film goers for her beautiful character, Reshmi, in Mr Bones 2, Reddy began her TV career presenting magazine show Big City and later Citylife. She went on to star in Zero Tolerance and Backstage and played e.tv’s Scandal! reporter Vanashree Devan for two years.

This new generation of South Africa’s hottest female comediennes is made complete by Pillay, who became popular as the feisty celebrity recently on M-Net’s Survivor: Santa Carolina. With a comedy career spanning more than a decade, Pillay can be regularly seen plying her trade on SABC3’s Going Nowhere Slowly series.

Another evening of great fun and laughter with the legendary Barry Hilton awaits comedy lovers from December 22 to 22. Rounding off the season in grand style, South Africa’s favourite Cousin Barry celebrates three decades of laughter with his latest show, Stand-up Chameleon.

This show is all about Hilton’s ability to transform his act, keeping one eye on the audience and the other on new material. Hilton will prove just how easy it is for him to lure crossover audiences into appreciating his classic blend of observational satire, circular storytelling and animated expression.