Outspoken comic, comedy producer and roast veteran John Vlismas is warming up for his new gig as the host of Comedy Central’s Roast Battle – the new comedy format in which comics battle to the death in a series of quick-fire comedic combats.
Vlismas, who famously ruffled Steve Hofmeyr’s feathers at the 2013 Comedy Central Roast of Steve Hofmeyr, and brought a gun to the 2014 Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene, will be keeping his cool as he presides over the new series of live shows. The first episode of the new series will be taped in front of a live audience at Parker’s in Montecasino, Johannesburg, on 26 May, before airing across the continent on Comedy Central from June 2016.
Joining Vlismas at the first outing of Roast Battle are comedians Dusty Rich, Nina Hastie, Dillan Oliphant and Nquoba Ngcobo. They join contestants Chris Forrest and Mo Mothebe, and guest judge Kenny Kunene, himself a former roastee.
Pioneered at the Comedy Central International Comedy Festival in December 2015, the Roast Battle finds Vlismas keeping the peace between the six local stand-ups as they aim to ‘burn’ and out-do their opponents armed only with an arsenal of five jokes in the form of original one-liners. The Roast Battle host and guest judges then decide who will proceed through to the next round. Six monthly heats will be followed by a grand final event at the end of the year at which Comedy Central will crown the Roast Battle champion.
Vlismas said, “Nothing shows love in the comedy world like one performer tearing another performer’s heart out through their back passage, and beating it to death like a baby seal on a Namibian beach. And then we’ll get the comics to hug it out and score them, so one is not only mortally wounded but officially a loser as well.’
Evert van der Veer, vice president Comedy Central Africa said, “The Roast Battle concept disrupts and subverts the established notion of what a stand-up performance should be, and adds an exciting, speed-based competitive element that is engaging and entertaining for comedians and audiences alike.’
To attend the live taping, tickets are available now from Computicket, or can be bought at the door at Parker’s on 26 May 2016. Tickets are R150. Doors open at 18h00. Over 18s only.
Comedy Central Roast Battle episode one premieres on Comedy Central on 13 June 2016.
For more information visit the Comedy Central Roast Battle website.