I could talk about wide appeal, I could talk about his uniqueness, I could talk about his extremely acute humor, and that would all be true, but to waste time stating the obvious would be a job for a highly paid publicist, and I’m not that. Last night however I was a ticket buying member of the public, with family in town at the Mandela Theater in Jozi to see Trevor Noah’s “Goodbye for now” show.
Trevor is no doubt a talented entertainer, and I laughed for two hours, the oddest thing about sitting there and hearing Trevor, was not how humorous he is, but how humorous we as people are. In a theatre full of a totally diverse audience, we were reduced to tears of mirth by the same sketches, and Trevor appeared to be in a “no pull punches mood” and it made no difference to the crowd.
Even the opening act, Charlie Collins, got the house laughing, mostly at us as a people, becoming increasingly more at ease with each other. United by laughter and our own unique ability to see the funny side of ourselves, because essentially humour is the ability to laugh at the ridiculousness of our own predicaments.
Occasionally the seriousness of the world is best confronted by laughing at ourselves, because not only are we not that different, we are amazingly alike. Trevor held the house in the palm of his hand for two hours, during which there was not one uncomfortable moment, sacred cows were slaughtered casually, and several political figures reduced to a more bearable size, if only for the moment, and in the throes of laughter, but who knows how laughter has a way of shaping events and conditioning people?
Sadly, for the local comedy circuit, Trevor will be absent for some time, to try his brand of comedy in the United States. I wish him well, and I hope that he finds audiences who appreciate him as much as we do. I also hope that we do get to keep seeing his performances in the future as to have him become a permanent ex-pat, would make us poorer as a nation, and who knows sadder as well, having lost a small measure of the ability to laugh at ourselves.
If you don’t like Trevor Noah, go and see him. If you do like Trevor Noah, what are you waiting for?
Tickets for his Johannesburg show have already been sold out. To book tickets to see his final show in Cape Town visit Computicket.