Kaylon Koeries chats about brain-farts, repurposed biscuit tins and the needs of our youth with the hilarious Lindy Johnson, the fresh and fierce first daughter of local comedy.
How did you venture into comedy?
My very first performance was for a talent competition I entered on a whim. Rob Van Vuuren was the host and directed me to Obviouzly Armchair open mic nights. I came second in the talent competition but I was hooked after that.
How do you come up with your material?
I wish I had a set formula – it would probably make my life much easier – unfortunately, creativity strikes when it pleases. I usually see something that sparks an interest in my mind and only later find the words to articulate why.
A lot of your jokes poke fun at coloured culture, why do you think we find it so easy to laugh at ourselves?
Laughter connects people in the most wonderful way. I don’t know you and you don’t know me but if you walked into my home and saw a biscuit tin that was being used as a needlework holder it would not only make us laugh but open up a discussion for more shared habits bringing us closer.
Are brown people under the impression that a funeral must be as long as the person’s life was or what
— lindy (@Lindyyay) June 10, 2017
What’s your favourite joke?
That I’ve written? I find myself too biased towards my own material to pick. I enjoy any joke that expertly takes bad life situations and makes them hilarious like Eddie Murphy’s home-made McDonald’s burger story from his 1987 special Raw.
Who inspires you?
My Mother – she’s incredible. I am loved unconditionally and believed in so fiercely, she makes it impossible to doubt myself.
What has your experience been as a young woman of colour in comedy?
I can honestly say it has been the most positive journey. The comedy community is incredibly welcoming and helpful. Audiences, I feel, are focused on what I’m saying and not who I am.
What advice do you have for other aspiring comedians?
Stand-up comedy is by no means easy. I think that’s a mistake many newbies, including myself, make. Other than that, comedy takes passion, time and talent and you will definitely need all three.
What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
I cringe and laugh when I think about my first few times on stage and all the embarrassing mistakes I made, like whispering into the Mic or standing way too far. I’m sure in a few months I’ll be cringing and laughing at this part of my journey too.
What was your favourite moment?
Any moment an audience member points and nods knowingly at anything I’ve said, knowing that I’ve made that connection with a complete stranger is bliss.
Are you currently working on anything exciting?
Right now I’ve entered in the Savannah Show Us Your Apples stand-up competition at the Cape Town Comedy Club. I’ve made it through to the top 4 (finals) and I’m watching the next rounds to see who my competitors will be.
Who would you love to work with?
Locally, I have always admired and wanted to work with Marc Lottering. I’ve had the good fortune of gigging with him once or twice. Internationally, I really enjoy Jessica Williams a former correspondent on The Daily Show who is currently on the 2 Dope Queens podcast.
Your Twitter account is amazingly hysterical – are you just tweeting things as they happen?
Ha! Yes, I use Twitter as a way to release all my “brain-farts.” The things that make me laugh, it’s always an unexpected surprise when other people enjoy it too.
I’m trying to convince my family to buy me a birthday cake today but theyre all coming with the same kak ‘your birthday’s in Feb’ excuse
— lindy (@Lindyyay) June 20, 2017
How do you think we should be celebrating Youth Day?
By implementing and enforcing positive change that empowers the youth. Fees need to fall and young girls need protection. South African young people are frustrated and rightfully so. We have a government filled with people old enough to be our grandparents who have no way of relating to struggles we face.
What do you think the youth of this country needs more than anything?
Opportunities. Too many young people have to work three, four times as hard to access basic needs.