South African TV just debuted this commercial, below, for a popular chicken fast food chain. It features the character Evita Bezuidenhout, a kind of South African Dame Edma played by satirist Pieter Dirk Uys. My hunch is it will be well-received as with much of Uys’ satire and comedy (he even got a free pass from Apartheid’s junta)
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The same can not be said for how South African politicians usually respond to humor.
In October 2008, South African politician Nhlanhla Nene fell of his chair, while being interviewed live on public television. The clip became an instant Youtube hit. My guess is you have seen it by now. But here it is again.
The point is the the heavyset Nene heads the parliamentary finance committee enjoyed some newfound fame (within a week half million people had viewed the clip online) and appeared to be a good sport. Or so it seemed. Then he suddenly decided it wasn’t funny and announced he’ll sue the SABC (the public broadcaster).
Some argue that may partly explain the SABC’s decision not to give the final go-ahead on a new politics satire TV show using puppets (the pilot has been shot and screened “internally;” it has no title yet). [UPDATE: It's called Z News]
Which is a neat way to introduce a recent Associated Press profile of Jonathan Shapiro, the South African newspaper cartoonist known as Zapiro, published widely in the US.
Zapiro, whose work is widely circulated in South Africa’s mainstream press, is also one of the creators of the puppet show mentioned above and is behind work like this below (for which he is being sued by the ruling party’s leader Jacob Zuma).
In the profile (which coincides with the publication of his latest book of cartoons), Zapiro suggests that not all South African politicians are humorless.