The Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg was packed with famous faces attending a recording of the roast of rapper AKA.
Riky Rick, Lasizwe, Moozlie, Jessica Nkosi, Tol A$$ Mo ... The shocker was that such high-profile individuals had nothing better to do with their Thursday evening.
They did contribute to the best gag of the night, though, about referencing AKA’s rap rival, Cassper Nyovest, who famously filled up the Dome – at least AKA managed to fill up The Teatro, went the gag. But after being used over and over, it soon fell flat.
A good roast is a symphony of insults from a panel of close friends or public enemies of the roastee, but this line-up played it safe. And many of the gags came from the gutter.
It’s a pity Cassper wasn’t on the panel, or AKA’s ex-girlfriend Bonang Matheba, whose infamous book was a common theme.
AKA said he never read it, and if he had, he would have pointed out the errors in it.
Warm-up comedian Jason Goliath had well-written jokes and did some expert crowd work, but tickets to the event were R450 and there was a cash bar.
If the organisers wanted a warm crowd, they should have just had some booze free. And how do you charge people so much and give them a minibar-sized drink with a pack of Pringles branded with AKA’s face?
Goliath made way for the “Roast Master”, Pearl Thusi. Granted, she is better to look at than Goliath and is a professional host, but there was also something a bit boring about her – perhaps that Autocue that everyone was reading off.
A host of comics are roped in to help with the roast panel’s gag writing. It just sounded like a John Vlismas set featuring a few jokes from, maybe, Skhumba Hlophe, Loyiso Madinga and Robby Collins.
City Press spotted two of those brothers outside after the show, going over how Papa Penny was perhaps not so good on the night.
This is true as the man was sent on stage with cues that read something like “Nina Hastie (white girl)” as his point of reference.
They marginalised Papa Penny by forcing him to roast in English. I guess the ghost writer doesn’t know too many jokes in Xitsonga.
The best roasters were Hastie (white girl) and Joey Rasdien, who left the packed auditorium chanting their names.
AKA’s rebuttals were generally so timid, it is surprising they didn’t use Autotune for his set.
He would repeatedly try to talk over the roasters like a petulant schoolboy, which resulted in the crowd shooshing him.
Of course, the misogyny was out on full display. This year, Hastie bore the brunt of the “large vagina” jokes.
Nigerian pop singer Davido went off script and included an attempt at using rape as content for a joke.
The roast of AKA will be released in March and I’m sure the editors will have their work cut out for them to make it seem sizzling.