Yaaseen Barnes has been gracing stages all over South Africa with his quick wit for just over 4 years now. He is often called the “king of one liners”, famous for his comedic style which favours short jokes, or as he calls them “dad jokes.” Yaaseen’s brand of humour takes the worn out expression of ‘a laugh a minute’ pretty literally. He easily drops several punch lines before your brain registers the end of his first sentence. Yaaseen had a quick chat (naturally) with me about his experience as a comedian in South Africa.
Have you ever had a “real job” or has comedy always paid the bills?
I’ve had a quite a few other jobs, a few I’ve enjoyed and a few that were just a way to pay the bills. I had a few jobs in retail, worked for STATSA doing surveys, was a wedding photographer. I did some graphic design layouts. I worked in the insurance industry just before I quit to do comedy full time.-Yaaseen
Who is your favourite comedian to watch and why?
Demetri Martin, his style of comedy is very similar to mine. Not very physical, more talking. I think because I’m also lazy to walk on stage.-Yaaseen
What were the best and worst experiences you’ve ever had on a stage?
The worst experience is one all comedians have. Not silence. The crowd talking. Silence means that people are listening, talking means they’re not interested. There’s too many to point out for the worst, I’ve blocked them out emotionally. The best are the nights when it all lines up and fun is had all round. The most recent was at Premium Sports Bar in Mitchells Plain, just every moment was laughter.-Yaaseen
Comedians need to be pretty thick skinned, especially if you do roast type shows. How do you stay cool when someone (a heckler or a fellow comedian) hurts your feelings and you have nothing clever to throw back?
As a comedian you learn to appreciate a good joke and even a good roast. So if someone gets you and it’s funny you have to give them credit. If you’re easily offended then this isn’t the place for you.-Yaaseen
Tell us a joke please…
Saw a sign that said “Wet Floor” so I did.(SO MUCH PRESSURE)-Yaaseen
Make up children’s book titles containing the following words: turnip, dolphin, beard, kleptomaniac.
Lil John and Turnip: A story of Lil John in the club having a turn up with a turnip.Dolphin Lundgren: An autobiography of a dolphin that fought Jean Claude Van Dam.A beard shouldnt be feared: A book that teaches kids that men with beards are not the bad guys.Wynona Ryder: The kleptomaniac that stole the heart of the world when she was relevant.-Yaaseen
Yaaseen can be seen alongside the likes of comedy veterans Rob van Vuuren and Dalin Oliver at the Bluebird Garage Market in Muizenberg this weekend. Newcomer Lindy Johnson will be warming up the mic at 8 pm on Saturday the 22nd.
The show is going to be a lot of fun, everyone on the line has different style of comedy so it’s laughs from the start.-Yaaseen
Make sure to book your tickets through Comedy at the Market so you don’t miss out.