Comedians unite for ‘insane’ effort

What began as a caffeine-inspired afternoon has led to three of South Africa’s top comedians hatching a plan for nationwide domination, starting in the Eastern Cape with the comedy sketch The Rise of the Insanity League.

The “Insanity League” was formed on the KwaZulu-Natal veranda of Ben Voss, gathered there with Aaron McIlroy and John van de Ruit. They maintain they all have valid reasons for their insanity claims.

“The league began as a caffeine-inspired statement of intent to create a sketch comedy show that would stun audiences and careen between the comedic poles of sheer genius and rank stupidity,” McIlroy said.

Van de Ruit added: “When Aaron, Ben and I sat down a year ago with the idea of creating a big comedy show, we soon found common ground around the idea of “insanity”. We agreed that we were all, to varying degrees, insane. We thought about the insanity of the modern world around us, that painted itself as normal and sane. This led us towards the idea of a comedic movement, which became the Insanity League.

“Week by week a black book has filled itself with a mounting treasure trove of side-splitting ideas, a burgeoning cast of unwell characters and enough crackling one-liners to incur a government health warning,” Voss said.

The comedy show promises to leave audience members laughing “so hard that no more sound comes out, and your tummy muscles are in stitches” as they poke and provoke.

“We will tackle subjects like the history of insanity, what happens to a man’s brain in a nightclub, a political debate with a surprising twist, a cheeky look inside the SAPS [Insanity Police], a mad sports show, and a whole host of other goons and madmen making appearances,” Van de Ruit said.

“I hope they [audience members] laugh uproariously, and spend the next three days acting out their favourite moments from the show for their mates around the water cooler.”

Van de Ruit became a publishing phenomenon after smashing South Africa’s book-selling records with Spud.

Spud the movie proved a box office hit.

He and Voss co-developed the comedy shows Green Mamba and Black Mamba, which were performed to sell-out audiences around South Africa as well as receiving numerous awards.

Voss is best known for his alter-ego, Beauty Ramapelepele, who delivers satirical social commentary on life in a post-apartheid South Africa. He has toured the country and abroad with his shows Beauty and the BEE and Bend it like Beauty. He is a regular contributor to East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM.

The ginger entertainer McIlroy is the master of sweeping punch lines. He has most recently toured the Eastern Cape with his musical Abbamaniacs but was seen in comedy shows such as Dof, The Golfer, The Loser, and @work.

The Rise of the Insanity League will run from Tuesday March 5 until Saturday March 9 at 7.30pm at the Boardwalk’s Vodacom Amphitheatre in Port Elizabeth. Then the show will move to East London’s Guild Theatre, from March 12 to 16.

Tickets for the Port Elizabeth leg are R120 at Computicket, with opening night costing R65.

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