“One day I walked into a bar, and someone said ‘Awe!’, and I was like, ‘you know what, You go AWE, I just got here’.”
Have you ever seen an American-Egyptian-Greek-Aztec-South-African? No? Well, that is Joe Emilio. As he describes himself “the lovechild of George Lopez and Jay Leno”.
Over the weekend I was invited to go watch Joe’s show, Joe Ma se BBQ, at The German Club, as part of the Cape Town Fringe Festival. I immediately agreed – who doesn’t need a bit of comedy these days? The show kicked off with Joe’s friend and fellow comedian, Nelson De Gouveia. Nelson quickly warmed up the crowd with a few witty stories about growing up with the same name as one of the most famous South Africans, his Portuguese family and living with his girlfriend. His sketches are simple, but true, and he managed to keep the smaller crowd drawn.
A few beers and 15 minutes of laughter in, and it was time for Joe Ma se BBQ. Joe appeared on stage, didn’t wait to get a feel for the crowd, but jumped right in. Obviously it’s no easy thing to do stand-up comedy, but Joe’s cool and kicked off his set by telling us about things South Africans say that confuse him. He’s like an old friend telling stories over a few beers in a bar – no pressure.
“Joe is a storyteller comedian, energetic and lively on the stage. His comedy is fresh and original with interesting twists on the American and South African culture.” – Cape Town Comedy Club
The show is a beautiful mix of stories shared by Joe; experiences of his time in South Africa. It works well as he quickly establishes himself as an “outsider”, a bit lost in the culture and language (even though he’s been in the country for 10 years).
It’s a must-see for all South Africans; you will relate and laugh at everyday things that you wouldn’t normally consider as funny, things like braais, TV licenses and traffic robots. And at the end of it all, he leaves you to decide: is he a true South African yet?
Joe takes a refreshing route with his comedy by not intentionally making fun of South Africa or the people, but rather laughs at himself experiencing the culture.
Thanks for all the laughing and fun I had, I can’t wait for the next show.
And, by the way Joe, you ARE South African!
Catch Joe Emilio on the following dates at the Cape Town Comedy Club:
Wednesday, 4 October
Friday, 6 October
Saturday, 7 October
Sunday, 8 October
Get tickets: HERE
Photos taken by: Cara Ruthenberg