In June 2013 we went out to Johannesburg, South Africa to test our theory – what would happen if we asked a country’s top comedians to create content for the U.S.?
We found that the creative process would literally have us on the floor laughing for days. David Kibuuka, Kagiso Lediga and Chris Forrest are just a few of the many rock star comedians coming out of South Africa today. They are the SNL and Daily Show stars for the African continent, and there is no doubting their immense talent.
We also learned that there is indeed a “bridging” process – learning to take what’s funny in one cultural context and making it relevant in another. While much of the world “knows” America through our entertainment, finding the universal kernels has to be built into the creative journey. The good news is that this bridging process is precisely what we at SPT are good at. We didn’t tell these guys what to write – the sketch is entirely their idea to spoof the charity industry – we just helped them translate along the way.
And finally we confirmed funny is funny. While comedy can often be local, it doesn’t always have to be. Given a specific brief, these top South African comedians knew exactly how to write for new audiences. These guys are pros, and they could do well in almost any market, if given the proper support and ecosystem to make it happen. And that’s what we at SPT intend to build.
Check out the first video coming out of our giant experiment to introduce America to international comedy, and then see below for some fun behind-the-scenes pics. We hope you enjoy it! Please do share the video with others and tell us what you think.
Check out some behind-the-scenes pics from our shoot: