You don’t have to be a comedian to successfully make fun of Donovan David Goliath. His name is, well, David Goliath. However, that silly punchline gets pretty tired pretty soon, or at least until you see the up-and-coming stand-up comedian on stage.
You don’t need to make fun of him. Through his observational comedy and knack for shedding light on his upbringing, he does a pretty good job of gooi-ing the gags about himself. Like the one about him being the whitest-looking coloured growing up in the Transkei and the sheer shock his peers and pretty much everyone around him reacts with when they discover he can actually speak Xhosa fluently.
Not that Xhosa-lite you hear in Cape Town CBD corridors, the kind that would send a Blacks Only Black Christmas audience into serious fits of laughter and applause.
This month, it was announced that Goliath was one of the Newcomer Award nominees in this year’s Comic’s Choice Awards (which will take place at Montecasino, Fourways, on July 10). He’s up against Dillan Oliphant, Monique Nortje and the other Goliath, Jason.
As expected, Donovan Goliath is stoked about the nomination.
“It’s a great initiative,” he says. “Comedy is at a place in South Africa where it’s growing so fast and there is so much new talent. There are lots of interesting surprises on the nominees’ list this year, but I love how the awards themselves are structured. I feel honoured to be selected as one of the few in my category. The awards make it feel like it’s about respect from peers and that’s a nice take to it because you know if it were left solely up to the public then the younger guys would never get a chance.”
Goliath knows all about getting chances. He was one of the last young comedians to actually grace the legendary Comedy Underground (in Melville, Joburg) stage before it closed down.
This is actually where he cut his comedic teeth before he went on to perform, alongside other comedians in LOL, which comprised 51 shows in three months at Gold Reef City and perform alongside big names at popular shows such as Blacks Only and 99% Xhosa all over the country.
But the Underground has a special place in his heart.
He says: “Every town or city has like, a cult club, or a place were comedians are born. Eish, I’m trying to find the best words to describe it because it means that much. The Underground was a grungy, solid quality, effortless house. All you needed was a mic, a light and the stage and you’d get raw, hard comedy.”
Goliath, along with Jason and Nicholas Goliath, has since gone on to establish his own monthly comedy nights at Club OMG (Oh My Gosh) inside the Honeydew Shopping Centre every last Wednesday of the month. The show is called AWEdnesday, which is pronounced Ah-weh-nsday, as in the colloquial slang greeting and day of the week combined.
Next week, the show will see John Vlismas play host while Donovan performs alongside Loyiso Madinga, Eureka Nkese, Mel Miller and Two Dogs.