Funny-man Schalk Bezuidenhout is the third to take a trip with comedian Skhumba Hlophe on the coming episode of Trippin With Skhumba.
Bezuidenhout has become a household name in the South African comedy industry having won two Comic’s Choice awards and a SAFTA for his supporting role in the kykNET comedy, Hotel, under his belt.
In the third episode, the Afrikaans comedian will head to his hometown of Kempton Park in Gauteng.
Here are five things you need to know about Bezuidenhout;
1. Schalk is scared of children in school uniforms
Schalk takes Skhumba back to where he went to school: Hoërskool Jeugland in Kempton Park. He admits he’s feeling nervous before going on stage.
“I was bullied in school, so when I see a child in a school uniform, I’m immediately nervous. You know like when you’re in grade eight and the matrics look at you and you look down? Even now, I’m 26, but when a matric in a school uniform looks at me, I’m still like, ‘Sorry, sorry.’”
2. Schalk’s dad was his teacher at school
Schalk’s father, Schalk, was one of his teachers at Hoërskool Jeugland. Schalk has the students in hysterics with a story about getting a hiding at school from his father for bunking, while looking up at his own baby picture on the wall of his dad’s office.
“At home he couldn’t hit me because my mom said, ‘You don’t hit him.’ But now it’s at the school – it’s a free for all. It was the first time since I was in school that he could hit me. But now it wasn’t just for bunking – it was for all the other stuff from home that had built up over months. That prepared me for life. Because nothing in my life has been worse than that. Now I’m not scared for anything.”
3. Schalk’s first paying comedy gig was at a strip club
Schalk takes Skhumba back to Rock Paradise Strip Club in Kempton Park, where he did his first paying gig, after eight months of open mic nights. “Tony De King used to run a gig here. He called me one day and said could I come do a comedy spot for four-thousand rand…” As though performing at age 19 for strippers and their patrons at two in the afternoon wasn’t stressful enough, his dad decided to come along too…
4. Schalk’s mom has a shrine to his career at her house
Schalk takes Skhumba back to his parent’s house in Kempton Park for a braai. He starts the visit by showing Skhumba his mom’s museum about his career – a room with 12 show posters, a statue of Schalk, a painting of Schalk, and the Golden Horn he won for his role as Danny in Hotel. “I’m first going to show you the room of the proudest mother in the world,” Schalk says. “If you look quickly, you’ll think I had a stalker.”
5: Schalk is “the one white comedian loved by black people”
Skhumba calls Schalk “the one white comedian loved by black people,” and asks him why he thinks he’s crossed over so well. Schalk says it’s a hard question, but if he had to guess, it’s because, “I am the stereotype but I’m not the stereotype. I’m not a khaki-wearing, big beard rugby player. But at the same time it’s clear that English is my second language and that even though I’m not racist I am in many ways still ignorant.”
In a wide-ranging episode, Skhumba and Schalk talk about the first black person Schalk got to know, whether white or black comedians have more opportunities in South Africa, Schalk’s mum’s vibrating bed, and how Schalk wanted to be an actor before he wanted to be a comedian.
Schalk also takes Skhumba for waffles and a burger in Kempton Park.
“I’m disappointed,” Skhumba says afterwards, to which Schalk replies, “A lot of people are disappointed by Kempton Park. I wanted to give you that experience…”
-Adapted from a press release