Where are you from originally?
The Mother City. As opposed to the Father City… which is… um…? Do we have a Father City? Would we call it the “Pa Stad”? I Dunno, but now I’m picturing a city saying in a Darth Vader Accent, “Village, I am your Father” *giggles*… *sigh*… oh. Yes. Cape Town.
What does your name “Kellyn Oh Her” mean?
Girl who stands up and tells jokes at the same time. Or… shiny vampire from tweeny novels.(Kellan? No? Ok moving on.) The “Oh Her” came about a bit later. Once upon a time in a gay bar (I love it when stories start like this) I was standing with a friend while she was talking to an unfamiliar sneaker of lesbians (that’s the collective noun for lesbians - so is “dungaree”) when suddenly they started talking about “Kellyn”… I asked “Kellyn who?” and they said “that girl that was with so-and-so” to which I replied “oh, her”. Had my friend in stitches and it’s just kinda stuck. “Kellyn who? oh. Her.
Do you think it has an effect on how you do your comedy?
I’ve been called worse. Not actually “Worse” but you know… worse things. and that’s not Worse’s full name. Things. Worse Things. “Pleased to meet you I’m Worse Things”. *sigh* next question pls.
How does your on-stage personality differ from the ‘real’ you?
My on-stage approach to confidence is “fake it till you make it”, off-stage, that’s my approach to sex
Who is the ‘real’ you?
The real me is pretty much the same person you see on stage. A lot of my comedy comes from real things that have happened or just the way I perceive the “real world” I don’t try change who I am when I’m up there. In fact I find it most important I don’t.
How did you get into stand-up comedy?
I lived in New York, as you do, and I didn’t know anyone there. I love comedy and would hang-out at comedy clubs. Eventually I made friends with some of the comics. One in particular I’d hangout with ran an open mic night. On a really slow night she begged me to go up and read some of my blog posts (which she loved) as there weren’t enough peeps to fill slots. I read some posts and threw in a few jokes and it went so well! When I got back to Cape Town I was Pining for New York and decided I needed a project here, something to distract me from what I missed. Something awesome. So I decided that I’m gonna make this Comedy thing work.
What made you decide to do stand-up comedy for the first time?
I’ve always loved comedy shows and I’m always cracking jokes for my friends, I figured I should at least try and get in for free and maybe even get paid. so ultimately I’m doing it for the free drinks and ass. and yes, it’s working out for me ;)
Where was your ‘comedy cherry’ broken?
the creek and cave in Queens, New York. my Cape Town cherry was popped at the Armchair in Obs. An Awesome Gig to do actually. It’s run by Chris Steenkamp for new comics and old comics, doing some new material. It’s a great place to hear something fresh, something new.
What made you want to continue?
The free entry and drinks. Even if it means standing up on stage, feeling naked, trying to make people laugh for 10 milleniminutes
How long have you been performing for now?
I think I Started June/July 2011… so… ah… work it out :P
Describe your comedic style in 5 words
taboo, dry, witty, self deprecating
What has your experience of being a female comic in South Africa been like?
Well, there are two sides to that coin. the one side is that there are low expectations, with a lot of room to impress. and on the other side of the coin is probably a man’s face… or a kudu… if it’s a R2.
Do you feel that there are certain things that female comics can and can’t do or say as opposed to their male counterparts? Do audiences have certain expectations of you as a female comic?
I think it’s a bit harder as a female comic to be crass. I find men can get away with a lot more when it comes to swearing or talking about taboo topics than women, and I’ve been told I stand up like a guy. Which I took as a compliment. I also walk and pee like one too. so there that.
What is the best part about being a stand-up comic? What’s the worst?
Free entry and drinks? I can’t stress the importance of the free drinks and entry. The most insane thing that has happened so far is being on the cover of magazine. I’m still trying to get over that. It’s also the small stuff… like being paid to do a festival or gig that I would have paid to have gone to in the first place. meeting all the awesome people I have. and did I mention free entry and drinks? oh. ok. that.
Worst… ah…I get tired. I work a full day then go straight to do a gig and hang around afterwards. by the time the weekend rolls up I just wanna do nothing, but end up doing something and find myself exhausted & crying in the car on the way to work on a Monday morning, you know? no? Just me then.
Which South African comedians, if any, do you idolize?
Idolize is a strong word. it’s too close to “stalk”, and that goes against my restraining order. comics who amuse me perhaps? there are different things I dig about different comics. like David Newtons audience improv and stage presence. I love that Anne Hirsch can be hysterically funny without being crass or rude or taboo at all. I love how Chris Steenkamp has this grumpy old man thing with some of his jokes but he’s like one of the friendliest loveable people I know. to be able to switch like that on stage is pretty awesome. Martin Davis! You can hear the same jokes but they will always be different with each audience. He’s always a pleasure to watch. I could go on.
Your favourite comedy venues in Cape Town?
The ones that pay. Jokes! (sorta) ummm.. Beefcakes is my number one. It’s my “family”. They always appreciate my gay humour.
How can we find out when your next gig is?
I update my “about me” in the info section on my facebook page, I tweet about gigs. I have a tumblr with a gig page. www.kellyncoetzee.tumblr.com/hergigs (there are some funny posts in there too if you have the time to scroll back. Best to add me on facebook (email@example.com) or follow me on twitter ( oh_her )
What is your favourite joke?
hmmm… I love the jokes I make on the spot, but from my material I guess I really like my groupon closer. I’m not gonna tell you now… cos… well… I don’t work for free. you’re gonna have to come hear it sometime.
What advice do you have for wannabe female comics?
have you tried starting a band first? Don’t steal jokes, it’s so painful hearing a joke from a comic and you know you’ve heard it before. keep it original. #respect.