The truth and nothing but the truth

25 April 2019

The truth and nothing but the truth

When I was a kid, there was this corny joke, something along the lines of “Ma, Schalk is on the TV!” and then the mom says: “Well tell him to get off!”

Comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout is unlikely to tell you such a corny joke, ever – though one can’t say the same for his character in Hotel, the lovable dolt Danny Beyers (you can stream S1-2 of Hotel on Showmax).

Hotel on Showmax

And just so you know, Schalk has no intention of getting off the TV.

Laugh till you cry

“We shoot very fast. You get two or three takes for each scene, and if you have to redo something five times because you can’t stop laughing, you can pick up how irritated people are getting.”

Schalk says that during the latest season of Hotel, he enjoyed his scenes with De Klerk Oelofse (who plays Jaap) so much that he began to fear for his career.

“In the scene where Jaap is making clothes for Danny while Danny is sitting in a wheelchair, we started laughing … and we just couldn’t stop. The first time or second time you mess up a scene because you start laughing, everyone still thinks it’s funny, but the film crew soon get irritated. After a while I almost wanted to cry, because I knew it wasn’t funny anymore, but De Klerk and I just couldn’t stop laughing. In the end it’s only the fear that people won’t want to work with you again that makes you pull yourself together and get through the scene.”

Viewers might be surprised to know that there’s very little time to mess around or crack jokes on the set of a comedy.

“It’s nothing like the blooper reel at the end of a Jackie Chan flick,” says Schalk. “We shoot very fast. You get two or three takes for each scene, and if you have to redo something five times because you can’t stop laughing, you can pick up how irritated people are getting.”

His favourite Danny moments are when the character experiences something for the first time.

“Danny is actually a lot like a teenager. I found it very funny when he drank for the first time in Season 2. I’d love it if the audience got to share in more firsts with him in future seasons.”

In Season 3, Danny gets quite jealous of Jaap when the other staff start thinking he’s the smart one, and Schalk jokes that that’s happened in real life too.

“People are mad about Jaap now. There’s a teacher at my old high school who might be biggest Hotel fan in the country, and I always used to pop in there when I needed an ego boost, because Danny’s her favourite character. But now she tells me Jaap is her new favourite. At least Danny’s still number two.”

Schalk’s current affair with the news

Fortunately, Schalk has something to fall back on if De Klerk Oelofse starts stealing his roles and his fans.

The new season of the satirical news programme Die Ware Naarheid met Schalk Bezuidenhout kicked off on Wednesday 24 April on kykNET, with every new episode coming directly to Showmax as well.

Schalk’s ready with fresh material about current affairs.

“The new season of Die Ware Naarheid is more of the same – but better. In the last season, we could feel that we were getting slicker every week. Things were getting easier and flowing better. But just as we were really getting going, the 13 episodes were done. If we can start this season there, I think we’ll push a lot more buttons.”

One of Schalk’s favourite guests in Season 1 was Emsie Schoeman. “She was fantastic! She doesn’t care what people think of her – in the best possible way. She’s just completely herself. She’s the South African Betty White.”

Schalk got loads of nasty comments on social media during the first season of Die Ware Naarheid.

“It’s the same names every week, and 10 episodes later they’re apparently still watching. My message to you is this: Keep watching! And you can carry on commenting as well. It motivates me to work harder. It drives me.”

Snorseun’s work ethic

When it comes to satirical news programmes, Trevor Noah is still Schalk’s hero.

“He balances his work on The Daily Show with a career as a stand-up comic: he performs in different cities every weekend. It’s inspiring to see someone work so hard at their day job and their side line.”

Schalk’s own stand-up career isn’t on hold while he’s doing TV either. His one-man show, Snorseun, got full houses.

“The material in Snorseun is drawn a lot more from my own life. I’m becoming more and more honest. I want people to leave feeling that they’ve gotten to know me, learnt something about who I am.”

His favourite performances are the ones where he gets to work in a lot of improvised jokes with the audience.

“The audience makes the show unique. It cannot and will not ever happen again. At one of my performances at the Atterbury Theatre in February, there was a guy in the audience named Arreganté – pronounced Aroeshantei. I must have got 10 minutes of extra material out of that name. In the end the show was two hours and five minutes long. I think that’s a new record for me!”

The Snorseun won’t be getting off the stage either.

A SAFTA nomination for his performance in the movie Kanarie means he’s also on the big screen to stay. So if you’re one of the haters that want him to get off the TV, you’ll have to look the other way, because Schalk is anything but the punchline to a corny joke.

Want to stalk Schalk? Here’s where else you’ll find him on Showmax

1. Episode 3 of the Showmax Original, Trippin With Skhumba

2. His 2016 comedy special Second Language

3. In episode 1 of the brand-new Afrikaans supernatural series Die Spreeus

4. As host of Afrikaans dating show Die Kliek

Snorseun speaks: quick-fire questions

What was the last album you downloaded?

Changes by Charles Bradley.

What was the last meal you ordered on Uber Eats?

A bottle of red wine.

What was the last show you streamed?

The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.

Who was the last comedian to make you laugh out loud?

Casper de Vries at the Humour Help benefit show for Hoërskool Driehoek.

What app would we be surprised to know you use?

Hawk. It’s a fighter pilot game.

Watch Die Ware Naarheid on Showmax, where episodes land every week express from the kykNET broadcast.

Start watching now »

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