Top 10 Famous and Funniest South African Comedians

Trevor Noaha tops the list of the most famous South African Comedians. Whenever he can, Noah returns to South Africa to perform his stand-up act before a live audience – although it’s not quite the stand-up act he performs in the US. Certain subjects that comedians don’t usually joke about in the US or the UK are fair game in South Africa, and the style for telling those jokes also differs. In an interview with BBC Culture, Noah talks about what makes the comedy style of his home country unique.

Top 10 Famous South African Comedians

1. Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah

Born: 20 February 1984

Trevor Noah is a South African comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. He is the host of The Daily Show, an American satirical news program on Comedy Central. Noah has received various accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award win from nine nominations. He was named one of "The 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media" by The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

2. Riaad Moosa

Born: 18 June 1977

Riaad Moosa is an Indian-born, Muslim, South African comedian, screenwriter, actor and physician of Indian-Malay descent. Moosa uses comedy to tackle sensitive issues like Islamic stereotypes, Islamophobia, racism and prolapsed hemorrhoids. His other subjects range from Bollywood to current politics to apartheid. Moosa chooses not to use profanity and explicit vocabulary.

3. Loyiso Gola

Born: 16 May 1983

Loyiso Gola is a South African stand-up comedian. He is the co-creator and anchor of the late-night satirical news television series Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola on e.tv and eNCA which was launched in 2010. In 2012 he was named one of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans, in the Media & Film category.  Men's Health describes Gola as having "divisive mass appeal" due to the openly critical nature of his humour, and being "a genuine thinker masquerading as a fool and the reluctant voice of a cynical generation". His younger brother Lazola Gola is also a comedian.

4. Nik Rabinowitz

Nik Rabinowitz

Born: 3 October 1976

Nik Rabinowitz is a South African comedian, actor and author, who has made guest appearances on several comedy shows, including the British panel show Mock the Week. He also appeared in the 2012 film Material. He currently resides in Cape Town.

5. Kagiso Lediga

Born: 6 May 1978

Kagiso Lediga is a South African Tswana stand-up comedian, actor, writer and director. He is the creator and executive producer of the Netflix crime drama Queen Sono which was released on February 28, 2020. Lediga has written and directed noteworthy television comedies including the cult classic The Pure Monate Show, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola, and the Bantu Hour. He has played leading roles in the films Bunny Chow, Wonder Boy for President and Catching Feelings.

6. Tumi Morake

Tumi Morake

Born: 22 December 1981

Tumi Morake is a South African comedian, actress, TV personality, and writer. In 2018, she became the first African woman to have her own set on Netflix. She is also known to be the first woman to host Comedy Central Presents in Africa.

7. Marc Lottering

Marc Lottering

Born: 4 December 1967

Marc Eugene Lottering is a stand-up comedian from Cape Town, South Africa, and grew up in the Retreat townships of the Cape Flats. His first show was titled "AFTER THE BEEP" in 1997. In 2001 he won the Vita Award for Best Actor in a Comedy, and he has also multiple Fleur du Cap Awards.

8. Celeste Ntuli

Born: 25 August 1978

Celeste Ntuli is a South African comedian and actress. She is popularly referred to as the queen of the Zulu comedy and she is known for being the first local female comic to record a one woman show DVD.

9. Tats Nkonzo

Born: 19 March 1985

Tats Nkonzo is a South African standup comedian, singer, musician and television personality best known as the host of the e.tv reality competition SA's Got Talent He is also was a Co-Host on Uyangithanda na?. Nkonzo received the BlackBerry Breakthrough Act Award at the 2nd Annual South African Comics Choice Awards, in 2012. In the same year he took over from Rob van Vuuren and Anele Mdoda as sole host of SA's Got Talent. Nkonzo was the seventh host of the Comedy Central series Comedy Central Presents... Live at Parker's, in 2012. In 2014 he was one a team captain of the e.tv game show I Love South Africa. In 2015 he was the co-host (with Kenneth Nkosi) of the Mzansi Magic game show Give Me That Bill Mzansi.

10. Barry Hilton

Barry Hilton

Born: 29 January 1956

David Barry Hilton (born 29 January 1956 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia) is a South African stand-up comedian. Referred to by his middle name, Barry (aka ‘The Cousin’), he is also an actor, television personality and motivational speaker. After 6 years of initially working as an electrician he tried his hand at comedy - turning Professional in 1983 at the age of 26. Inspired by comedians Richard Pryor and Billy Connolly, Hilton's personal style can best be described as a combination of observational, satirical and physical comedy.

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