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Penguin SA

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Nik Rabinowitz Joined Jerm for the Launch of Comedy Club at The Book Lounge

Jerm (also known as Jeremy Nell)

There wasn’t an empty seat at Cape Town’s premier independent book shop, The Book Lounge, when award-winning satirist and cartoonist Jerm (Jeremy Nell) was joined by comedian Nik Rabinowitz to celebrate the launch of his latest book, Comedy Club.

The venue was filled with laughter and hearty applause as Rabinowitz kicked off with an apology from Atul Gupta and the good folk at Guptagate, who couldn’t make it.
Nik Rabinowitz and Jerm (Jeremy Nell)Comedy Club“How you pick the cartoon you’re going to do for the day is quite a process,” Jerm said.

Seeking out the former editor of the Cape Times, Ryland Fisher, in the crowd, he addressed him directly: “It’s important that you put a gate in the equation … for example travelgate, oilgate, Guptagate, Nkandlagate, Oscar … door!” He then interrogated the British audience member in the front row, enquiring whether he was a Baptist and, acknowledging the solitary clap, advised him to read The Daily Voice. Rabinowitz riffed on the tabloid newspaper’s capacity to take a terrible tragedy, and simplify it. He mentioned the sad story of the guy who jumped in front of a train at Wynberg. The Daily Voice gave their readers pictures that “were a little bit nauseating”, contrasting with the headline “‘n Kak Gedagte!”

Nothing and nobody were spared from Rabinowitz’s scathing wit: Jacob Zuma’s fire pool, Oscar Pretorius’ “Yes, my lady”, Tim Noakes’ Banting diet, the fall of Blade Nzimande and Thuli Madonsela’s clear-eyed voice of courage. Most staggering was the R24.8 billion of tax payers’ money wasted by the government in unauthorised irregular spending. “People can’t understand that amount of money, so try to imagine 24 000 bags each containing R1 million thrown away …”

Reflecting on each cartoon with its originator, Jerm, the duo kept the audience in tears of mirth. The quirks of regular South Africans and the sheer lunacy of our leaders offered an evening of excellent entertainment with a hard knuckle of truth punching through the laughter.

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Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the launch using the hasthag #livebooks:


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