Perhaps Bob Perfect could best be described as one of the most controversial ‘shock’ comics of our generation. Chia Kougianos caught up with the man behind the mouth to talk comedy, teleportation and an infamous heckle…
We’ve all heard the expression, “You took that too far!” when it comes to certain jokes. Comedian Bob Perfect is the personification of that expression and the epitome of controversy. One of the most jolting stand-up comics to be seen on the Durban comedy scene, he takes his fusion of obscenity, blasphemy and humour to an all-new high or shall I say new low, daring to tread on subjects one could only describe as a ticking time bomb.
Bob is certainly not afraid of pushing the boundary. The outspoken comic prides himself on being a one-stop destination for the easily-offended and was amused at my attempt to understand his reasoning behind it all. Within minutes of hearing his favourite one-liners in a signature Bob Perfect set I began to wonder if perhaps Bob saw no boundary to push in the first place. Like it or not, his no-holds barred style of religious-based comedy certainly gets results. Be it a blushing journo squirming to sustain the convo to deliver this exact piece or an enthused crowd at Amsterdam marvelling at the comic’s signature stand-up.
Although only having been gigging for just under a year, Bob has become accustomed to a variety of audience reactions as well as enthusiastic hecklers. He once found himself at the centre of a great deal of controversy over his performance at this year’s Splashy Fen Music Festival. “Ironically it was Easter Sunday that I delivered my set. I opened the act with “So I’m an atheist, which means I’m right” said Bob. The Durban comic then continued to deliver a set so irreverent and blasphemous it made its way into the newspaper the following week as audiences found themselves marvelling in both horror and delight.
The worst was still to come however, as amidst his performance, a heckler’s voice could be heard coming from the crowd. Bob ignored it and continued. The heckler’s voice was heard again, this time so loud and proud that the option of ignoring was no longer viable. Bob retorted back with a no holds-barred combination of expletives and one-liners. There was a deadly silence when suddenly an eruption of laughter was heard from some of the audience members. One can almost imagine the crowd patting itself on the back at its unshockability. Bob not being able to resist began to push the envelope further as one half of the audience erupted in laughter with the other half voicing their anger into a disapproving murmur. His desire to deliver a speedy comeback to quieten the heckler misfired and had resulted in a mixed reaction from the crowd. “I had people cheering me on one hand and boo-ing me off stage on the other. It was an experience I’ll never forget” he says.
Though Bob came off a little worse for wear in handling the heckle run-in and was eventually forced to leave the stage, the Splashy episode highlighted his presence in the comedy circuit and suddenly in the local world of wannabe-comics Bob had found his identity. He is the atheist comic who only knows controversy. Bob’s uninhibited shock tactics and outrageous jokes yields comedy that’s wickedly close to the bone as he delivers one-liners without ever flinching.
He keenly shares his favourite jokes and gig material while I continue to squirm with the occasional giggle. Truth be told, behind the outrageous collection of statements lies an amusing and talented individual. I ask him to reveal his favourite joke and he begins with the greatest enthusiasm only to be met with a perplexed look on my face and the realisation that that joke will never be revealed in this feature. “You’re not going to publish that are you?” he asks with a smile, revealing a combination of guilt and amusement. I need not answer “No” as he knowingly peruses his notebook for another one instead. “No, no, I can’t use that” I say cutting him off at the second sign of blasphemy. “Wow definitely not that” I say unable to hold back much more as I begin to feel more and more like a heckler myself interrupting and cutting off Bob faster and faster to avoid being subject to the shocking one-liners the visibly amused comic was delivering. “Ooh our readers definitely won’t like that” I say exhausted after half a notebook and some change later. “Ok how about this?” he says as I nervously await its delivery Bob recalls a poem he once created:
Wouldn’t that be grand?
After a one night stand
Undoubtedly the most unexpected couple of lines to be uttered by the shock comic the whole day and his ability to charm and humour his one-member-audience-come-heckler revealed the wit and talent one is drawn to in the first place.
No fear, no frills. Ladies and gentleman that’s mister Bob Perfect for ya…
A Few Fun Facts
1. Craziest thing you have ever done? I once stage dived naked into a crowd at the Willowvale
2. Favourite Local Artists? City Bowl Mizers, Go Go Bronco, Wrestlerish and New Holland
3. Most Used Saying or Quote? Blah Blah Blah
4. Last song you sang out loud? Wonder Lust by Everytime I Die
5. Best SA comic? Loyiso Gola
6. Local Artist Inspiration? Glen Bo
7. Favourite Durban Hotspots? Amsterdam, GMT, Botanical Gardens, Blue Turtle
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