Interview: Schalk Bezuidenhout on I’ll Make You Laugh, ‘Make sweet, tender laugh’

One of the most exciting voices in South African comedy, Schalk Bezuidenhout is bringing his unique contemporary Afrikaans perspective to the British masses, with love in his heart and jokes in his pocket.

Fresh from the success of his second Netflix comedy special, Bezuidenhout embarks on his debut UK tour with brand-new show ‘I’ll Make Laugh to You’ from 3rd May, including a run at London’s Soho Theatre. We caught up with Bezuidenhout to hear all about it.

Q&A Schalk Bezuidenhout

What can you tell us about your new show I’ll Make Laugh To You? 

The original title was I’ll Make Laugh To You (like you want me to) because it was a pun on the song. But that became very difficult to say every time I was telling someone about the show so I shortened it to I’ll Make Laugh To You. But you know, that’s what I want to do to my audiences. Make sweet, tender laugh to them.

How does it feel to be setting off on your debut UK tour?

It’s good to see progress, you know? Every time I have come to London I have progressively moved to a bigger and bigger room. This year I am in a bigger room AND also doing dates outside of London! Also to places I’ve never been, let alone perform! To think that I have people coming to watch me in Bristol is insane! I think I’ve sold more tickets in Bristol than I sell in some towns in South Africa! Maybe that’s just because the pound can accomplish more. But hey, let’s not overthink it. It feels good.

Does calling a comedy show I’ll Make Laugh To You add to the pressure to make audiences laugh?

I guess it’s like making a movie called Fast & Furious. You are adding the pressure of providing scenes that are both fast and furious. But sometimes it’s good to put some pressure on yourself. But I’m at a point in my career where at least most people in the audience coming to the show already know me or know of me before I walk on stage. Don’t get me wrong, I still need to go on there and be the funniest I can be. But that’s the nice thing about one man shows. You don’t need to go there and prove yourself like a total newcomer. You can go up there and have fun and do the comedy you want to do. And most of the time people will come along for the ride.

You recently recorded your second special for Netflix as part of Only Jokes Allowed – what was that experience like?

We were 6 comedians who were part of that special and it was actually just so cool sharing that experience with my peers! Stand-up can be a lonely business so it was nice to be going through the stress and everything with other people. So if you’re in Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester and want to take me for a glass of red after the show, do reach out. Otherwise it’s just me alone in the hotel with my thoughts.

Finally, can you describe I’ll Make You Laugh in three words or less?


Schalk Bezuidenhout embarks on his debut UK tour this May with new show ‘I’ll Make Laugh To You’, including a run at London’s Soho Theatre from 9th to 13th May. You can also catch Schalk at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August with brand-new show ‘Keeping Up’