NZICF 17 | Dusty Rich – Dusty Rich and The Voices

After years of living dangerously and sitting in the front row at comedy shows, it finally happened. The comedian called on me to interact with him, and it could not have been for a better set. I lied about my name and neglected to mention my other job as a writer who was reviewing his show, and I’ll always have regrets about the hilarity that might have ensued had I done so.

South African comedian Dusty Rich has a manic and masterful improvisational style, with an effective use of bodily movements for physical comedy as well, that makes him a true delight to watch. You have no idea where it’s going, but it will leave you in stitches. It is this talent that most notably made him a perfect opening act for three of The Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s shows, and the host of one of Trevor Noah’s tours.

I had never experienced a comedy show where almost the entire set was composed of audience interaction. You would expect such a performance to feel fragmented given the range of tangents the audience could provide, but Dusty always finds a way to personally relate and bounces around the room without ever missing a beat. Never fear if Dusty points your way – quick-witted, engaging, and likeable, he is never mean-spirited. You are made to feel like a part of his performance, not a pawn in it.

Embracing his roots, Dusty is at his best when comparing our cultures, describing the beginning of colonialism in South Africa when the indigenous Khoisan met white people, and skewering the South African government.

Regardless of where you come from, everyone will find something to laugh hysterically at in his show.

4 out of 5 stars

Dusty Rich and The Voices