Alyn Adams – from Rastafarian librarians to Okes & Jokes
Next Saturday, at the “Last Park Acoustics of 2016”, local comedian Alan Adyms will be one of many entertainers working hard to provide a day chock-full of music, comedy, and dancing. We asked Alyn a few questions ahead of the event.
How did you get into standup? Please tell us your story.
My parents were very poor and as an infant, I was sold to an itinerant troupe of Rastafarian librarians, who travelled from town to town with their caravan of books. It was they who instilled in me my love of learning, linguistic pedantry and THC. Sadly, we were separated in a violent police raid when I was but 14, and after making my perilous escape across the treacherous, jostling ice floes of the Ohio River and a stint on a Nantucket whaler, I eventually found myself a job as a bingo caller in Port Edward. It was there that I was discovered, during a Church Social Double Prize Bonus Evening, by Sol Kerzner, who at the time was desperate for new speciality acts to attract business to his homeland casinos following the fall of apartheid. The rest, as they say, is history.
How long have you been doing comedy?
Six foot two. (Sorry, but some set-ups are timeless and deserve a timeless punchline.)
Do you have any big (international or local) comedian heroes?
Lots. Quite a few villains, too.
Are you a joker in everyday life?
Well, I’m certainly not a king of diamonds or an ace of hearts. I was a queen of clubs for a while, but that was years ago.
Does comedy make the tragedies in life more bearable?
What else is it for? We bark defiance at what scares us; we always have. But timing is everything; the funeral might be too soon. Save the gags for the wake.
Do you see big political events (eg. Donald Trump, Guptagate, etc) as good sources for material?
Sometimes – the US elections gave me one good line. But it has a shelf life of two months, tops. Topical material has to stay topical; I prefer to write stuff that’s universal and can be used for years to come.
What’s the best and worst parts about being a comic?
The ego boost when you get it right and the misery when you get it wrong.
This won’t be your first time at Park Acoustics. In your opinion, has their Sunset comedy stage done anything important for comedians/the comedy world?
I love working at Park Acoustics, because a crowd that’s just spent a day bouncing around to music is putty in my debauched, ageing stoner hands. Just by providing a regular gig with a healthy rotation of comics, Park Acoustics plays an important part in building SA comedy.
Do you think it’s a natural fit to include a comedy stage at a music event?
Yes. I’ve always had fun doing gigs at music events – Oppikoppi, Splashy Fen, Smoking Dragon, Up The Creek, Rocking The Daisies, Park Acoustics; the audiences overlap beautifully.
Do the two worlds ever clash?
Timing and layout is important. I once played a festival where the comedy stage was right next to the music stage, and they wanted us to do stand-up at the same time as a metal band was on. It was a very shouty gig, and I couldn’t hear anyone laughing…
What can partygoers expect from your set at Park Acoustics’ Okes & Jokes stage?
I have no idea, but I’m looking forward to it hugely.
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.