Jason Goliath Talks Cars, Comedy Clubs And Creativity

We caught up with funnyman Jason Goliath to chat about fast cars, getting engaged and the local comedy scene.

We did a bit of a deep dive on your Instagram page and saw a photo of you next to a gusheshe, kneeling in front of a pretty girl with something in your hand. What’s that all about?

I am engaged! I am super-excited. The way I proposed to my long-term girlfriend (Sian Bailey) is something that I thought long and hard about. It had to be something special to the both of us and something we could cherish for the rest of our lives. We are both crazy about cars, especially classic BMWs, like the 1979, 635 CSI Turbo. Spinning is also something we enjoy together, whether as spectator or driver (yes, my fiancée can spin). It was a great moment for the both of us – but even a greater moment for me because SHE SAID YES!

You’re known for your obsession with fast cars. Besides the BMW 325i, do you have any other favourites?

Too many to mention. I love my current M3, also my classic rebuild 635 CSI Turbo – it’s my project build at the moment. I love the Jaguar F-Type, the BMW M5 and all things AMG and M. I’m working hard to also say I love all things Lambo, Ferrari and Porsche.

From AWEdnesday to your very own comedy club, Goliath and Goliath has managed to build one of the strongest brands in South African comedy. To what do you owe your success?

That we are honestly in love with stand-up comedy; very few people get to derive their income from their passion. This makes it easier to put in more effort than anybody else in the game. Yes, we work hard but also get so much joy from watching stand-up, producing stand-up, creating platforms for stand-up and helping the industry grow. With that, money has become the by-product instead of the objective – many businesses don’t have the luxury of getting to say that.

Give us the hard and fast history of the Goliath and Goliath brand. When did it pivot from a comedy troupe into a comedy troupe with its own set of comedy clubs and a monster following?

Nicholas Goliath and I started out in comedy on the 3 July 2011, doing an open spot at the Comedy Underground which was in Cool Runnings, Melville. We met Donovan Goliath a week later and became friends immediately. We realised there weren’t enough platforms for comedians to showcase and practise their craft and decided to start AWEdnesday Comedy Jam in October 2011, which became an unexpected success in a very short time and meant the three of us were working together a lot. This led to us deciding to formalise and start a business, and with Kate joining in 2012, Goliath and Goliath was born. Kate is my sister, Nicholas is our cousin and Donovan is no relation, but having the same surname was a great comedic coincidence.

Since then we’ve won the Comics’ Choice – The Best Friend of Comedy Award every time since inception. It’s a vote by our industry peers and the award is given to an entity that’s provided support, facilitated or championed local comedy significantly in the period of a year. In September 2016 we were also recognised by the South African entertainment industry and received a BET Africa A-List award, putting us among the top 20 movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. We will continue to be comedy’s best friend by creating and building new platforms and supporting talent. When comedy wins, Goliath and Goliath wins.

Seeing as Joburg is the land of opportunity, do you have any wise words for comics who want to make it big in Egoli?

Understand that you have to work incredibly hard – not only on your writing, performance and stand-up, but you also have to work on other platforms so people get to know who you are and that you’re funny. About 30–40% is what you do on stage, the rest is the back end and the business of comedy which is so important, such as networking, diversifying your income streams, ensuring you’re getting booked, visiting and performing at as many comedy clubs and gigs as you can. There’s no such thing as an overnight success in comedy because even the biggest names today are still learning. Experience is key – on stage but also off stage.

On that note, are there any up-and-coming comics who we should keep an eye on?

Glen Biderman Pam, Ebenezer, Mo Matebe and Prince.

Who would win a fight between the Cape Town, Durban and Joburg stand-up comedy scene?

Well, let’s just say I don’t think anyone will be brave enough to fight a Goliath…

Interview by Shawn Greyling

Photos: Mike Turner Photography

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