Interview: Catching Up with Deep Fried Man Before Park Acoustics
Deep Fried Man:
A Regular at Park Acoustics:
Deep Fried Man has been a staple of the South African comedy scene since 2010 and has been going places ever since. I’ve taken issue with a couple of his career choices though like why he hasn’t got a signature hat on the market, why he hasn’t collaborated with a ukelele and why he hasn’t gigged Welkom as much! Before I watch him at Park Acoustics, I needed some answers and away we go….
Richard Chemaly (RC): Dan! Lekker! So let’s get straight into it. In a time when every celebrity is being arrested for some form of sexual misconduct, was it really a good idea to go on record and state,” When I was a young boy of six or seven Joe Parker put me on his knee and said “you have potential…”?
Deep Fried Man (DFM): Joe Parker and I are still good friends. I want to be clear that any time spent sitting on his lap as a young boy was consensual.
RC: I watched you play a song a couple of years ago in the Soweto Theater when you apologised on behalf of all white people for the comment section on News24. They’ve since removed that section. How much credit do we owe you for that?
DFM: Since you asked, anytime something good happens, you can give me all the credit. Anytime something bad happens, just know I had nothing to do with it.
In the same song I also apologised for apartheid, which is also (at least officially) over now. I’d like to take the credit for that too.
RC: I’ve also been reading a couple of interviews you’ve done and I’m really sorry that you get a ton of bland, generic questions, even ones to do with your unique hat. That being said, if you’re so brazen so as to brag about your mad Photoshop skills on your Facebook cover photo, why not add some bicep to your hat too? Then again, if Donovan Copley can have his own brand of guitar, have you never considered your own brand of hat?
DFM: The biceps in my social media profile pics are real. I just pretended they are Photoshopped so as not to shame other men with bodies less perfect than mine. Sometimes Simon and Mary give me free hats, they have never offered to design a Deep Fried Man signature range.
RC: Since you have an original pseudonym, do you ever sign legal documents as Deep Fried Man. It must get quite awkward when you sign just your initials and people inevitably confuse you for DF Malan, no?
As a scruffy, guitar playing type I more often get confused with Riaan Malan
DFM: As a scruffy, guitar playing type I more often get confused with Riaan Malan. If I were confused with DF Malan, I’d be offended, not only because he deserves much more of the blame for apartheid than I do but because he’s been dead since 1959. I am very proud of the fact that I am not dead yet.
RC: All great artists tend to collaborate though I’m yet to see you share a stage with anybody musically. Come to think of it, the only other majorly musically inclined comic I know is Phil De Lange. Can a guitar and ukelele even harmonise? Will we ever know?
DFM: I have actually collaborated with some of SA’s best musicians on Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola. Cassper Nyovest, Riky Rick, Shortstraw, Desmond and the Tutus, Simphiwe Dana, Bouwer Bosch and many more. It’s all on YouTube.
I’ve also performed on stage with fellow comedians Richelieu Benoir, Tol Ass Mo, Mojak Lehoko, Yaaseen Barnes, Tshepo Mogale, Robby Collins and more. Phil and I did plan to collaborate too but sadly that hasn’t happened yet. A ukulele is just a guitar that didn’t achieve full growth, often because its parent guitars sniffed too much glue. As much as I’ve encouraged Phil to buy a real guitar in the past, if he insisted on using his ukulele for our colab, I’d make it work.
RC: I’ve got the art scene measure of young success down to a science. Between 15 and 20, you’re a success if you can afford to buy your own instruments. Between 20 and 25, you’re a success if you can afford to tour. Between 25 and 30, you’re a success if you can afford to pay your medical aid and between 30 and 35, you’re a success if you can afford a kid. What’s success from 35 onwards?
DFM: I do have a kid and I have bought my own instruments and toured, all in the right timeline. Good to know I am a success. What I have considered success from 35 onwards is not dying. So far I have a perfect record when it comes to that.
RC: I’ve seen your website, still under construction, features a really shallow pan. I thought to myself, you can never fry a whole man, let alone deep fry him in such a shallow pan. What practical steps should one take, should they wish to deep fry themselves?
DFM: Make sure the oil is hot enough, that the you’re properly coated in batter and, more challengingly, that the deep fat fryer is big enough to fit a whole human being. And if you go through with it, please leave a note saying that it’s not Deep Fried Man’s fault, even if he did provide the information to do it properly.
Otherwise just get high. It’s the safe way to becoming a fried man.
RC: Finally, you’re no stranger to the Park Acoustics family. I’ve checked you all over Pretoria. What keeps bringing you back when there are better places like Welkom to gig?
DFM: As much as I love Welkom, because they really do know how to make an artist feel, um, welcome, Park Acoustics is one of my favourite audiences. They don’t throw anything at me and they clap at the end of my songs. And they are usually too drunk to notice that I’m drunk. Who could ask for more?
RC: Lekker Deep Fried Man. Looking forward to your set!
DFM: Me too! Thanks, Richard.