Durban comedy is on fire!

Jess Knauf and Jem Atkins

Jem Atkins and Jess Knauf

Durban comedy promoters, Jem Atkins and Jess Knauf (On Fire Comedy), have been nominated for a prestigious award at this year’s 6th Annual Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards.

They’re up against national comedy promoter heavyweights – Cape Town Comedy Club, David Kau (Blacks Only brand), Goliath & Goliath, and Gino Fernandez (Cape Town) – for the highly prized Best Friend of Comedy award.

Every year comics around the country cast their vote for the person or team that they feel has “been instrumental in growing/developing the comedy industry”. And this year, On Fire Comedy made the cut.

Since 2012 Jem Atkins and Jess Knauf have produced almost 300 shows and have effectively put Durban on the national comedy map as more and more national acts see the hot little city as a legitimate club comedy destination with a workable comedy circuit…something that didn’t exist even three years ago!

On Fire is the brains and driving force behind Durban Comedy Week. In the last week of every month some of South Africa’s hottest acts – such as John Vlismas, Joey Rasdien, Loyiso Gola, Kagiso Lediga and others – come to Durban to join local comics, Neil Green, Neville Pillay, Carvin Goldstone, Jem Atkins, Justice khubeka and others, for a run of several comedy shows throughout the city, from Wednesday to Sunday.

The result: Durban has a comedy circuit and Durban comedy is on the rise!

This month’s Durban Comedy Week sees Joey Rasdien and Alfred Adriaan sharing the stage with Neil Green, Jem Atkins, Neville Pillay, Kelvin Stoffels, Masood Boomgaard and up-and-coming locals, Mohammad Vawda, Kwanda Radebe, Troy Tesla, Tibs and Kams.

Check out the gigs below:

  • Wednesday July 27:  Amsterdam Comedy Club at the Amsterdam Bar/Restaurant: 143 Helen Joseph Rd, Glenwood, Durban. Catch Jem Atkins, Alfred Adriaan, Neil Green, and Tibs. Tickets R50. Show starts at 8.30 pm. Inquiries and bookings – 031 811 5449.
  • Thursday, July 28: New York Comedy Club, New York Restaurant and Bar, 101 Innes Road, Morningside. The show includes performances from Jem Atkins, Neil Green, Neville Pillay, Alfred Adriaan and Kams. Tickets R60. The show starts at 8.30 pm. Inquiries and bookings: 031 312 9605.
  • Friday, July 29: Friday Night Comedy is a brand new addition to Durban Comedy Week and boasts a line-up featuring some of the funniest and most-loved Comedians from Durban. Enjoy 90 minutes of non-stop comedy entertainment at the beautiful DJC Comedy Hall, Durban Jewish Club; 44 K E Masinga Road, Durban. This month’s line-up: Joey Rasdien (JHB); Alfred Adriaan (JHB); Neville Pillay; Neil Green; Jem Atkins; Kuda Mawowa and Kwanda Radebe. Secure parking, cash bar, snacks available. Tickets are R80 at or R100 at the door. The show starts at 8 pm. Info:
  • Saturday, July 30: Mozambik Hillcrest Comedy Lunch, Mozambik Hillcrest, 9 Inanda Road, Durban: Jem Atkins hosts Joey Rasdien, Masood Boomgaard and Mo Vawda, for 80 minutes of comedy entertainment! Tickets R90. The show starts at 2 pm. Inquiries and bookings – 031 765 6556.
  • Saturday, July 30: Ballito Comedy Night at the beautiful Pumpkin Theatre (inside the La Montagne Hotel and Spa), 100 Compensation Road, Ballito, hosts Joey Rasdien, Jem Atkins, Neil Green, Tyson Heffer and Kelvin Stoffels. Tickets R80 at or R100 at the door. The show starts at 8 pm. Inquiries and bookings – 032 946 2121.
  • Sunday, July 31: Mozambik Gateway Comedy Lunch at Mozambik, Gateway: Shop F183, Gateway Shopping Centre, Palm Grove Avenue, Umhlanga. The show features Masood Boomgaard Joey Rasdien, Mohammad Vawda and Jem Atkins. Tickets R90 (bookings essential). The show starts at 2 pm. Inquiries and bookings – 031 836 1574 or email


The awards ceremony will take place on September 3.


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