Comedy wasn’t always on the agenda for funnyman Gavin Kelly, he studied Journalism at the University of Pretoria before deciding that the newsroom wasn’t for him. He then went on to do a few odd jobs in the service and retail industry before discovering his passion for making people laugh.
At a comedy show at Cool Runnings in Johannesburg back in 2011, Gavin and his girlfriend, who were sitting in the front row, were roasted all evening by comedian John Vlismas and it was then that the comedy bug bit.
“I didn’t even think it was a career option growing up, and then when I found out that it was a thing that people did and saw it live for the first time, I thought: cool, I want to do that, too!
“I feel like comedy is a two-way street in that you have to choose comedy and comedy has to choose you. I can definitely say that my interest in comedy has always been innately in me," says Gavin.
"As a young kid, I loved watching Chris Rock, Barry Hilton, and The Pure Monate Show. And when I moved up to Johannesburg I saw that comedy was a viable career option and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. But I only knew I wanted to be a comedian when I made a room full of strangers laugh for the first time.”
Gavin, who was raised by a single mom in Pretoria says he had an interesting mix of friends growing up, which informs his accessible, multicultural comedic style to this day.
Although he diverged from his intended career path as a journalist, his media background definitely plays a part in helping him develop comedic content. As you have to keep up to date with the news and what’s going on in the world in order to build material.
Even though he hadn't considered comedy as a career option, he always knew he loved making people laugh. He says the first time he knew he was funny was when he told a joke in primary school and made a girl wet her pants with laughter.
“I was into a lot of slapstick humour back then,” says Gavin, with a laugh.
His comedic career has only escalated from there. The highlight of it thus far was headlining for Trevor Noah’s Nationwild Comedy Tour earlier this year.
His comedic style is real and raw and he touches on everyday subjects that are relatable and identifiable.
“My material can be a bit edgy sometimes, but I always try to stay honest and true,” says Gavin.
We are so happy to have Gavin, a great South African comic doing great things as part of the VELDSKOEN family! You can check out Gavin live at Parker's Comedy Club here.
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