In Schalk Bezuidenhout’s I’ll Make Laugh To You, the fun and games start before the show does, introducing us to his subtley pointed sarcasm before launching in a self-deprecating set about growing up and living in South Africa - a country that not many of us are familiar with beyond that it’s on our bucket list.
Bezuidenhout takes risks with his material.
I'll Make Laugh To You is a slow-paced show; Bezuidenhout really takes his time to paint really vivid pictures before hitting us with the punchline, which comes from his conversational style that is every so often interrupted by a slapstick performance. It often borders on an almost uncomfortable explicitness that isn't deterred by any of our confusion with the train of thought he’s pursuing. Many of the anecdotes in this show are incredibly specific to South Africa, but Bezuidenhout makes sure to guide those of us less familiar with the country through the various cultural contexts and situations, so that at no point do we feel lost and can still appreciate the material to its full-extent. In this way Bezuidenhout takes risks with his material, but due to his overall style, he builds enough of a rapport with us that we start to trust in his ability to nail the overall comedic payoff in the punchline. He brings his audience interactions in a full-circle and maintains their relevance to the main body of the show, and this ability saves these moments from the appearance of rambling.
While the segues between jokes isn’t always quite clear, Bezuidenhout keeps us on our toes with his unexpected twists and turns to the show, pursuing scenarios that completely jolt and shift our expectations, so that even when he taps into familiar topics like criticism of Elon Musk, he shows us a wildly different perspective than perhaps we wouldn't otherwise consider. Apart from these anecdotes, there is a vague theme of growing up that also stretches throughout the hour, and Bezuidenhout maintains the relevance about these stories about the past - like the early version of the internet - with an air of something close to mystery, as if he's re-telling a myth rather than performing a stand-up routine.
I’ll Make Laugh to You has the style of an explicitly honest commentary that would increase the entertainment factor of a documentary or a home video. It’s an incredibly light-hearted show, and the amount of fun that Bezuidenhout appears to be having gives us a really nice and positive channel to release and forget about everything else.