Two of South Africa’s top comedians are going head to head ‚Äď but the battle is not taking place on stage.
Durban-based Carvin H Goldstone has accused John Vilsmas of funny business and is calling for the suspension and full audit of the annual Comics’ Choice Awards.
He told TimesLIVE that Vlismas and his company‚Äö Whacked‚Äö had brought the awards into question with the nomination of a comedian who didn’t have a solo show in the past year in the Flying Solo category.
“The artist in question‚Äö Alfred Adriaan‚Äö is managed by‚Äö and had this same solo show produced by‚Äö John Vlismas’ company‚Äö Whacked. And remember‚Äö John is also one of the owners of the Comics‚Äô Choice Awards‚Äö” he told TimesLIVE.
Goldstone said it was not a case of sour grapes‚Äö as he was nominated in three categories. Instead‚Äö he had a right to question why Adriaan was nominated for a solo show that opened on June 27 when the call for entries closed on May 3.
He said voting for the awards ended on July 4‚Äö a week after Adriaan’s show‚Äö which only played in Johannesburg‚Äö debuted.
“Alfred Adriaan’s name came up a second time as he was also nominated as South African Comic of the Year‚Äö the highest accolade in the Comics Choice Awards. Quite an achievement for an act who had just debuted his first ever solo show only a week earlier‚Äö but still entirely possible.
“But this set off alarm bells across the comedy industry.”
Goldstone said he learned that there was no recognised independent auditor. Therefore‚Äö he was calling for the awards to be suspended and for an investigation or audit of the whole process.
He added that he chose to raise the matter on Facebook as he wanted the comedy industry to see the responses.
Vlismas told TimesLIVE that Adriaan’s show had not been launched at the time of registration but it was open while voting took place.