South African comedian Loysio Madinga joined The Daily Show with Trevor Noah as its Africa correspondent in January and we sat down with him to speak about his journey and get to know him a little bit better.
The smart and affable young man from a rural village in the Eastern Cape told us about the audition process, how segments are put together and a lot more about the show; then we played a fun game of yay or nay where he told us his opinion about divisive issues like raisins.
Your new role on The Daily Show was announced in January, has it been a whirlwind since then? What has the reaction been like with your friends and family?
It’s one of those win for the country kind of situations you know because they all just got excited that I was doing something and getting the opportunity to do something really cool. My friends have been really cool but most of them are comics and my family have been supportive. My parents didn’t understand what it was, but I told them, and they just seemed to go, ‘Okay that’s nice’. And then I think it only hit them when they heard me being interviewed on a Xhosa radio station and then it was like, ‘He’s on our radio station!’ Yeah, it’s been really cool, it’s been overwhelming.
Can you tell us more about the audition and how you got the role?
So, the audition was run by Riaad Moosa and Sizwe Dhlomo. They facilitated it this side for the guys. And then for the audition I played the role of the correspondent, which was intimidating but fun. I did it with Riaad and he’s a comedic genius. And you audition and then a month later you find out and then life just goes on and yeah. I found out last year around April and I had to keep quiet about it. So, I forgot about it (laughs).
Honestly, between April and us starting to work on it around November I literally forgot that it was happening because it’s doesn’t seem real. And then it’s just people trying out like will it work. Because it’s the first time they are making content outside the US. So, this is a pilot, this is them asking, ‘Will this work in the world?’.
And I think it’s cool that they feel like the pool of talent here is really good, that you will find someone here; you’d assume they would try London or somewhere, but they didn’t, which is a testament to the industry of being built this side.
How does it work logistically to put a segment together?
So we’ll pitch things from this side. Once we’ve pitched an idea they don’t talk to us, until we’re ready to show the work. And then it’s back and forth to see if it works for them and the way that they cut things together. The amount of autonomy that they give us is actually quite a lot and it’s great and very scary and intimidating because this is the biggest comedy show in the world so you know it puts a lot of pressure on us but the team is really good. Kagiso Lediga is the director on this side and he’s brilliant and there are brilliant researchers and writers who I get to sit and write with so we’re really lucky that we have each other to produce the work, so it’s not just me with all the pressure on me it’s a team effort.
This isn’t your first time doing this kind of show, you did LNN before this…
We got a few Emmy nods there which is really nice, early on into my career. When I got into the room with highly successful, highly informed people I was like, ‘Oh they messed up and hired me! This is their worst decision.’ But what’s cool is that everyone had a role to play, some people were the researchers, some people were really good at logic and other people were good at forming arguments and there were the people who could punch up a joke and that’s all they did. It was a really great integrated team and a lot of the people who were on that team are on this one. So, we’re all working together, there’s a vibe, we hit the ground running on that. I also recently did a thing with Comedy Central where I had to interview the cast of Baywatch, so that was my first sit-down (interview) which was fun.
Original story appeared in Channel24