Jason Goliath is best-known as the guy who lights the giant braai in the Castle Lager adverts. This larger than life comedian (literally and figuratively) has ventured to Grahamstown for the first time with his comedy team to bring Goliath and Goliath to Festival.

Goliath calmly approaches the tea area at the Village Green for our interview. Perhaps his relaxed demeanour is because of a few too many Castles last night.

It’s difficult to go unnoticed when you’re the face of such a ubiquitous TV advert, but he happily converses with whoever crosses his path.

A pregnant woman asks if she can join us at the table; Goliath offers her a seat, but on condition that she listens to his song.
“It’s too late to condomise, it’s too late…” he sings to the tune One Republic’s popular hit.

The woman glares at him, but fakes a smile so she can take the seat.

“Aren’t you the guy from the Castle Lager ad?” asks a young fan. Goliath confirms the suspicion and soaks up the fame.

‘I was in stitches throughout the show last night, which features a number of successful young comedians,”

Fortunately for him, his recognisable physique helps sell tickets. “South Africans don’t trust easily so being in the public eye helps give us some credibility,” he says.

He bussed down from Johannesburg to be part of the hype at Fest, but he’s only in town for one more day.

Goliath has also featured in Jou Ma se Comedy Club and Pants on Fireduring his short stay at the Festival. These shows feature a selection of successful comedians in each of their line-ups.

His success in the advertising industry launched Goliath into his comedy career three years ago. When shooting for the Castle Lager campaign, he met established comedians Siv Ngesi and Brian van Niekerk who told him he was “too funny to stay in advertising”.

He initially questioned his abilities to carry out comedy on stage. “You see, there is a difference between being funny at a braai and being funny on stage,” he says.

After a night of one too many beers, he and his cousin Nicholas Goliath promised to give it a try. And that’s where Goliath and Goliath began.

Since then, their comedy venture has grown to add Donovan Goliath, who is not related to Jason or Nicholas and several other comics. This year the team has been nominated for five South African Comic’s Choice Awards.

“We’re the biggest breeders of comedy newcomers in Gauteng,” he says. “It feels like a winning soccer team because everyone plays their role properly. We always fight for the spotlight off stage, but share it well on stage.”

I was in stitches throughout the show last night, which features a number of successful young comedians, but disappointed when Jason was missing from the stage.

He decided to give up his spotlight to a fellow traveling comedian for the night. He assured me that he would participate in today’s performance.

He’s enthusiastic about this year’s Festival and excited to become more involved in the years to come. He’s not sure what’s in store for his future comedic career, but he assured me that “as long as South African’s love to laugh, we’d love to make them laugh.”

Goliath and Goliath, Fiddler’s Tent, today, 12.30pm and 7pm
Jou Ma se Comedy Club, Bowling Club, daily, 11pm
Pants on Fire, Princess Alice Hall, daily, 9pm
-Sarah Kingon

– By Cue Media