Radio jock and TV host Somizi Mhlongo had some big names to fear: Skhumba, Nomzamo Mbatha, DJ Fresh, Fikile Mbalula, Kurt Darren, Ntsiki Mazwai, Schalk Bezuidenhout and roast master Gareth Cliff.
But the surprise star of the night was Joanne Joseph, the former eNCA news anchor who’s just started on 702 as the afternoon drive host.
Joseph looked understandably nervous in her pre-show interview. “I’ve never done this before; I feel like I’m a little out of my depth,” she admitted. “I’m a news anchor by profession so I’m very protected and what I say is within very strict boundaries always, so the scary part for me is going there and tapping into another side of myself and showing people there is a lighter side to me after all. “
The extended, uncut Comedy Central Roast of Somizi is now on Showmax.
READ MORE: ‘Big Dawg’ ready to rip Somizi apart
In their pre-show analysis, hosts Lalla Hirayama and Mojak Lehoko gave Joseph a fear factor of 6/10 – the lowest, alongside Schalk Bezuidenhout, of the entire panel. As Lehoko said: “She’s empathetic, intelligent and a caring mother – things that are useless for tonight. She has brought a knife to a gunfight.”
But Lehoko and Hirayama were eating their words in Just Desserts, their post-show analysis, with Hirayama calling Joseph “one of our favourite acts of the evening… coming in as the underdog and then sweeping everyone off their feet. Wasn’t she just a ton of laughs?”
Joseph certainly took some blows, like when Cliff introduced her: “Joanne, you went from a national TV station to a regional radio station – your career is in reverse. You’re like the Benjamin Button of South African media. What’s next for you? Touch HD?”
Or when Mbatha called her “the only person to read out loud in Grade 2 and decide: ‘Hayi! I’m doing this forever.’” Or when DJ Fresh called out Skhumba for body shaming: “How dare you body shame? In 2018? Ntsiki and Joanne, as solid 4s, you guys must have been outraged.”
But Joseph quickly had the audience in hysterics and Twitter ablaze as she roasted the other panellists. We particularly loved how she threw shade on DJ Fresh.
“DJ Fresh is so past it, he literally has to explain his job in his name,” she mocked. “It’s like me calling myself TV Anchor Joanne Joseph or Gareth changing his name to Failed Media Personality Cliff.” She also teased Fresh for “having the carbon footprint of an airline”.
Of course, she had the most fun with the man of the hour, Somgaga.
“Somizi, you were really crap in Sarafina when you tried to play a straight guy.” She also mocked his memoir. “At a staggeringly low 75 pages, your book is the most eco-friendly book in history.”
And she teased the 45-year-old about his engagement to 20-something Mohale Motaung. “Somizi, if you’re here, who’s putting the child to sleep?” She offered to give him the number for a good babysitter – “Us mums, we gotta stick together” – then caught herself. “In fact, Ntsiki, aren’t you looking for work?”
In his comeback, Somizi pretended not to know her name, but hailed her courage in appearing on stage.
“News lady Iman Rappetti, whatever your name is, you’re risking your whole career being here. It means a lot to me.”
Given the widespread praise she earned for her performance, we think her career after the roast is not only safe, but on fire!
– News24 Wire