South Africa’s premier comedy variety show is heading back to the Baxter Theatre for is 25th anniversary edition, with a star line-up of local and international acts guaranteed to keep Jive Cape Town Funny Festival fans happy.

A Cape Town institution, the show, which consistently plays to a packed auditorium during its month-long run, takes place from 10 June 2024 to 7 July 2024.

Renowned producer Eddy Cassar has lined up an evening of high-quality entertainment at what Capetonians have fondly come to call “Jive”.

This year’s quarter-century celebratory show sees hugely popular international entertainers – American circus artist/comedian Mario Queen of the Circus and British-Armenian comedic pianist Kev Orkian – return to Cape Town to join the likes of award-winning local performers Emo and Loukmaan Adams and comedy supremo Alan Committie for the full run of the festival.

Completing the line-up will be some of South Africa’s great comedic talents including Dalin Oliver, Khanyisa Bunu, Dillan Oliphant, Sifiso Nene, Kagiso KG Mokgadi and Yaseen Barnes.

Says Cassar, who has organised several other iconic Cape Town events in addition to the Funny Festival: “We’ve got an excellent line-up this year as we turn 25, which is a very special milestone of which I am very proud.”


One of the festival’s most attractive aspects is giving rookie comedians a chance to have their 15 minutes of fame through the Jive Funny Championship open-mic competition, which is currently on at Canal Walk.

Says Marc Lottering: “It’s an opportunity that can change a comedian’s life.”

One such comedian was Reagan Allen, now WC Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight. In 2018, through a collaboration with Jive and the Cape Town Comedy Club, Allen earned a slot at the festival. “It was incredible … and it contributed to my being nominated for the SA Comics Choice Newcomer Award.”

Comedian Kurt Schoonraad believes this search for new comedic talent is the most important thing the festival contributes to the SA comedy landscape.

And it also shows the community that the festival is not only about making money, but about giving back, Kramer notes.


Cassar, who attends every show during the month-long run, also has a group sales ticket bulk discount strategy in place, allowing companies or charities to use it as a fund-raising tool, and for people to raise funds for a school or business. For example, discounts apply from the purchase of 10 tickets or more, right up to booking the whole house of 650 tickets.

Integral to the show’s success is not only Cassar’s passion for the project since its inception in 1997 but the involvement of Jive Cooldrinks as title sponsor for 13 years.

Sharief Parker, Jive Cooldrinks CEO and founder, says the festival, which attracts a large Cape Malay audience, “speaks to our community, which resonates with us. Jive is entrenched in the community and has an emotional link to it”. The successful partnership is set to continue for at least four more years.

Renowned singer, songwriter, and producer David Kramer, who first worked with Cassar in 1995 on Kramer and Taliep Petersen’s musical Kat and the Kings, says Cassar has a special talent for getting sponsors “on board”.


Part of the Jive magic is the “size, enthusiasm and generosity of the audiences”, Committie believes.

Cassar has “taught the crowd to expect clean, clever and high-quality entertainment and they have consistently responded with huge attendance, early booking, big block bookings and – most importantly – very big reactions and guffaws”.

Comedian Marc Lottering agrees. “Eddy’s festival – after all, that’s what it really is – affords every comedian and performer the privilege of walking onto the Baxter Theatre stage nightly, with a built-in, loyal, 650-strong comedy audience … this is the most precious gift that any artist could ask for, regardless of how long you’ve been in the business.”

Tumi Morake says when she walks off the stage after performing at the show, she feels like a rock star. “This is the biggest, most diverse audience you will ever find in South Africa!”


Cassar’s skilled and meticulous curation of the show is one of its many stand-out successes.

Says David Kramer, “The longevity of the festival is truly phenomenal in the industry. Eddy has been very consistent: he set a standard for himself, and he did something no other producer has done in this country, namely combine a variety of local and international acts, and he has done it every year, and people now understand what to expect. That is really the secret of his success.”

Comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout, who first appeared on the Jive stage in 2013, says he was impressed at “how amazing it was … it really just blew people’s minds.”

Well-known actor and singer Emo Adams, who returned to the show in 2023 after first performing in 2019, says “in no world would you ever get a line-up of that calibre together in one show, performing on one stage … so to be part of it all, is a ‘wow’ moment!”

Cassar regularly travels overseas to international festivals in search of acts, ideas, and inspiration at iconic events. His network of performers, agents, and producers with whom he works is impressive, and international.

And with his reputation as a “thorough gentleman”, an invitation to join the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival is highly sought after and anticipated both here and abroad.

Tickets for the 25th Jive Cape Town Funny Festival are on sale via Webtickets and the Baxter Theatre Centre; there are discounts for group and block bookings of more than 10 people.