Comedy Review: John Vlismas – Brain Dump: Feel The Lobe, Or Stuck In The Medulla With You


Bruce Dennill

Writer. Reader. Singer. Songwriter. Believer. Likes to learn.

All content by Bruce Dennill first published on pARTicipate, republished with permission.
Bruce Dennill



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Brain Dump / Starring John Vlismas / Studio, Pieter Torien’s Montecasino Theatre, Fourways, Johannesburg                    8


Many otherwise enthusiastic comedy fans regularly get frustrated when comedians who are obviously intelligent choose to dumb down their material to cater for the lowest common denominator in their audiences. It’s an understandable tactic in commercial terms, widening the potential reach for a set or show, but it has the obvious effect of both making the comic involved seem far less sophisticated than they might be and creating the impression that comedy is generally simple and superficial.

John Vlismas has generally steered clear of that tendency, but in his last couple of shows he has been thoroughly unapologetic about taking on big, complicated topics, researching them in depth and then communicating his findings in an amusing but uncompromising way. His previous show, The Good Racist, was a brave stab at…

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