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Meet the comedian with an evil alter ego
25 Oct 2010
Tharuna Devchand

DANIEL Friedman (known as Deep Fried Man on stage) is a musical comedian from Johannesburg who has performed with some of South Africa’s best comedians in the past year and has opened for Trevor Noah’s one-man show Scratch That.

“I write songs about South African popular culture and life in general. I write original songs that reflect my twisted view of the world, which are a bit satirical and sometimes rude and controversial. I also write parody material based on popular songs.”

Influenced by a variety of comics such as Flight of the Conchords, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and South African comedian John Vlismas and Eminem, Friedman is currently working on releasing an album by the end of the year and plans to do his first solo show next year.

“I wanna keep giggling and doing my thing and writing new material. And I want to appear on billboards for major cellular network providers ... or at least be the voice of a cute talking dog in a car advert.”

From an early age, Friedman showed signs of developing into a musical comedian: he was obsessed with music and has been writing songs since he was nine and in school he was the attention-loving class clown.

“I was short and fat, and I learnt at an early age that the easiest way to get people to like me was to make them laugh.”

According to Friedman, Deep Fried Man is his alter ego who gets to say “really outlandish things” that Friedman would never say ... he’s the “super-villian”.

“Daniel Friedman is just a normal guy, a writer, pretty boring — doesn’t get out much these days and likes to watch shows on his laptop. Deep Fried Man is far more interesting.”

And why the name Deep Fried Man? “My lyrics are unhealthy, but tasty. Like vetkoek. Maybe. Or maybe it’s because my real name is Daniel Friedman, and people often call me Fried Man.”

I put his funny to the test.


What’s your Monday morning survival guide?

I drain methylated spirits through low-GI health bread and drink it.

Knock knock …

Who’s there?

The comedy police. They’ve come to take us away because knock-knock jokes have been declared illegal due to their excessive silliness.

What’s your favourite line from the comedy shows that you have done?

The line of pure Columbian cocaine that I snorted off that stripper’s breasts before that one show.

What are your reasons for laughing?

Because laughter is our only way to make sense of the strange and absurd universe we inhabit.

One famous dead person who you would love to share the stage with.

I think I would prefer not to perform with anyone dead. First of all, I am not entirely sure that they would be able to give a good performance, on account of their not being alive. Secondly, I have heard that dead people generally smell bad.

Caught at a road block and your breath could get you in trouble, what would be your best excuse?

“Sorry officer, I admit I’m drunk, but, you see, the thing is that reality is merely a human construct and this is just a temporal plane of existence. Nothing really matters. Can I go home now?” If that doesn’t work, plan B involves a Taser and some tear gas.

Thing you’ve always wanted to say to that ex boss-girlfriend-manager.

I told you so.

Comedy lyrics to a new song.

I need you like MTN needs a better connection.
I need you like Jacob Zuma needs to use protection.
I need you like Hugh Hefner needs Viagra for an erection.
I need you like Zimbabwe needs a free and fair election.

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