F•R•I•E•N•D•S – we all remember the one with Joey, Monica, Ross, Phoebe, Rachel and Chandler…but that was back in the day!  Nowadays, you’ll be hard pressed to find better company than Darren, Celeste, Schalk, Marc, Glen, Neil, Ndumiso, Mark, Robby & Lindy!  Now those are FRIENDS worth having around!

It’s hard to get all these friends together in one room, so the only way that Durban’s favourite breakfast presenter, Darren Maule, could rally them up was to book them in advance for an epic night of side-splitting comedy with DARREN MAULE & FRIENDS on the 11th of October at the Durban ICC.  Some of his favourite people, all in one place at one time, in front of a couple of thousand people.  
“Sometimes people forget that I began my career in stand-up comedy.  I worked my way up through the comedy ranks, eventually moved onto TV and have spent the better part of the last 8 years on radio.  I’ve been busy, it’s no wonder I miss my comedy friends!  This show is a win-win for everyone!” says Darren.
Time and time again, research has proven that not only is laughter the best medicine but that having friends helps us live longer and healthier lives and improves our general happiness and mood.  Which is why Darren’s picked his personal favourites – some of the best in the business – for this top-notch night of entertainment: Marc Lottering, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Ndumiso Lindi, Mark Banks, Celeste Ntuli, Glen Biderman-Pam, Lindy Johnson, Neil Green and Robby Collins.
“The one thing that I love most about stand-up comedy is the camaraderie that I haven’t experienced elsewhere before. It doesn’t matter who you are you, when you are backstage about to do a gig, whether you’ve done as many shows as you can count on one hand or 5000 shows like the greats, it doesn’t matter.  Everyone has a connection, a real sense of ‘we are a unique bunch of people with a very particular skill set; we will find you and when we do, we will make you laugh!”.
Tickets for Darren Maule & Friends start from R200 and are available from Computicket.  The show starts at 20h00 and is rated PG-16.  
Another hilarious production brought to you by East Coast Radio and Blu Blood.  You’re welcome!  After all, what are friends for?
Follow @BluBloodSA for more information. www.blublood.com.  
Darren shares some really good (or really creepy) memories of working with these FRIENDS:
Marc Lottering was one of the very first international comedians I ever got to see LIVE. He came from this far off, distant country, next to the Atlantic Ocean where they only have half a mountain. They even have fancy accents, you know, the accent where everyone sounds like they should know Afrikaans, but they don’t.
I still remember the first time I met Schalk Bezuidenhout. I was doing a gig at Parker’s Comedy and as I was getting ready to MC, this really weird young guy with his fluffy moustache and a jersey that looked like he had just won an ugly sweater contest that no one else entered, approached me and started talking to me. It was quite awkward because I thought he was an audience member, until I introduced him on stage as the open mic for the night. That was when I realised that the guy I had been avoiding at the bar was the same one who managed to make me laugh my ass off. His comedy keeps getting better but I’m sorry to say his dress sense has plateaued.
There are a couple of guys that I have been privileged enough to watch in their debuts on stage, and occasionally there’s a comic that gets a little bit better every time you see them. Ndumiso Lindi is one of those guys. It keeps everyone else watching their game because he just keeps getting better every time.
Mark Banks is funny personified. A comic’s comic too. He’s the only human being I know that you could give him a subject – any random topic – on the spot, tell him to talk about it for an hour and a half, and he’ll make it the funniest show that you have ever seen. Proper funny stuff. Also refreshingly uncensored in OTP PC world.
Celeste Ntuli is so funny that she could just get on stage and do mime and it’s already funny. The 1st time I gigged with her, I was backstage and couldn’t hear her, but the audience was in stitches from start to finish. When someone can make you laugh in 3 languages, you must know that this is something special. TV and film makers have cottoned on to her talent, and she can be seen and heard and enjoyed on every platform. 
I have to say that some of the first impressions that my friends have given me required me to take another look. That happened when I first met Glen Biderman-Pam. On first sighting I thought that this small, pale, white guy had watched some international comedian and thought that he could be one too. But again, a little bit like Schalk – after only a few minutes in – you can tell that he is the real deal. Only afterwards did I find out what an accomplished actor, producer, writer, director, performer this guy actually is. He still manages to hold on to that boyish charm and is a real talent with both comedy and improv.
The first, and only, time I worked with Lindy Johnson was on a stage with ten hardened comedians and she held her own for the first time in front of an audience of 5000 people at Durban ICC. She wasn’t intimidated, she just went out there and did her thing. Funny to the core. Every single one of these comedians are funny in the genes first and then gags and jokes and all the other things that follow. Some people have funny in their bones, Lindy has those bones.
Every country has an area where funny seems to be born, and then they go elsewhere around the world. In South Africa…it’s Durban. For some reason some of the funniest people come from Durban, and the next addition to that list is Neil Green. Here is a funny man with original ideas. You know that a comic is good when all the comedians backstage keep quiet or sneak into the auditorium to watch one of their colleagues performing, and Neil Green is one of them.
I remember watching Robby Collins work all the seasoned venues with us – also another Durban comic. Very unassuming, very gentle, very quiet, and then – again – he came out and surprised the hell out of me. Most comedians are a little bit insecure, a little bit prickly or a little bit socially awkward. Robby Collins is just the nicest guy. I think that Trevor Noah has put it in his will that if he were to die suddenly, he would like Robby Collins to continue with his career. The nicest guy and fabulously funny, the kind of jokes that I can imagine will make a lot of girls want to take him home to mom and say: “Tell mom that joke from last night”.

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