Instantly recognisable in his pork-pie hat and an acoustic guitar strapped over his shoulder, Deep Fried Man has been a regular face on SA’s comedy scene for nearly 10 years.
His brand of musical comedy, in which he addresses numerous topics, including politics, wokeness, drugs and sexual kinks, has seen this star on a steady rise.
Since he began entertaining audiences back in 2010, Deep Fried Man (or Daniel Friedman, if you please) has appeared in films, television shows and has featured in four Comedy Central specials.
Two career highlights include opening for Trevor Noah and his one-man show In Good Taste, which saw him sell out the 1 200- seat theatre, The Lyric, two nights in a row last year.
The show was greeted with wide critical acclaim and so the Deep Fried Man decided a sequel was in order.
Friedman is staging In Good Taste 2.0 at the Peter Toerien Studio Theatre at the top of the Monte Casino Theatre, a smaller venue than The Lyric but one that makes Deep Fried Man part of a very special lineage.
“Mark Lottering has played that space. Alan Committee does that space. It’s quite a significant and special thing that they’ve allowed me to perform in that room,” he says.
He’s also looking forward to playing the smaller room as he believes that its size offers the chance to better connect with the audience.
“Look, playing The Lyric Theatre was amazing. It was definitely a bucket-list thing to do, but it’s a huge venue so it’s harder to connect with the audience,” he says.
“I like the idea of flying without a net and that was kind of missing from the last show. In a big venue you almost default to just performing the material. Since The Lyric, though, a lot of stuff I’ve been doing at gigs has become very improvisational. I might chat to an audience member and incorporate what they say into a song.”
Veering off script in gigs may sound terrifying, but Friedman says that it’s prepared him for In Good Taste 2.0, a run of shows he says is going to be truly special.
“There are some nights where the improv is just not hitting. But then there are other nights when the energy’s right and the improv is going well, and it can start to take over the show,” he says. “In that way, it becomes a lot more memorable for the audience and they feel like they’re part the show.”
“Louis CK – and I know he’s a contentious guy to talk about – said something quite important about the craft of comedy. What he’d do is get on stage and try to spend as much time as possible off script.”
“If things went badly, he had his set material but if things went well, he could do a whole set where he didn’t use one prepared joke. Another example is Ross Noble, who would get on stage and riff on five topics he’d written on his hand.”
Friedman says he doesn’t go off-piste as much as those two comedians, but he loves the idea of doing a run of performances where no two shows are the same.
“I’m hoping audience members walk out after the show and as much as they remember the songs, they remember unique moments where they were involved that will never happen again.”
- Deep Fried Man is performing In Good Taste 2.0 from September 5th to 16th at the Peter Toerien Studio Theatre. Buy tickets at Computicket.