Fresh in the Booth with Mark the Comedian
Meet the funny man himself; performer and comedian Mark the (so called) Finest, also apparently the “Fresh” prince of his home town Okakarara. He is one of the many hilarious Free Your Mind stage regulars, with enough funny in his satchel to keep you chuckling ad infinitum.
He sat down in the Fresh FM booth and when he didn’t have the team rolling with laughter, he answered a few things about himself, promoted his upcoming one man show and refused to tell jokes for us. If you didn’t tune into Hashtag with Letu and catch the artisan on air, we hunted him down and probed him a little bit further.
1. How long have you been performing stand-up comedy?
I started doing stand-up comedy in 2012. It’s been four very fun and fulfilling years.
2. Describe yourself in three words.
Ambitious. Funny. Tough.
3. Where do you get your material?
My gwerie friends and cousins, Namibian popular culture and day to day experiences.
4. At what point in your life did you think ‘mmm, I’m pretty funny, let me be a comedian’?
I’ve always heard that I am funny but I just thought it wasn’t that serious, but after the success of last comic standing in 2012 when I became the runner up, everything started to make sense.
5. How funny would you say you were when you first started out compared to now?
Surprisingly my first time doing comedy I was very funny. Something which is rare for comedians when they start out.
I remember going through to the final round of the competition just thinking, “Wow! People really are enjoying this and I might actually win the biggest comedy search in the country”.
At the time I was 21, so I was young and I didn’t know much about performance art, so I just went with the flow. But now everything has structure. I’ve just honed my skills and mastered my brand being myself and just feeding my audience what they want to hear and see.
That has made me be more funny, I mean…I am mos the Fresh Prince of Okakarara!! Lol!
6. What happens if the audience doesn’t laugh?
If people don’t laugh it means I’m not doing my job. As a comedian your job is to get the laughs, so if that is not happening, something is not right. But at the same time it all depends on the audience, some people just might not get the joke, which is fine, just move on. Keep the next joke coming and don’t stall too long.
7. How do you deal with hecklers?
Hecklers are a mere ploy at distraction. A good comedian takes it all in stride and improvises. Also, getting into a verbal fight with a heckler is the one thing you should not do.
8. Say something funny (sorry, I had to).
My funniest joke will be on stage next week 1 September, come through.
9. Can someone learn to be funny on stage?
Not really. It’s not something that can be taught. Similar to a dancer, rapper or vocalist, you either can do it or you can’t.
But confidence and stage presence go a long way. You need to know how to control an audience and be relatable, I think that’s why I’ve been having success over the last few years. People just see this Herero kid doing his thing and staying in his lane. Now I’m the Fresh Prince. LOL!!!
10. What three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
Wifi. Biltong. Omaere.
11. What are some of the biggest mistakes new comedians make?
Not working the comedy scene. You can watch millions of YouTube videos, rehearse in front of your room thinking you’re good but you won’t know until you are in front of an audience.
Especially in the beginning you need to humble yourself and do jobs. You might need to perform for 2000 people and then tomorrow only 200. It’s fine, get those gigs, hone your craft and remember as an entertainer it’s never about you.
Whether your baby mama left you or if you’re having a headache, people paid money to see you and be entertained, so just deliver. That is one thing that makes me proud of my art form, when you’re coming to a Mark Kariahuua show you’re getting an experience. It’s hard work and a slick, well put together production.
12. Ask yourself a question and then answer it.
When is your one man show and why should we come?
The Fresh Prince of Okakarara is on Thursday, 1 September 2016 at 20:00. ‘African time’ is a no-no etse. Come early or you won’t find a seat.
You should come because I am funny, this is my moment and all of that, but I am also a liker of things so come support your boy. Also, I just got a new dog and that guy eats a lot I need extra coins. So see you next week. Shap.
Need a bit more of the funny? Follow Mark on Instagram @Markthefinest and Twitter @Okakararafinest. Use the hashtag #FPOO.
– Miss Anne, @MissAnneDastood.