My Comedy Hero: Wayne Mazadza on Tom Stade

My Comedy Hero: Wayne Mazadza on Tom Stade

Edinburgh-based Zimbabwean comedian talks about his comic idol, Canadian stand-up Tom Stade

There wasn’t a stand-up comedy scene when I left Zimbabwe in 2010. In fact the only one who told jokes was my gran when she made fun of my humungous ears in front of the whole family. It was poorly timed and, honestly, what a way to blow a seven-year-old’s confidence: tough love.

My first glimpse of actual comedy came in my late teens when I watched Russell Peters on a pirated DVD. His way with the audience and his easy-to-get jokes made me watch that show a hundred times and I guess a seed was planted then. Two years later, I was in a flat in Edinburgh, unemployed and watching weekday repeats when I happened to come across Tom Stade on Live at the Apollo. He was doing his ‘meat van’ bit and I thought it was genius. I binged on a few of those Apollo shows and soon realized that stand-up was worth a try, and a few years on, here I am.

I met Tom soon after I started and we gigged together several times in Edinburgh and toured together last March: even now I still get inspired when he’s on stage. I think the biggest thing I have learned from him is bravery, saying what you want to say and not being scared of the audience.

I know a lot of comedians have comedy heroes like Pryor, Carlin, Burr and so on. They are indeed great comedians but there’s a certain advantage in having a hero you can meet, drink with and talk to.

As told to Brian Donaldson. Wayne Mazadza, The Stand, Edinburgh, Thu 25–Sat 27 Feb.

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