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Not quite Mark?

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Not quite Mark?

by Nina Harvey
17 Oct 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

"I can wake up in the morning and get out of bed without falling. Brush my teeth without choking myself. Drive around, make coffee, do some shopping, go to the bank... all without assistance. But somehow I can't pull out of a parking space without the help of a car-guard!"


When local comedian Mark Palmer searches for new material for his shows, he never has to look too far, as he draws mostly from everyday life and the stupidity that lies within it.

"There is just endless material everywhere. Even just going to the grocery store to buy bug spray. They have twenty different choices: Deadly, Super Deadly, Instant Killing Action. You stand there thinking, okay, do I want the bug to die instantly or do I want him to walk around a bit in a daze before he drops off?"

In his latest show, Not Quite Billy, Mark pays tribute to the man who essentially, you could say, is "to blame" for the rise of Mark Palmer the comedian!

"I think I was in matric when I went to visit some friends of mine who are Scottish and they showed me a video of Billy," says Mark.

Famous for his quick wit, fast mouth and his hysterical if not brutally honest outlook on, well, just about every aspect on life, Scottish comedian Billy Connolly immediately grabbed Mark's attention.

"I just thought, this guy is brilliant. I want to do what he does!"

It was one of Mark's lecturers who would eventually suggest that perhaps he was in the wrong industry and suggested that he should give the comedy scene a go.

"I used to drive past the Comedy Warehouse in town all the time and eventually I just decided to go for it.

"So I phoned them, asked them what I had to do to get in and they just booked me."

"My first night, the place was packed to capacity and in the end the response from the audience was just phenomenal. They went crazy and from that moment the bug bit."

For Not Quite Billy, Mark puts on a rather convincing Scottish accent, which was openly demonstrated to this giggling reporter.

"That first night at the Comedy Warehouse I decided I was going to do the whole show in a Scottish accent, and that way if they didn't like me I could just pretend I was a foreigner.

"When the audience cheered at the end I said "Thanks everyone, I'm Mark Palmer, you've been a great audience", but I said it in my normal accent and the organiser was like, 'Where the heck are you from?'"

Well, one thing is for sure, wherever he may have come from, Mark has learnt along the way to make the masses laugh at him and at themselves.

"We have to be able to laugh at how silly life is. "I mean, we've all felt that relief when summer arrives so that we don't have to look at the poor dogs dressed in those ridiculous jerseys. It's like putting a wetsuit on a fish, totally unnecessary."

Comedy, Mark says, is his passion.

"Some comedians use comedy as a way of opening other doors, but for me comedy is who I am."

"In this show you aren't going to see me trying to be Billy, this is just my way of paying respect to him because of what his comedy has meant for my life."

Fans of Billy will recognise aspects of him throughout the show, and with Mark Palmer holding the reins, you are sure to have a great evening.

Not Quite Billy runs at Theatre @ The Pavilion in the BMW Pavilion, V&A Waterfront on 17, 23 and 24 October only. Tickets cost R60 per person. Book now to avoid disappointment. For bookings or more information contact the Theatre @ The Pavilion on (021) 419-7661

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