This Deep Fried Man CooksPeter Feldman
Peter Feldman: Daniel Friedman, otherwise known as the Deep Fried Man, is one of those rare combinations of being a musician and a comedian.
Instead of standing anchored to a microphone, which is the wont of most of the comics plying their trade today, and firing an endless tirade from the hip, Friedman adds a strongly appealing dimension to his show. He can sing, he can play the guitar and he writes some of the most acerbic parodies I’ve heard.
Friedman’s craft is sharply honed, with a studied style and image that is a cross between a Chassidic rabbi and Charlie Chaplin. His neatly trimmed beard, his trademark hat, and his widely expressive eyes form part of a dynamic comic package that is innovative, unpredictable and honest. Add a slice of crudity to his work peppered with some choice curse words, and you have some idea of what Friedman is all about on stage.
I liked his freshness and most of all I liked his way with words, his ability to dissect a popular song and supply his own interpretation with brilliant clarity. Who would think the Michael Jackson’s classic “Beat It” could be the rallying call of the electronic generation by reworking it as “Tweet It.” The Black Eyed Peas hit “I Gotta a Feeling” and Sade’s “Smooth Operator” both receive a witty make-over, and Sade’s song emerges as an ode to boom operators. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is a lesson in how to survive road hazards such as corrupt cops while driving under the influence. How clever is that?
His one-man show, with the surprise inclusion of Wonderboom’s Cito, who magically appears on stage to help Friedman’s interpretation of one of the band’s numbers, moves along at a zippy pace and relies a great deal on audience participation. He likes to get his hands dirty and even manages to serenade a fan who is perched on a bar stool on stage for everyone to see.
Don’t heckle the man. His punishment is most severe and he does it all in song. Ouch!
Having worked the club scene, and being the recipient of the South African Comedian of the Year Award, this assured young comic certainly knows how to work a room, and given the space of a theatre he positively revels in it. He even has a hand-free mic which, he says, is a boon, and allows him to move about more freely.
Another highlight is the Deep Fried Man’s use of videos and slides in his show and, as the audience settles down, he hits them between the eyes with an hilarious and brilliant exercise for those who don’t know the words to the National Anthem. His excursion into the mysteries of the Facebook page again demonstrates how the electronic age can really work for you.
His songbook is rich with amusing parodies about gardeners and maids, the social media, modern life, and how a white Jewish artist can successfully interpret hip-hop.
He’s quirky and bizarre and not like any other comedian on stage today – and totally enjoyable.
The show “Deeply Fried” is on at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square, Sandton, until 3 December.
Feldman has been a journalist and arts critic for over 45 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa's biggest film and musical events. He is active in the freelance field and his work over the past 12 years has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines. He writes regularly for Artslink.co.za, The Citizen, South African Jewish Report, The Sunday Independent and is a contributor to "Eat Out" Magazine. He also contributes movie reviews on Mondays to The Gordon Hoffman Easy Morning Show on 1485 Radio Today (www.1485.org.za) and has worked on TV in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, "Video Games," which was released in 1988. After retiring from The Star in April, 1999, Feldman joined the PR and events management company, Dlamini Weil Communications, where he currently works as an entertainment and media consultant.
Auto & General Theatre on the Square., West Street Sandown Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa