Based: Cape Town
BARRY HILTON, “The Cousin”, has reached international status as a stand-up comedian performing all over the world. Many agree that he is, without a doubt, one of the top comedians South Africa has ever seen.Performing his original brand of South African humour, his sell-out shows are proof of his popularity as “the cleanest” comedian in the country. He entertains at the highest possible level without barbed prejudice, snide racism or crude language. (He says “kak” more than a couple of times, but that doesn’t really count!)
Hilton is an icon and – as many other comedians may agree – a role model in the entertainment industry. A celebrity for sure, yet someone who does not like the title and this just proves his humbleness. In his words he is “just a normal oke with a better job than you!” Born in Zimbabwe in 1956, Barry Hilton became a pro comic in 1983 and now claims to be a household name in South Africa, where he’s nicknamed The Cousin.
He prides himself on his clean brand of humour and optimistic, patriotic, outlook on South Africa. He also makes regular visits to the UK, and was the first South African stand-up to perform at the London Comedy Store, As well as stand-up, he has made a number of commercials and TV appearances, including his own chatshow Funny You Should Say That, which ran for 13 episodes on primetime SABC in 2003.
He has recorded three DVDs, his 2001 title Here We Go Again earning him gold disc for sales exceeding 50,000. Barry Hilton is said to be one of South Africa’s most successful stand-ups – and it’s clear that the smallish but almost exclusively expat crowd who’ve come to see him in the West End do hold him in affectionate regard.
His nickname is The Cousin, reflecting the genial familiarity that extends to him welcoming fans in the foyer of the Lyric Theatre as they arrive. It primes the audience brilliantly, so come the time he takes to the stage, they are more-than willing to laugh at anything he says