Johannesburg - This is basically a cookie-cutter local version of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, right down to the title card, and while Comedy Central News (CCN) with Sne Dladla is neither bad nor great, it’s worth watching and will hopefully improve as time goes on.
Given that eNCA destroyed the show Late Nite News exactly a year ago, CCN – produced by Both Worlds and executive produced by Thierry Cassuto – is our next (and only second ever) faux news show aside from ZANEWS, now called Puppet Nation ZA, on StarSat.
A few episodes in, CCN still feels somewhat too self-aware in the sense that the dramatics of comedian and puppeteer Dladla come across as overacted.
But viewers shouldn’t forget that even the twice international Emmy-nominated Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola started out a bit unsure of itself.
As Dladla hilariously quipped at the end of the first episode: “You’ve been watching CCN. And I’m not Trevor Noah.”
Yes, CCN is a work in progress, but its mere existence is a net gain for South African television and for Viacom Africa’s localised version of Comedy Central.
If it were broken into 15-minute episodes (perhaps twice a week?) or if it had an actual interview with a newsmaker or comedian (such as what Conrad Koch/Chester Missing did on Late Nite News), the lack of variety would not be so evident and it would add a real-life, current affairs infusion that would elevate CCN’s structure.
What CCN does really well is the dubbing work.
While some jokes work better than others, the technical and vocal mastery to “sync” voice-overs to near perfection over a newsmakers’ lip movements is superb and is admirable.
Catch it on Comedy Central (DStv 122) Mondays at 21:00 and 23:30. Repeats Saturdays at 21:30.
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