After 35 years of touring, six children, five DVDS, two ex-wives and a new one – prominent comedian Barry Hilton has been at the forefront of the comedic industry.
Forged in the fire of the global comedy circuit from London to Hong Kong, this versatile and dynamic comedy icon works the room with magnetic charm and infectious ease. His deft timing and tap-dancing mind leave any crowd thrilled regardless of their own background.
If Barry Hilton isn’t the quintessential South African comedy giant, no one is.
I like to sit back and think and say… Well done Barrers.— Barry Hilton, Award-winning stand-up Comic
With sets that are never vulgar, malicious, nor mean spirited, Barry is known to several generations as a gentleman and a master craftsman. With flawless timing, an unpredictable hairline and a gaze that doesn’t miss a thing, this comedian is nothing short of spectacular.
With one of the most successful careers in South African stand-up history, Hilton shows no sign of slowing down.
I physically take a tablet every day, I used to take an Iphone but I found it wasn’t enough.— Barry Hilton, Award-winning stand-up Comic
Barry goes on to talk about a show he was doing in Durban. At that time his older brother had cancer but was in denial for a long time. Thankfully, we got him back from Egypt jokes the comedian.
My immediate reaction to him was listen, commit fraud because the judge will get you 9 years. So my brother laughed and I laughed.— Barry Hilton, Award-winning stand-up Comic
After having that conversation with my brother, I had to go on stage says Barry. The comedian states that after announcing his brother had cancer, six people left the show. Soon after that, I got a letter saying that I was a disgrace and very insensitive to people with terminal illnesses says Barry.
My beautiful wife Sandy, she actually wrote them back a 1 650 page saying you actually don’t know what you're talking about because that was the truth.— Barry Hilton, Award-winning stand-up Comic
You’ve got to laugh about what happens says the prominent comedian.
The “cousin”, as he's known to a whole nation became the first South African to perform at the prestigious Harrah's Improv in Las Vegas in 2013. In 2014, he did a tour of the UK and opened at the Hong Kong 2014 Comedy Festival.
Impressing the famously critical crowd in London’s Clapham Grand and showcasing a hilarious performances in Dubai, saw him shortlisted alongside John Cleese for the Best Comedy Act in Dubai's Timeout Nightlife Awards in 2013.
Not bad for a former electrician who just couldn’t help himself from seeing the funny side.
Given the huge scale of his achievements and punishing schedule, Hilton doesn’t seem to age. Instead his life experience just provides more fuel for his unique world-view. The local comedian recently shot the lights out with a sold-out show that seated 4 200 people. This is something that no other local comic has ever achieved.
In true Barry fashion, he followed that up with a phenomenal sold-out, two-hour performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House. Hilton describes this performance as a career highlight, while ex-patriot South Africans and Australians alike gave rave reviews.
Despite all his achievements, Barry was faced with challenges growing up which continue to impact his self-confidence.
I really do suffer very badly from depression and I think it was brought on at a young age. I think differently and I was also being told to shut up as a youngster.— Barry Hilton, Award-winning stand-up Comic
Many people may not believe that their favourite funnyman is also a fine dramatic actor - he’s cut his teeth on some meaty film roles like Lenny in “Finding Lenny”.
His uncanny ability to gauge a crowd and unflinching work ethic make Barry Hilton an institution that has stood the testament of time, He continues to impress crowds as he breaks new ground.
His performed in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur as well as a seven city tour performing in Canada. Barry is currently working on two new projects and next year, he'll be hosting the Hong Kong International Comedy Festival.
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Laugh out loud with comedic legend Barry Hilton