Barry Hilton is a Zimbabwe-born South African comedian, actor and corporate entertainer best known for his live stand-up comedy routines, which he has performed in countless venues across the globe since 1983.
He was the first South African comic to perform at the Wild Coast Sun International in Kwa-Zulu Natal (1985), the first comic to perform at Sun City Extravaganza Theatre (1986), and the first to perform at the Runway Bar, a Johannesburg club that catered to 95% British immigrants in the late 80's early 90's.
He worked there for six months a year, for seven consecutive years.
In more recent years his career has reached prestigious acclaim in being the first SA comic to perform at London's Comedy Store and he was invited to perform at the Sydney Comedy store while he was touring Australia in 2011.
Hilton is the only South African comedian that regularly sells out venues seating 4,000 people and more with his one-man show and performs an average of 150 shows a year all over the world – this includes concerts and corporate events.
He has released the following DVDs of his stand-up comedy routine:
Live and Switched On (1999)
Here we go again 2001 (awarded gold disk for sales exceeding 50,000)
Afri-Cousin Live at Emperors Palace 2005
Working Class Cousin 2008
Serial Comic 2011
In film, Barry was nominated for Best Actor at the Feel Good Film Festival in Hollywood for his role as Lenny in Finding Lenny, in 2009. He also appeared in the film Outrageous in 2010.
He is also well known to South Africans for his performances in a variety of television advertisements, most notably for Savanna ciders, in which he plays a dry, deadpan barman. He has played Larry the Barman every year since the start of the campaign in 1999.
He has also appeared in commercials for VW Fox; Spray and Cook; Sunday Times (SA); Nashua Printers and Romans Pizza.
Barry appeared in the television sitcom Funny Business and in the "Catch a wake-up" breakfast show in 1996-1997. He hosted his own comedy show on SABC3 called Funny You Should Say That, which aired for 13 episodes in 2003.
In 2008, he co-hosted the SABC2 game show The Generation Game, with Cindy Nkabinde.
Barry has been married three times and currently resides in Port Elizabeth with his third wife Sandy, and their son Jack.
Barry has six children; his youngest son Jack lives with them in Port Elizabeth. Jami, Robin and Tyler are living in the UK, while Bradley lives in Benoni, and Tracy in Cape Town.
Barry started calling people "my cousin" because he was, and still is, really bad at remembering names. To get around this problem, he just calls everyone "my cousin" and his fans have reciprocated by dubbing him "The Cousin".
He was the fourth ever host of the Comedy Central series Comedy Central Presents... Live at Parker's, in 2012.
Barry with wife and manager Sandy