Opening Guys is a South African comedy reality television series hosted by comedian Kagiso Lediga as he mentors emerging comedy acts known as "Opening Guys", whose job is to warm up an audience before the headline act, in search of the next generation of comedy superstars.
The series premiered on DStv's Mzansi Magic channel on Wednesday 8 December 2010, at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 13 half-hour episodes in the first season.
If you've ever been in the audience of a stand-up comedy show, you will know the challenge that faces the "opening guy".
It's his (or her) job to warm-up the crowd for the headline act – and whether he "chokes" or kills it can make or break a burgeoning career.
This December, exclusively on Mzansi Magic, comes Opening Guys – as its name suggests, it's a look at the tension, the drama, the exhilaration and the teachings that come from taking the opening slot for a headline comedian.
As if that wasn't enough of a draw card, Opening Guys is hosted by the inimitable Kagiso Lediga – these days a major draw card on the comedy circuit but, once in his life, also an "opening guy".
It's Lediga's job to be the voice of reason and the guide to these emerging talents who are tasked with holding the stage before an audience who really only wants to see the big-name star.
Intimately following the experience of 13 different comedians who are making a play for the big-time, as well as putting Lediga in the opening guy slot for one episode, "Opening Guys" is all about seeing who can get the laughs right-out-of-the-gate – and who can dig deep to find the courage to get onto the stage again, should the audience boo.
Episode one sees Lediga prepare for a performance at the legendary Royal Albert Hall in London whilst the first of the "opening guys", Mongezi Ngcobondwane, prepares for a show.
Also known as Toll Mo and a protégé of Loyiso Gola, this Jo'burg township-raised, former Model C student tries his shtick out on a Cape Town stage for the first time.