The Comedy Central Roast of Steve Hofmeyr, Comedy Central's first ever African "Roast" featured the roasting of controversial public figure Steve Hofmeyr by an all-star "roasting" panel consisting of Kuli Roberts, Casper De Vries, John Vlismas, Robert Whitehead, Anele Mdoda, Shaleen Surtie-Richards, David Kau, Minki van der Westhuizen and Trevor Noah.
Taped on 11 September 2012 at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, Johannesburg, the TV premiere of The Comedy Central Roast of Steve Hofmeyr aired on South Africa's National Heritage Day (a.k.a National Braai Day), achieving Comedy Central's highest ever rating among DStv premium viewers aged 20-49.
During the broadcast, Comedy Central went unchallenged as the highest ranked channel on the DStv bouquet in terms of ratings and audience share, with nearly one in four Premium viewers aged 20-49 tuning in to watch.
More than a month after the taping, the buzz about the Roast continued, while on-going spats between Roast alumni Trevor Noah and Kuli Roberts, as well as Steve Hofmeyr and John Vlismas, enlivened the Twitterverse for weeks.
Hallmarks of the first Comedy Central Roast to take place on African soil were a pimped out traditional ossewa (ox-wagon), a BBQ shaped throne and a deluge of cutting jokes, comic jabs and over-the-top insults.
Roastmaster Trevor Noah and the roasters queued up to hurl dubious tributes and hilarious slurs at Hofmeyr, described by Noah in his introduction as the "most loved and hated man in SA".
A celeb-packed audience was on hand to watch Hofmeyr triumphantly enter the stage of The Lyric Theatre towed by eight leggy Blue Bulls cheerleaders to a deafening chorus from his hit track, "Baas Van Die Plaas" ("Boss of the Farm").
Among the audience were Blue Bulls captain and Springbok player Pierre Spies; musicians Chris Chameleon, HHP, Simphiwe Dana, DJ Kent, Louise Carver, ChianoSky, Reason, DJ Euphonik and Glenn from The Parlotones; radio personalities Azania Mosaka, Poppy Ntshongwana, Sureshnie Rider and Thomas Msengana; designer Marianne Fassler; model Sashi Naidoo; TV presenter Elma Smit; Idols judge Unathi Msengana; comedians Joe Parker, Chris Forrest, Tumi Morake, Loyiso Gola, Conrad Koch, David Kibuuka, Kagiso Ledigo, Tshepo, Mogale and Kedibone Mulaudzi, Sevende Laan's Amalia Uys and Motlatsi Mafatshe; MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo; Ashish Gandrapasad from Isidingo, Tumisho Masha, Ty Keogh and Hayley Owen from The Wild, Siya B from Generations; and Clint Brink, Lorcia Cooper and Dawn Matthews from Scandal!.
Highlights of the hard-hitting comedy evening include a running gag between Trevor Noah and David Kau about joke-stealing. Addressing Noah (who famously appeared on The Tonight with Jay Leno earlier in the year), Kau said: "People are always asking me when I am going to appear on Jay Leno, but I tell them, I don't need to go on it - my jokes have already appeared on Leno."
A dapper, kilt-clad actor Robert Whitehead, a.k.a Isidingo's notorious villain Barker Haines, sets the tone for the evening, flashing at Hofmeyr and getting the audience rocking with laughter by reading through a mock "contract" which allegedly listed all the rude names he isn't permitted to call Steve Hofmeyer.
Acerbic comic John Vlismas kicked off his own "tribute" by parodying Mark Anthony's famous speech from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, starting with the phrase, "I come to bury Steve, not to praise him", before going on to mock Hofmeyr's infamous gesture when he threw R5,000-worth of U2 tickets into the Jukskei river.
Shaleen Surtie-Richards used her speech to reveal a hitherto unsuspected crush on Steve Hofmeyr, expressing her disgust that the reputed womaniser had never tried it on with her on the set of Egoli when they worked together. Surtie-Richards finished her speech by flinging a giant pair of ladies' knickers at the singer.
Model Minki van der Westhuizen crowned her speech - in which she reminisced about being chatted up by Steve Hofmeyr at the age of 18 - by thanking Hofmeyr, saying "If it wasn't for you, I'd be the dumbest blonde in South African showbusiness."
A blue-suited Hofmeyr, seated throughout the show on a BBQ "throne", provocatively tricked out in the colours of the flag of the old Republic, appeared to take the endless ribbing in good humour, smiling through japes about his broken marriage, his serial infidelity, his illegitimate children, his right wing politics, his derivative singing style and his outdated fashion sense.
The singer looked like losing his cool only once - during John Vlismas' address - when the "Pampoen" singer crossed the stage and attempted to make Vlismas "eat" his words.
Although being billed as the "Roast" of Hofmeyr himself, none of the participants got off lightly at the event as insults flew thick and fast around The Lyric Theatre's red and gold interior.
The Comedy Central Roast of Steve Hofmeyr was a production of MTV Networks Africa (Pty) Ltd trading as Viacom International Media Networks Africa.
On Comedy Central, the first Roast was Steve Hofmeyr and the second Kenny Kunene. This order was reversed for the broadcast on SABC3.
The transmission on Comedy Central was 105 minutes for each Roast. On SABC3, these were edited down to 60 minutes.