From Cape Town, South Africa Mistletoe Mischief: An Interview

The festive season is upon us. Lazy days, slowing down, relaxing, spending time with loved ones- be it cold or sunny, depending on where you might find yourself on the globe. Who better than South African comedian Anne Hirsch to answer some happy questions?

 Anne has won a SAFTA for Best Comedy Writing for ZANEWS and was included in the Mail & Guardian’s list of Top 200 Young South Africans. She was crowned one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year and one of Cosmopolitan’s Awesome Women.

She regularly hosts top events and co-hosts The Great South African Bake Off on BBC Lifestyle (gets to eat her cake too!) “The Anne Hirsch Show is South Africa’s number one(s) talk show on YouTube interviewing some of South Africa’s top celebrities, like Helen Zille, Gareth Cliff, Jack Parow, Marc Lottering, Kren Zoid, Anele Mdoda and Zelda La Grange . The show set a new benchmark in South African online media production in terms of technical quality and content #Winning.”

The Anne Hirsch Radio Show, a version of the online show, was nominated for an MTN Radio Award for Best Night Time show in 2013. #NotWinningButNominated Anne to us you are #WinningGoingforGold. So here goes.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a comedian, actor, writer and content director, often compared to Angelina Jolie…by myself.

What do you like about the December holidays?

The forced fun. Whether you like it or, you are required to have fun over this period (or at least pretend that you do) and there’s something nice about everyone being on board with that. Whether it’s a family Christmas lunch, a braai (South African version of a barbecue) at the in-laws or a New Year’s party that you’ve been planning since October – the pressure is on, so you better enjoy it!

What are some of your favourite customs, old and new?

I love a traditional Christmas lunch with turkey, ham, roast potatoes and all the bells and whistles. My family always gets a real Christmas tree, which is inevitably a last minute rush to find and then of course the damn thing stays up until at least end of January.

Do you find the comedy gigs increase during this time or is this more of a slow-down period?

The end of year is a busy time for corporate functions and end-of-year events, a great time for any MC. But over Christmas itself, it slows right down, which is a great excuse to relax.

What would be your favourite gig to do?

Is there a spot open co-hosting The Daily Show with Trevor Noah? Trevor, if you’re reading this (of course you are), please call me; I’m totally available, especially over the December period, happy to pencil you in.

Which charity would your favourite gig be in aid of and why?

I’ve done shows in aid of Rape Crisis before and they do such amazing work in SA. As a woman I obviously feel very strongly about fighting abuse of women. In saying that, I also wouldn’t mind doing a charity show called ‘People against Early In-Store Christmas Decorations’ – I’m very passionate about this cause.

If you could have a Christmas party (all expenses paid for) what theme would it be, where and who would be your top 5 guests.

The theme would definitely be Over-The-Top-Christmas. Everyone would be forced to dress in massive embarrassing Christmas hats, loads of kitsch Christmassy decorations and way too much food. I’d invite my best friend Angelina Jolie and she can bring all of her kids…which would be way more than 5 guests, but we should all be in a giving and welcoming mood over this time.

You once said that you don’t know a spoon from a spatula. If you had to cook a festive meal for the family what would it be and would the top 5 guests be invited to join in?

The only thing I am in charge of on Christmas day is making a salad. It’s literally the one thing I am confident in making, apart from that I would have to resort to ordering in - is there an app for Christmas lunch deliveries? Uber Elves? That’s my idea, don’t steal it!

Tell us about your first and best holiday memory respectively.

My parents always loaded me into the car first thing on Christmas morning and we headed to church to sing Christmas carols. By then all the other kids had already opened their presents, but my parents insisted that I’d have to wait so that the fun of the day is spaced out and it doesn’t all happen at once. When we get home, my dad puts the turkey in the oven, tea and chocolate is served and FINALLY its present time! We still stick to this tradition, even though it drives me insane #ForcedFun

Should you decide to travel abroad for the holidays, where would you go and why?

I’d love to spend a white Christmas in New York. I mean Hollywood has really spent decades selling this dream to us, so I wouldn’t mind experiencing it for myself.

 What type of holiday do you prefer -Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

For Christmas definitely a beach-bum. We always spend Christmas in a small beach town, so it’s just the association I now have. There has to be sand on my feet and a damp beach towel wrapped around me to fully enjoy a turkey and roast potatoes.

What is your greatest holiday luxury?

To do absolutely nothing. It’s taken me years to perfect and not everyone can manage it, but I’ve gotten it down to a fine art.

Do you have any holiday reading on your to-do list?

I always pack a stack of books and think ‘this year I’m gonna read all day, every day’. Of course I just end up binge-watching series instead. But I am currently reading ‘Furiously Happy’ by Jenny Lawson and various tweets. This is my favourite tweet today: pat tobin‏ @tastefactory


‘I talked to my gram on the phone & she said "Today was nice, the sun was out." Like, that's enough for old people, that the sun still exists’

What can we expect from you in the year ahead?

The Anne Hirsch Show is back online, after a short sabbatical and we’re having a lot of fun again. Check it out on our YouTube Channel or our Facebook page. I still do a lot of improvisational shows with my troupe called Improguise and you can find us performing all over. Other than that I write a lot for TV, produce comedy shows around Cape Town, direct online content for brands, spend time with my bestie Angelina Jolie and answer interview questions like these. 

Please find links for Anne as follows.

Twitter: @Anne_Hirsch               Instagram: Anne_Hirsch

 Anne Hirsch

The Anne Hirsch Show




Hello I'm Bernadette Erasmus from Cape Town South Africa.  I have a blog called Kaleidoscope, please do have a look.

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