Off the Cuff

“Off the Cuff” with funny man, Barry Hilton

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A PROFESSIONAL INTERNATIONAL stand up comedian for 32 years, Barry Hilton lives in South Africa but works globally. He has starred in two movies and produced award-winning DVD’s, is sought after for corporate events and his public performances are sold out world-wide.

My secret pleasure is … cooking … with my thermomix.

My first job was … a school boy.

My most annoying habits are … my wife says it is leaving the bathroom floor flooded after my shower and my love of fart jokes, not being able to concentrate on any one thing for very long, my phobia about not having my passport on me and checking for it every two minutes while travelling, asking where things are before I’ve even looked for them … before this list overtakes the whole interview, let’s stop it here.

A clear childhood memory is … when I was ten years old, it was summer time in the UK where we lived and the sky was absolutely clear. I was playing outside at night and I looked up and saw a massive rock floating past me in the sky. It was obviously a meteor, it was around 1967 or 1968 . It was just tumbling slowly through the sky and is the most vivid memory I have. Even though it must have lasted only five or six seconds, it seemed like forever, it was fascinating.

What makes me really nervous is … just before I do a gig I get really nervous and I want to vomit. My hands sweat and I ask myself if I’m really in the right job. I’ve been asking myself for 30 years!

The best advice my parents gave me was … don’t ever come into the room like that again, without knocking first.

If I wasn’t a comedian, I’d be … a car salesman.

I’m most thankful for … my beautiful wife and six healthy children.

My favorite meal is … curry.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … going to bed early.

Books I love … DIY and cooking books.

A song that resonates is … Imagine by John Lennon. It says it all.

My ‘happy place’ is … at my home, with my family.

My most embarrassing memory is … performing my show and when I asked to be paid, the organisers said they hadn’t hired me! The actual venue was directly across the road. By the time I got there, the audience had left and those organizers also didn’t pay me.

My hidden skill is … still looking.

If I was a dog, I’d be a … complete bitch. Actually, I’d prefer to be a dolphin. Tweet this

It’s a bit corny but I love … it when my kids kiss me hello and goodbye – even the oldest ones who are in their 30s.

I’m most at peace when … I’m riding my bicycle.

Country I’d love to visit … India and Egypt.

Favourite quote … “If everybody every day, gave somebody something, everybody’s life would be a little bit better.” Tweet this


Barry’s humour transcends all boundaries and he is well known for his clean shows which have no swearing, explicit content or blasphemy. “When I was starting out as a comedian, one of my mentors told me ‘Keep it clean and you’ll always be on the scene’,” says Barry. Those words from UK comic Johnny Noble have stayed with him to this day and he has been on the comedy scene for an incredible three decades.

His universal appeal has earned him a fan base that spans continents and has seen him perform on five continents in the last six months. Audiences in America, Hong Kong, London, Ireland, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, across Africa (including Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland) and on three international cruise liners this year, have had nothing but praise for this talented entertainer.

Barry does have a special appeal for ex-South Africans but has fine-tuned his shows to international audiences and gets people of every nationality to enjoy a good belly laugh. Anyone can relate to Barry’s comedy style because, apart from the odd gag, his laugh-raising is mainly the comedy of observation.

He takes everyday occurrences and people, adds the personal touch and references to his home and children and keeps the laughs coming at an incredible rate. His outrageous facial expressions and animated physical antics add to his unique appeal and have resulted in rave reviews and rapturous applause. See what some of his audiences have had to say:

  • “Explosive, Universal and Very Funny,” Jami Gong of the TakeOut Comedy Club Hong Kong
  • “Barry Hilton must be the funniest comedian to have ever come out of South Africa and he is set to be one of the big comedy names in Australia and everywhere else that he is now working,” Graeme Gillies, Grayboy Entertainment, Sydney.
  • “Hilarious, we hope he comes back soon, said Pamela Doran of London’s Clapham Grand. “Barry attracts more British audience members than any other international comedian.”
  • “A master comedian; Barry Hilton owns the stage,” said Grant Ferris of the Laughter Lounge in Dublin. “The venue was packed to capacity and a great time was had by all.”