Comedians Of The World – Riaad Moosa: Why Do U Talk The Way You Do? | Netflix special reviewed by Steve Bennett
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Comedians Of The World – Riaad Moosa: Why Do U Talk The Way You Do?

Netflix special reviewed by Steve Bennett

As the title suggests, Riaad Moosa is paranoid about how strong his accent is. Though he needn’t worry too much, since he has a broad range of others he can call upon, from Donald Trump to an American ‘bro’, from Sean Connery to a Southern redneck. He even does Bill Cosby, at the risk of portraying the rapist a loveable cartoon

The impersonations are part of an appealing, zippy energy that’s very animated, but always perfectly controlled, like a South African, Muslim Rowan Atkinson. His impersonation of a crying child is definitely on point.

It’s a winning approach all round, and never more so than when he flashes an adorable and impish  ‘see what I did there?’ grin whenever he’s at his most mischievous. 

His material, though, is a decidedly mixed bag. He admits that airline routines are tired but still asks questions that countless observational hacks have asked before, such as the ‘how does putting your seat in the upright position make the plane safe?’  and ‘why would we want to know the outside air temperature?’

Flying as a Muslim has been a source of gags since September 12, 2001 – but here  Moosa does manage to offer a few variations on the old theme, and not for the only time in this special. Similarly, as a former doctor, he feels duty-bound to quip about the foreign objects he’s found up patients’ backsides, as it’s no doubt the first thing he’s asked at any dinner party. 

Sometime’s he’s more original – talking about his parents being medical students during the apartheid era certainly offers a rare perspective – but he’s too quick to retreat to the safety of a familiar observation, which is a shame as he has the performance skills to sell any content he wants.

• Comedians Of The World – Riaad Moosa: Why Do U Talk The Way You Do? is available on Netflix now. Watch here.

Review date: 12 Jan 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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