Initially a sad folk singer, Daniel Friedman’s alter ego Deep Fried Man metamorphosed into a comedian after watching the New Zealand musical-comedy series Flight of the Conchords. From there the 31-year-old had a rapid rise on the local circuit, winning Best Newcomer at the Comics Choice Awards in 2011 and a Standard Bank Ovation Award for his debut one-man show, Deeply Fried. With a Woody Allenesque flair for self-doubt, the motor-mouth hipster, who considers his day job to be signing on to Twitter, is still questioning his success: he is definitely weird compared with the mainstream big-name comedians he gets booked alongside. For one thing, he doesn’t like rugby and he doesn’t do racial humour — unheard of in an industry built on historical stereotypes. “I think I appeal to the younger people in the audience who were brought up on South Park,” he says. It is this audience who will grow up with him.
— Nadine Botha