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Ever told a joke to a group of people and they just looked right back at your soul without even a giggle? Well, shame on the world and their lack of sportsmanship, because with the right kind of motivation, you might just be the next Trevor Noah. Okay, let’s not push it.

On a serious note though, Showmax has just the right antidote for you, with a huge catalogue of comedy shows that you can stream and enjoy at your own convenience. How about you master your sense of humour from the characters (and people) with proven track record to make others laugh?

1. Animals, Seasons 1-2 (Season 2 is first and only on Showmax)

Have you ever wondered how animals behave and survive beyond the superiority of human beings? All your questions are about to be answered in HBO’s adult animated comedy Animals, which brings to life foul-mouthed animals and insects living in the “ignored world” of the ever chaotic New York City. Here you will meet gender-bending pigeons, revenge-seeking turkeys and even get dating tips from rats. Sounds a lot like a people story, which Animals is deliberately going for by depicting downtrodden species as just as normal (and as weird) as human beings. The age restriction is 18, so this is definitely not one for the kids! Watch now »

2. Comedy Central Roast of Somizi

Media personality Somizi has been a man of the moment for some time now. From his covetable flamboyant lifestyle to his much-talked about role as a judge on Idols SA, Somizi is now standing in the line of fire in this extended, uncut version on Comedy Central Roast of Somizi. Don’t hold back any laughter as Somizi takes the heat from a panel of SA’s finest comedians and entertainers. So the next time you want to shine at a party, go ahead and borrow a few lines from the Roast of Somizi and show your friends exactly how it’s done. Watch now »

3. Sue na Jonnie

If you want to take your roast game a notch higher, step into the hood with the cast of Sue na Jonnie who have no qualms putting anyone in their place and using street and pop culture humour and clapbacks to say it as it is. A must-watch, Sue na Jonnie tells the story of Jonnie, a street hawker (Martin Githinji) who takes advantage of his mistaken identity and lands a high-paying job in a lucrative agency. He then hires an accomplice, Sue (Catherine Kamau), to help him maintain the lie. It’s got drama and comedy galore that you don’t want to miss. Watch now »

4. Black-ish

Black-ish on Showmax
Comedy legend Wanda Sykes guest stars in Black-ish. Image: ABC

His man-child tantrums aside, we love entering the world of Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) and his family, who prefer to own their blackness in their own way, not how the man of the house – Dre – wants them to. Black-ish unapologetically brings to light serious societal issues such as class, race and police brutality, using comedy. And at the heart of all the issues are the hilarious and relatable family dynamics of the Johnson family and a much-needed Lawrence Fishburne’s swagger as Pops Johnson. Watch now »

5. Getting On

Getting On on Showmax
Image: HBO

Three-time Emmy winner and 2018 Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalfe stars in the medical comedy Getting On as the self-centred and socially awkward Dr Jenna James, a role for which she was nominated for an Emmy. Getting On follows the lives of the medical staff at a dysfunctional hospital unit taking care of the elderly while dispensing the kind of humour needed to get through its depressing setting. Watch now »

If you want to enjoy more of Laurie Metcalfe’s humour, find her as Sheldon Cooper’s mother Mary Cooper in The Big Bang Theory (S1 -9), also available on Showmax. Watch now »

6. Friends

No matter how many times you have watched it already, there is no harm in hanging out with the old gang at Central Perk. A timeless classic, Friends follows the lives of six best friends – Chandler (Matthew Perry), Monica (Courtney Cox), Ross (David Schwimmer), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) – living in Manhattan. Pay attention guys, this is how you get to become the master of jokes, sarcastic one-liners and a conversation ice-breaker that only Joey Tribbiani can understand. “How you doin’?” Watch now »

Also find Lisa Kudrow in the comedy-drama The Comeback, now streaming on ShowmaxWatch now »

7. Dying Laughing (first and only on Showmax – coming soon)

Dying Laughing on Showmax
Amy Schumer is one of the comedians featured on Dying Laughing, first and only on Showmax. Image: Gravitas

How about some reality check on what it takes to be comedian? Dying Laughing is not really a show, but rather a documentary featuring real-life successful comedians, and it would be unfair not to include it on this list, don’t you think? Follow the lives of Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Jerry Lewis, Jamie Foxx and others as they talk about their craft, creative process and even the psychology of performing in front of a live audience. Dying Laughing will be available to stream on Showmax from Thursday 24 May: save the date!

If you still can’t make people laugh by watching the masters in action, may we suggest a change of hobby to more serious things like kicking ass in life – there is always Olivia Pope (The Fixer S1-5 now streaming on Showmax) to emulate. Taekwondo, perhaps?  Then Quantico would be the right fit for you, about former FBI agent Alex Parrish, now streaming on Showmax.

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About the author

Michelle Edwards

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