Having to oppugn the implications of comic roasting from certain individuals, it was evident that there is a very thin line between comic roasting and criticism. Firstly, comic roasting is making good-humored jokes about certain individuals with no intention of hurting their feelings but to create a riant atmosphere with the general audience.

However, this issue is too wily and diverse as most comedians can cross the line between mirthful roasting and criticising the next person as they tend to bad mouth an individual through the expression of disapproval and analysis of demerits, thus, in the long run offending one by defiantly.

Comedian Dr Shakes

Comedian Dr Shakes

Quizzed on when or how should comedians draw the line between comic roasting and criticism,  Bonginkhosi Dr-Shakes Dlamini mentioned that as a comedian he is well aware of the genres of comedy; blue comedy, provoking, alternative, character and deadpan comedy, to name a few. He further elaborated that most people are cognizant of comic roasting which falls under provoking comedy with no intentions to hurt the roastee but it is an artistic purpose of entertainment that brings about constructive criticism to the one being roasted. However, most people tend to use Facebook as a social media platform to roast other artists with the intention of getting reactions from different people hence this has caused strife between artists and comedians as some cross the line.  As a result, Dr-Shakes further fleshed out that comic roasting is likely to increase fans for the roastee whilst criticism decreases them, depending on fan-loyalty as criticism is not productive because it scathes the image of an individual.

Comic roasting is comedy that is an incredibly powerful marketing tool because it is communication between the roasting master, the roastee and the audience’s reactions hence upcoming artists can easily gain free publicity as a free marketing scheme through public influence. Most comedians in the country make a lot of jokes on Illa Penboy, a rap artist nominated for the category artist of the year.

Musician, Illa

Musician, Illa

Illa mentioned how he is not discouraged by criticism as he pays no mind to the fear of failure because it’s far more valuable than success. He says the best way to avoid criticism is doing nothing and saying nothing to defend himself. He also pointed out that there is no thin line at all; comic roasting is also criticism at extremes as most comedians also use his physical features to make risible jokes for the general public to have a great laugh. Illa tries to supress the negativity by shifting his attention to his aims because he believes that comic roasting should be based on facts rather than individuality.

However, it is with no doubt that the general public enjoy seeing certain individuals being roasted publicly as during an interview most people were all thumbs up to the question do you enjoy seeing someone being roasted publicly or you genuinely sympathise with that individual. Most people mentioned how a good roast is always fun to watch and that roasting should not be poorly perceived as criticism by taking comic roasting into heart as comedians are only trying to make situations enjoyable and mirthful hence sympathising with the roastee cripples one’s amusement span. Moreover, the general public thinks roasting is plainly divided into light roasting and personal roasting hence they seldom enjoy personal roasting as it always gets atrocious and leaves an ugly mark to the roastee. Although some were certain that seeing someone being roasted publicly is not at all funny because no one knows how hard that certain individual has worked to make a name in the entertainment industry, as a result, comic roasting or criticism may bring them down because this is an issue of Pseudo populists; using another man’s downfall to rise as both comedians and other artists are in the same industry and facing the same challenges hence comedians should find new material.

The question to be answered is when or how should comedians draw the line between comic roasting and criticism so that artists never think that their work is being criticised or that they are bullied by comedians, comedians should not make fun of personal features, things that the next person can hardly change because that may result to diminished talents and worn-out esteem. However, artists should not draw a blank that comedians make a living through comedy; making fun of people and everything around them hence creating names for themselves in the industry. We have seen comedians roasting artists and artists writing a rhyme or a punch on the comedian, all in the name of fun and entertainment hence most artists are well aware that they are likely to be roasted anytime thus, as performers, they ought to work together to further their brands.


Lastly, the thin line between comic roasting and criticism should be in purposes of entertainment and constructive criticism, nothing less and if it lacks in that then it should be termed as bullying or deforming character. Moreover, the thin line is in comprehending that comic roasting is intended to amuse the wide audience hence, comedians should make sure that the roastee takes in the jokes in good humour and take no umbrage because it all commences when the comedian, roastee and general audience apprehend that comic roasting is art and it is only a way of entertaining people and should not be conceived as serious criticism or insults to one’s work.

By: Tandzile Zwane

Image Cred. Gcwala99