Profile: “Comedy Doctor” Riaad Moosa

Featured Image via YouTube.

Riaad Moosa, 41, is known as the comedy doctor of South Africa.

The Cape Town native is a hilarious, award-winning comedian and certified medical doctor, hence “comedy doctor”.

The comedy doctor is an observational comic, a satirist and impressionist.

Known for covering sensitive topics like Islamophobia, apartheid and the world’s state, he has a way of making politics funny.

Moosa, who is of Indian descent, has an interesting comedic history.

Before becoming a renowned entertainer, Moosa spent three years training in magic; he went on to be a silver medallion graduate of Cape Town’s College of Magic.

At the height of his magic career, Moosa won the Comedy Magic Award at the Center for the Magical Arts. Alas, his career as a magician ended rather abruptly. During his “floating orb” bit, an audience member shone a flashlight on the string attached to the orb, killing the illusion.

His next career path would be as a doctor. Throughout Moosa’s senior year at the University of Cape Town, he participated at the Cape Comedy Collective’s Comedy Lab workshops; entertaining still proved to be his greatest passion.

Regarding his occupational choice, Moosa said:

“Giving up medicine to become a clown, essentially a professional circus act is difficult to explain.”

The choice ultimately turned out for the best as he’s lauded as one of the best comics in South Africa.

“I need therapy,” Moosa said during an interview with CapeTalk, “But instead of paying someone to listen to me talk, I’m getting people to pay me to listen to me talk.”

In 2013, he landed the role of South African politician and political prisoner, Ahmed Kathrada in Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom, starring opposite Idris Elba.

Then, in 2017, he performed his critically acclaimed Life Begins at 40; it takes a comedic look at the life of a forty-year-old father of three and husband. Meanwhile, he navigates the world under the current cultural and political climate.

”The show is very philosophical and existential.  It involves the normal issues of getting older while at the same time experiencing, at a maturity where I’m supposed to be wise, a world that is completely turned on its head – with Trump, with Brexit,” Moosa explains, “In South Africa, the ‘State Capture’, ‘Fees Must Fall’, ‘DOOM’.  And it’s about how I negotiate all these things happening around me while trying to maintain a positive attitude.”

In Moosa’s latest and perhaps most exciting news, a Netflix world comedy will feature the doctor turned stand-up with 47 other comedians from around the world. Fellow South African comic Tumi Morake will also be representing the country.

The series will include multiple stand-up specials from a diverse group of comedians and will be taped in seven languages.

Moosa says:

“I’m looking forward to returning back to Montreal to take part in the Just For Laughs festival. Netflix is taking comedy to a whole new level. Even though I’ve been a part of several specials back home, I’m excited and honored to be taking part in a series of this calibre.”


About Shelby Hawkins

AvatarMy name is Shelby, like the mustang, and I am an avid lover of photography, literature and desserts.
I identify as a proud feminist and Pan-Africanist; hopefully that manifests in my writing.

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