Meet Yaaseen Barnes or ya_a_seen_him as he's known on Instagram. This Capetonian may be the new kid on the block but he’s fast becoming one of SA’s most well-known comedians and can be seen in GetSavvi Health’s very own ads.
Barnes is the master of using one-liners and describes his own comedy as a compilation of dad jokes. He’s worked with world-famous comedians and now even has his own weekly web series on YouTube.
Barnes can also be seen in GetSavvi Health’s latest ad where he goes to extreme lengths to avoid getting sick or injured, which is, in our opinion, an Oscar-worthy performance (but we’re probably biased). See the ad below:
Read more about Barnes, his career goals and what happened backstage at the GetSavvi Health ad shoot.
- Where are you from?
I'm Cape Town born and raised. It's also where I spent most of my days. From a not-so-little area called Athlone.
- How did you get into comedy?
My Twitter account really took off about five years ago and someone suggested that I try stand-up comedy. I was stupid enough to try it and I fell in love with it from the get-go.
- Have you always known you're funny?
Growing up I think I was funny but I was never vocal about it. I kept all my jokes to myself. Then I found Twitter. I could just put all my jokes out there.
- What career milestones have you reached thus far?
This is a weird question because now it's going to sound like a CV.
In 2013 I won the Jokers Comedy Championship, In 2014 I won the Laughmaster Competition and performed for the first time at the Jive Funny Festival alongside Riaad Moosa, Marc Lottering and Trevor Noah.
I was also featured on Comedy Central. In 2016 I won Newcomer of the Year at the Comics Choice Awards and toured with Riaad Moosa and opened for Nik Rabinowitz.
This year I started my web series, The Weekly Noise, and have quite a few projects in the pipeline.
- What are your professional goals for the future?
I just wanna do stuff. All kinds of stuff. Tour a show across the country, maybe have a TV show. Write a movie. Whatever my imagination can think of I wanna do.
- Describe your comedy in one sentence.
It's a mix of dry dad jokes and the thoughts that worry my head.
- Tell us about your video series, The Weekly Noise?
The Weekly Noise is like the news, but it’s not. It’s almost serious. Kinda truthful. It’s a wrap of things happening in South Africa with a hint of ridiculousness. Every week I feature a guest comedian/funny person as a field reporter.
- What went on behind the scenes at the GetSavvi Health ad shoot? Any funny stories?
I was the only funny story on set. It was my first time acting so there were quite a few takes of me getting the non-speaking part wrong. I was trying to channel my inner Mr Bean.
- Did you understand the difference between Medical Aid and Medical Insurance before your involvement with GetSavvi Health?
Not at all. I just saw it as adult stuff that takes my money every month. The GetSavvi Health campaign showed me the difference and how everyone needs it.
- How did your involvement with GetSavvi Health change your perception of healthcare in South Africa?
I saw how easy it is to get affordable healthcare in South Africa. It shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg to fix your arm and leg. I always saw healthcare as an expense more than a necessity.
- When you get sick, do you get man flu and feel really sorry for yourself?
I won’t even deny how much of a baby the man flu makes me. I take off work at the first sign of the man flu.
- What do you think the best thing is about GetSavvi Health?
It's the unlimited doctors’ visits. Definitely. Especially coming from a family with so many kids, you always need a doctor at hand.
Thank you, Yaaseen, for taking the time to talk to us.
If you’re wondering where you can find Yaaseen online, here it is:
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