Conrad Koch is a double International EMMY nominated South African ventriloquist, with a master’s degree in corporate anthropology, who uses humor to inspire conversations in organizations.
The CBC in Canada said “my face hurt from laughing so hard”, describing Conrad’s work as “absolutely delightful and technically brilliant”, “Koch throws away more laugh lines than many shows have in the first place”.
OUTinPerth described his show as an “utter delight”, “a cutting satire of modern society” and that “there was not a dry eye left in the house, young or old alike.”
Starting out at the College of Magic in Cape Town, Conrad combines hilarious comedy with world-class puppetry, and has won numerous awards, including Entertainer of the Year award, a Standard Bank Ovation Award from the National Arts Festival, The Times Comic’s Pen Award, has been nominated for the Comic’s Choice Comedian of the Year, Comedy G and Flying Solo awards.
His televised work includes the likes of Comedy Central, Comedy Network, etc. A frequent guest at international festivals, including the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and the Montreux Comedy Festival in Switzerland, his theatre shows receive frequent 5 star reviews.
His most famous character, the puppet political analyst, Mr. Chester Missing, has been a highlight on South African TV for years both on the hit show Late Night News with Loyiso Gola and on his own hugely popular weekly satirical news show, Almost News with Chester Missing, on etv and eNCA. The use of a puppet to get political players to let down their guards was lauded as completely unique. In fact Chester Missing has been asked by the likes of City Press, Natal Witness, Reuters, the BBC, the Mail and Guardian, etc, to comment on political affairs. The first puppet in history to win a court case (after going to court with a famous South African racist), Chester has even written a book, was named one of New African Magazine’s Most Influential Africans, and, with Conrad, was the first recipient of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s Anti-Racism Award. Chester Missing is used by corporations as a puppet facilitator to deal with difficult dynamics, to build rapport and uplift and educate teams, particularly on issues relating to culture. He even functions as a team mascot, who happens to have a master’s degree in corporate culture.
The combination of world-class humour with the ability to think deeply about societal and organizational issues make Conrad’s various keynotes powerful conversation starters. He has had 20 year of experience implementing culture change programs for the likes of FNB, Goldfields, Sun International, SAA, etc., and in this online world has embraced the tech to create highly engaging, multiple camera, visually and intellectually incredible virtual experiences.
His ‘comedy-only’ show has audiences in stitches by talking to himself through a variety of extremely eccentric characters. Self-ridicule has never been this fun. Including Chester Missing, satirical political analyst, Hilton, an ostrich made from two feather dusters and a slipper, and DJ Hoodie, a puppet made from a hoodie who actually DJs, and a neurotic mosquito, called Mosquito. The show is highly interactive – audience members hilariously become the puppets.
“Conrad and Chester were absolutely amazing. They take some serious issues and portrays them in a fun and optimistic way. They had people in stitches and added some light hearted fun to a really serious world we live in. Just what everyone needed.” Glacier (Sanlam)
“Intelligent, unhinged ventriloquism at its very best” The Star
“Reviews will use descriptive words like ‘pioneering’, ‘master-class’, and ‘mini renaissance’ but it really is that outstanding” The Citizen
“quite breathtaking: delightfully entertaining, intellectually stimulating and technically brilliant.” The Cape Times
“Brings the roof down” The Independent, London
“Delicious…hilarious ventriloquised repartee” The Argus
“Hilarious.” Mail & Guardian
“I almost cried with laughter” The Herald
“You were truly hilarious and I hugely enjoyed the show! A million thanks for keeping it all together with such skill and professionalism.” Bonang Mohale, Chairman of Shell SA
“Thanks so much for being part of our event – we have had such fantastic feedback from the event and without you it would have just been death by PowerPoint. Your ears must have been burning all day, because StorTech cannot stop talking about you.” StorTech
“I’ve had an incredible amount of positive feedback on our session. You were awesome; many thanks.” Dr. Brian Armstrong, Senior Managing Executive: Telkom Business