Three years and still going strong – a little like a government official on suspension with full pay – but the difference with us is we’re still making our puppet politicians and celebrities work for us (and you).
Welcome to a bigger, better, jumbo ZANEWS with loads of added extras including a TV show, new puppets, a new state-of-the-geek-art studio, a stellar collection of new writers and our website which is an interactive, one-stop satirical hub. Our weekly show features on TopTV’s flagship channel Top One on Sunday nights at 9pm, so get it and watch it. This is still the most fun you can have with politics and politicians without getting gagged or arrested (or with latex with your clothes on come to think of it).
Season Five sees our favourite news anchor, the sanguine Tim Modise, joined by new co-host Debra Patta who puts our “guests” through the “180 Degree” ringer. Waiting in the wings is Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, a man of few words but with a very neat beard and who will no doubt feature in the exciting and occasionally bloody lead up to the Road to Mangaung. Then there’s the country’s favourite wobbly man, Khulubuse Zuma, taxi boss, mining tycoon and lover of fast women and cars. We’re going to make him sweat!
From across the ocean we have Mitt Romney, the Mormon who’ll be taking on Barack Obama in the US Presidential race.
We’ve come a long way since 2007 when director and executive producer, Thierry Cassuto and cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro first got together to create their first puppet. It was a long and trying process that saw the realization of the First ZANEWS Citizen, Mandela or Tata as he is affectionately known. The puppet was built with the help of Jeffrey Fineberg (from Spitting Image) with puppeteer Gary Friedman and Jonni Cohen as the director of the two-minute clip. Of course as Murphy would have it, the first time (looking back) was a little clumsy, but fortunately for everyone that somehow changed.
Today ZANEWS puppets are regarded as some of the finest in the world and our cabinet is filling up with awards. You might be thrilled to learn that in 2007 we approached the SABC, Mnet and eTV to feature the show and after initial interest our broadcasters decided on your behalf that “South Africans were not ready for this”. Right.
Thanks to the advent of the interwebs and to TopTV, we can now get it on everyday. Why? Because here we can.