A quick chat with Mel Jones

Rhikaylin James

Comedy Queen of Mitchell’s Plain, Mel Jones, graced YOH Radio studio with her charm and charisma, for an interview on the breakfast show with Gavin Arends. Jones was born and raised in Mitchell’s Plain.

According Jones, you have to be your authentic self. Comedy gives people the permission to be their authentic selves, she says.

Is comedy a stay in your lane type of industry?

Comedy doesn’t do lanes. Comedy is one of those last bastions of ‘speak your mind’, which i love. I don’t think a lot of people know this but it’s therapy for the community, it’s how we deal with our issues.

The people want to get to know you, because when people think Mel Jones they think radio personality before comedian.

A lot of people do. Sometimes I still get people coming up to me because they recognise my voice. We are all multifaceted human beings with different layers. We are like Shrek. We all have layers and if you want to see the whole person you have to get through all those layers. I think of myself more like a lotus, showing all my layers.

Would there be aspects of your personal life in your show at the Mother City Comedy Festival?

Yes. I talk a lot about my personal experiences. I would hope that there would be someone in the crowd who would relate and feel better about it. My comedy is very conversational and relateable.

So your son, Austin Jones, 21, is your opening act, how does this make you feel?

I think this is pretty cool. I’m excited to see how it goes. It will take awhile for him to get as funny as me (laughs)  but he got a good base. He has performed before, he has done a few circuit gigs, so I know both sides of the fence. He performs at open mic gigs. I watch him perform and support him and he comes to watch my gigs. We got a pretty good relationship. We kinda bounce ideas off one another which is really cool. I asked him to be my opening act because firstly: it’s very cool and where else have you seen a parent performing and a son opening.

How did you end up on the biggest breakfast show in Cape Town?

I still believe that was pure luck. I believe in positivity of things and having the right frame of mind and being open to opportunities. I believe that people say “I need get anywhere and nothing ever happens to me” but they don’t open their eyes to opportunity. Whereas, I was in a space where I was open to opportunity. I did an interview on KFM and they loved my energy. They sent me a few trial runs and I stayed for seven years.

Was there ever a time when you had to choose between comedy and radio?

Yes there was, it was the most difficult I had ever made. It was difficult to do the morning show and do comedy shows at night. The minute I left KFM I went straight back to comedy. It was like going back home.

“You’ll be mocked for it now but praised for it later,” said Jones. “We have to keep telling people that laughter is important even if you’re a grown up.” The mother son duo did their first night of the main stage of the Baxter Theater together on Friday night.

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