We don’t know about you, but we had fun asking Helen Zille questions about the universe. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, a trend on Twitter was started by comedian, Deep Fried Man, urging people to ask Helen whatever they like.
#AskHelenZille was then born. And trended. Worldwide. After the jump, we have the exclusive interview with the man who started it all and some of the winning responses from the lady herself.
GORILLA: Why did you choose Helen Zille? Is it because she’s a political figure or was it something personal?
DEEP FRIED MAN: Once, about six years ago, I was standing, minding my own business, just playing the bagpipes as loud as possible in a public park, when a lady walked past me and gave me a funny look. That person was Helen Zille, and I vowed on that day that I would one day get my revenge. No really, it was because I noticed that a lot of random people asked Zille a lot of random questions on Twitter. And as far as I know she had invited people to send questions and had said she would try to respond to each one. So I thought it would be funny if we treated her as South-Africa’s-source-of-all-
GORILLA: What was the standout tweet for you? Do you think it was such a hit because it’s a politician or because it’s a funny trend?
DEEP FRIED MAN: My two personal favourites, which I thought were very clever, came from two comedian friends of mine. Warren Robertson, who tweeted “Dear Helen, if train A leaves Joburg at 45km/h and train C leaves Cape Town at 24km/h, can you make an inappropriate joke about A&C”, and Mojak Lehoko, who tweeted “Dear @HelenZille, why do you speak so well?”, which I thought was very clever. Another comic friend of mine, Simmi Areff, had lots of great tweets and he got retweeted by some very high profile people. Helen Zille invited me for lunch because I started the whole thing and I took him with me, because I don’t think it would have trended without him. I think it was a hit because it was funny, but also because it was so easy for anyone to join in.
GORILLA: Did you lose or gain followers after being mentioned by Helen Zille?
DEEP FRIED MAN: I gained about 400 new followers in a day.
GORILLA: Have you found new material by using social media? Was this trend linked to material you were working on?
DEEP FRIED MAN: I am a musical comedian. I have lots of songs about social media. (A) Facebook song, It’s Complicated and one about SMS and internet slang, Hashtag Fail.
GORILLA: What is the ultimate question?
DEEP FRIED MAN: Dear @HelenZille, why is it that people are more interested in a silly Twitter trend I started one day as a joke than in what I actually do, which is musical comedy, and how can I get my music to get the same amount of attention as the dumb Twitter trend I started about you. Also, while I’ve got you, when oh when will human beings learn that money can’t buy you happiness. And where did I leave my keys?
Except that one’s more than 140 characters.
To see the real man in action, deep fried and all, check him out in his one man show. It will take place at the Sandton Theatre on the Square from November 22 to December 3.