Acclaimed Greek-American comedian Basile had the Greeks and Cypriots of north London struggling to catch their breath on Sunday (6 October) as he brought his Greek Spice Boy Cometh Tour to the Millfield Theatre.
The tour saw the king of ethnic comedy perform back-to-back shows around the country, with his fans literally crying with laughter throughout his performances!

From the second Basile made his entrance to the track Born To Be Wild, complete with leather jacket, black sunglasses and cigarette, you knew it was going to be a good night! To say Basile is larger than life is an understatement, he truly has to be seen to be believed!
The jokes are familiar stereotypes that we can all relate to…
“Let me show you an impression of a child going to Greek School” – he proceeds to cry out hysterically and flap his arms about; recalling visits to Greece – “Does anyone know what the water pressure in Greece is like….Ptou,” he spits into the microphone; teasing the Greek soldiers for wearing a foustanella (skirt) and huge pom poms on their feet; joking about names: “With a father named Herb, a mother named Rosemary, I was always going to be Basile.”
But the best punch line was: “Greeks gave us democracy, they gave us philosophy, architecture, zoology, now they’re just famous for yogurt!”, cue uncontrollable laughs from the audience.

Basile continued by making fun of the Cypriot dialect, comparing the different words we use: “pastitio” and “makaronia tou fornou” and how Satan doesn’t even go to Cyprus because he can’t handle the heat!
The US sensation shared memories of being forced to eat bamyies or “meexes” (snot) as a child, and how he would wind up his mum, who would avoid asking if he wanted “fakes” to eat, preferring instead to refer to it as lentil soup so as to avoid saying the F-word!
He spoke about his dog Zorba who happily played with a goat, only to find it roasting on a spit on Easter Sunday – “since then he’s been the best behaved dog ever!”; why Greek Orthodox Christians are not cremated after death:“Do you see how much alcohol we drink? The fire would never go out!”; and his peculiar food preference – “koliva” (boiled wheat) – “but someone has to die.”

My all-time favourite stories though have to be those about his Yiayia: “She was always wearing mavra (black), and my Bapou was still alive! When he asked her why, she replied ‘Berimeno’!”
Yiayia wanted “Wee Fee” (Wi-Fi), “Fatsabooga” (Facebook) and Alexa, as well as an iPhone – “Thelo afto me to milo”, then complained it was broken, only for Basile to discover that she was actually touching the camera icon, hence the 150 plus photos of her ear!
The laughs continued as Basile recalled his Yiayia’s threats: “Tha se vraso”, “Tha sou spaso ta moutra”, “Tha se kano mavro”, how he had to explain to his American friends what Yiayia meant when she said “An then eise spiti stis 8, tha se fao,” and the shame when they asked, “were you and your mama and grandma picking weeds off the side of the highway?” No says Basile, “that was another Greek family!”
The material was brilliant, hitting the right notes with the audience, which consisted of not only Greek speakers but “xeni” – and he did pick on a few throughout the show!

The evening ended with a huge musical number – Friend Like Me, from Disney’s Aladdin, with some added spice and explicit dance moves! Who knew Basile could sing like that?!
It takes great talent to connect with people the way Basile does; his ability to make people laugh, even when it’s just his body and facial expressions doing the talking, is impeccable.
After the show, the comedian met his fans in the theatre foyer for a chat, photos, and to sign copies of his t-shirt which read ‘Mary had a little lamb’ on the front with ‘and it was delicious’ on the back!
A huge well done to Maria and Peter Frampton of 1 to One Events and to our community comedy act Chris Marco K who supported Basile around the country.
The tour was a great success and helped raise money for the Lyreio Children’s Orphanage in Greece, in memory of Pani Argyrou.

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