You just can’t imagine the kind of thoughts that race through my mind every time I get on the white throne. Guess where I got the inspiration to write this piece. Right there in that place of solitude called the white house.
“Where are our comedians”? Just take a moment to ponder on that thought like I did when it first came to mind. I bet most of the comedians who make you laugh till your side hurt aren’t Ghanaian. We find humor in the things Kevin Hart, Russel Peters and Chris Rock say even though we don’t share the same culture. These comedians put in so much work that they appeal to a wider audience even though we are alien to most of the jokes they crack.
A lot of us Ghanaians fell in love with the Nigerian comedian “Basket Mouth”. One of the obvious reasons is the fact that we can relate to most of the things he talks about. The African hustle, the corrupt governance, and his interesting childhood stories are a few of the pillars that hold Baskets mouth’s great act together. It’s not surprising that he has gotten so far. He grew steadily in the art and is now selling out shows internationally.
Around that same period when Basket Mouth was warming his way into our hearts, we had David Oscar. He had just come out of “Stars of the future”, the same reality show that birthed Irene Logan and Efya. The girls have done quite well for themselves and David too would probably be proud of his progress so far. He is free to have that feeling but the truth is that all of us can hardly remember rolling on the ground because we loved a David Oscar joke so much that we couldn’t get a hold of ourselves. I wouldn’t use the word “terrible” but he just doesn’t hit my C-spot.
Now, let me mix things up a little bit by bringing to light how much our own showbiz industry doesn’t believe in its own comedians. We have had successive “A night of a thousand laughs” shows for some years now. Which comedians continue to be the main attraction? Nigerian comedians! Simply because they always get the job done. They tell good jokes and we laugh. You go to the Accra International Conference Center because you want to see Bovi, Akpororo, and Gordons perform only to find out there was D.K.B or Foster on the list. Shocker! You didn’t know because you never bother about which Ghanaian acts are on the bill. The organizers know who we want to see. That is why they keep bringing in our West African friends. If our own breed of comedians were good, they would be the ones around which the biggest comedy show in the country revolves.
Kumawood is where most Ghanaians are getting a good laugh nowadays. Since our stand-up comedians aren’t pulling their weights, I would rather watch Lil Win and Kwaku Manu in a local movie just for laughs while I pay no attention to the story line. Those movies usually have none anyway. So whether, crappy story-lined or none at all, I’m okay with them because of the foolery in motion picture. Watching a Kumawood movie always gets me thinking about how we really need to bring back “Key Soap Concert Party” full time. It gave birth to some really good comedians. Bob Santo, Ebusuapanyin Judas, Nkomode, Bob Okala and Agya Koo were priceless. The only drawback is that they all used Twi when they performed and that was a hindrance to putting their good talents out on the international scene. Honestly I would choose comedians who are really good in Twi but cannot make it internationally over some “abr)fos3m” comedian who is not funny and doesn’t have any chance of making it even in Ghana.
Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. Whether in the Queen’s English or Pigeon English, if more effort is invested by our stand-up comedians into their art it will surely pay off. Ghanaians have already shown that they are ever ready to pay for good laugh. So Gh comedians, please take advantage of it. Put the laughter back in comedy before we start tickling each other. That will put you out of business!