Review: Comedy Nites Brings a New Flavour to the Comedy Scene

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IK Osakioduwa

Vanessa Obioha

On the first day of this month, renowned On-Air Personality and Compere IK Osakioduwa posted a video of him on Twitter announcing his departure from Rhythm FM, the station which shot him to spotlight. He told his fans that the next 15 days would be the last chapter of his 18-years sojourn in the media outfit. That same day, he also announced the premiere of his new TV show ‘Comedy Nites’ on Africa Magic. The show airs 9.30 pm every Friday evening on DStv Africa Magic Urban Channel 153.

Comedy Nites is the presenter’s second attempt at TV shows. His first production ‘Highlites with IK’ only enjoyed three years on air before the DStv channel paused it. For that production, IK took a late night show format, infused with good humour and spontaneity.

For his latest effort however, IK is still tilting towards a late night show format only that in this case, it is strictly comedy. Each episode sees three comedians entertain the crowd with jokes and a little bit of ridiculousness while an in-house DJ supply the necessary music to keep the tempo.

The first episode saw IK sharing his own witty jokes on stage about what a woman really likes in a man (which in his case is a good lover). With help from DJ Sose who played the 1984’s dance and pop tune ‘Let’s Hear It for the Boy’ by Deniece Williams, IK used the lyrics of the song to buttress his point.

The first comedian to mount the stage was Larry J. Though his jokes told in a sombre voice didn’t quite hit home, the audience applauded his efforts. The next comedian SLK however got the audience reeling in laughter with his satirical remarks on accents and how the Yoruba speaking tribe are affected by the ‘r’ and ‘h’ pronunciation. Before the last comedian of the night Dan D Humorous came on stage, he engaged in a ridiculous battle with others to stuff their mouths with cubes of ice.

In a way, Comedy Nites is reminiscent of good old 90s TV shows such as Friday Night Life where comedians like the late Mohammed Danjuma displayed their comedic sides. Such platforms gave birth to some of the respected names in the comedy industry in Nigeria today.

In similar vein, Comedy Nites is providing a platform for young comedians who may not be opportuned to perform at bigger shows or garner much views on social media to display their talents.

But the show is not only for upcoming talents. The trailer showed established and prominent acts like Ali Baba and Basketmouth in subsequent episodes. That mix of fresh and familiar faces give the show a kind of authenticity and inclusiveness.

With the paucity of such shows on smaller screens and the proliferation of comics on social media, particularly on Instagram and Twitter, Comedy Nites is a breath of fresh air. The show’s club setting allows viewers to see comedy from a different aspect than the ubiquitous broadcast messages shared on social media channels.

That ubiquity has also increased the demand for something fresh and entertaining from comedians. It places a kind of pressure on them to create original works instead of reworking old jokes, particularly those pursuing a career in stand-up comedy. Which is why watching Dan D Humorous making jokes about DJs and their song rotation in clubs, or addressing the overzealousness of hype men reminds one of the social trends that are affecting our lives. In essence, that’s what stand-up comedy is built upon: addressing the social, political and cultural issues that affects our everyday lives in an amusing format. Or like the South African stand-up comedian and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah succinctly puts it “You laugh but it is true.”

Though he refused to wear the hat of a comedian, IK’s sense of humour cannot be overlooked. From his radio shows to hosting events, his witty remarks and spontaneity are some of the admirable traits that shot him to spotlight. With Comedy Nites, one cannot but notice the gradual transition from radio to TV for the funny presenter. Not that he hasn’t hosted TV shows before. In fact, it was his endearing charisma on Studio 53 (now 53 Xtra) TV show that fetched him its first continental deal as a host of Big Brother Africa reality TV show. Perhaps, he may one day have his own successful late night show or be the host of the American TV show, The Daily Show.