When Charterhouse started what has become part of Ghana’s entertainment calendar several years ago, GH acts deservingly were not minded at all at the 1000 Laugh series. I say deservingly because the lads were simply not pulling their weight enough and it made sense to side step them especially when organisers had to balance attraction of performers with patronage of the shows.
But not anymore!
On December 26, just as the renaissance began a few years ago, the GH Comedians proved that they had what it takes to make their own country people laugh. Such was their performance that the combined experiences of Seyi Law, Bovi, Akpororo and Kenny Blaq didn’t come across as wow as they really were. Most of these gentlemen and Lady (hi Jacinta) are friends and I tell them in the face of over the phone when they don’t deliver well enough. When they do, I let them know. Guys, you did it!
Foster is a multi-talented entertainer. He proved that once again. Coming off his first organised stand up, Romanus Incomplete, and hosting the much publicised MTN Carol Festival, Foster was at his singing best as he sang a few gospel melodies right after Joe Mettle’s performance and doing a Samini tune in a way Samini may have envied. I had heard some of his jokes at his show but they still worked for me, and the audience loved his delivery as well.
I think Foster is thinking of getting into music. He may not know it yet or admit it just yet, but he is so good and performs so well it will be a surprise if by same time next year he does not have a single out. Samini is obviously his mentor so let’s see.
Lekzy the Comic
Lekzy had the biggest applause of the night I think. He started a bit wobbly but picked up quickly enough to serve some good material. His initial jokes were old jokes but he moved on to new materials that caught on incredibly well with the audience. You could tell that as his time wore on, his confidence was enhanced. I felt truly proud hearing all the laughter and seeing the smiles across the faces of the audience.
Lekzy and the rest of the guys have been busy doing shows across the country and that has contributed to their growth I think. Having that big stage is clearly a booster and I am sure we haven’t seen their best yet.
It is a hard job to be a comedian in Ghana. It is a harder job to be a comedienne in Ghana. She had a tough job coming after the experienced and insanely funny Seyi LawLaw. Jacinta nonetheless gave a commendable performance picking her punches carefully and blending the Nigerian in her with Ghanaian side. She is still perfecting that style of using a child-like, feeble voice to convey her lines – the way Helen Paul used to do. I found those moments very hilarious as well.
With some more work and research and improved material, Jacinta will be absolutely enthralling to listen to going forward.
ID James Brown
Sadly I missed James Brown’s performance. From what I gathered, he did remarkably well. I had seen at Romanus Incomplete and he was not bad at all. His slow pace of talking and keeping a straight face in itself is hilarious.
Kidi and Joe Mettle
Kidi performed a number of his hits – all via live band. He did it so well and with such awesome stagecraft and audience engagement that you’d think he’s been doing music at this level for anything but two years.
Brilliant control of the band.
Brilliant voice control.
Brilliant audience engagement.
Joe Mettle is a favourite gospel musician of mine. He is a natural at what he does and he takes the audience to church and back whether or not they wanted to.
Our Brothers from Nigeria
It was fun seeing Bovi, Seyi Law, Kenny Blaq and Akpororo. Yes, I had heard some of their jokes before but you know how a good joke can make you laugh no matter how often you’ve heard it. Plus, perhaps the biggest weapon these guys have is not necessarily their material, but their deliveries. They do that very well, and with the occasional refreshing of content, they give a good show. That’s what has made them relevant and will continue to see them travel across Africa and the World to make people laugh.
Rounding Up: New materials needed ASAP
I know it’s a very difficult process in getting material for comedy. As one of them said some time back, musicians do not have to get a new song each time they mount the stage, but comedians are expected to get new material each time. Getting that new content is what a number of our folks have been struggling with.
We know how often we have heard almost the same joke from a number of them for so long. Some of them have been unable to get new material and have simply dropped the mic to focus on o that things aside stand up. That’s simply how hard it is. But it is not an impossible task. I have heard some jokes from folks like Trevor Noah and Kevin Heart for so long you’d think that’s all they have. But when they realise they have overused a joke, they bounce back and with new material, stay afloat again.
Good comedians are good observers. They read. They research. They are creative people, or ought to be creative people. I was speaking to one of the GH Acts and the idea of using Ghost Writers came up. Not everyone can be funny with a mic in their hands. But there are people who can develop the material for the comedians to use. Perhaps it’s time that sector is also explored. Nothing wrong with comedians opening themselves up for suggestions in that regard.