Friday, March 20, 2009

Nigerian comedians like Basket Mouth blaze the trail, Ghana don follow

When I went home to Ghana for Christmas in December 2005, I realised a new item on most shows/entertainment events - stand-up comedy. I never saw that one coming. Keysoap Concert Party had virtually disappeared from the scene, it didn't have the same appeal after Nkomode disappeared and Bishop Bob Okalla decided to play bad Roman father on unsuspecting girls in the Brong Ahafo Region. What we had was Agya Koo, but he had left the stage for the movie business and was making a name for himself. Do you know he's won a National award while Kwaku Sintim-Misa aka KSM has none. Atrocious, if you ask me. Anyway, we know KSM has been doing his full-house stand-up shows at the National Theatre for years now, but circa 2006, there were many more comedians in Ghana, and there were mostly from (guess where) Nigeria. One of my favorites has been Basket Mouth and he's the inspiration for this post.

Who wants to know Basket Mouth's real name? I don't really care either but I'll tell you. Ernest Essien is his name and no, he's not related to Michael Essien. The Bison is fully Ghanaian and that's not a controversy. That's all we need to know about MC Basket Mouth. I think. The dude is mad funny.

Watch a number of Basket Mouth videos, in fact there is a whole Youtube playlist dedicated to him.

You can watch this classic Chop Puff Puff video featuring Basket Mouth

Nigerian comedy has become viral and it's not only popular on Facebook. It's popular on the pen drives (USB drives for y'all non-Ghana' lingo savvy people) of Ghanaian students. As a shout-out to these pen drives, I'll feature a video I got from one, about the genius of Naija's Klint da Drunk. Watch him make Nigerian reggae music.

Part 1 -

Part 2 -

The emergence of these Nigerian comedians, at least on the West African scene, has spurned more people going into stand-up comedy. Some of these guys are Julius Agwu, Teju BabyFace, Okey Bakassi, I Go Die, Ali Baba, AY, etc. You can check out all these guys on Youtube.

There've been shows like Nite of a Thousand (and X) Laughs, amongst others in Ghana. Charterhouse's Stars of the Future featured comedy section which produced some stellar Ghanaian comedians. There is also the Toli Masters' Series. If you have not heard about Bukom Banku, google him now after reading this post. Don't forget people like Tommy Annan Forson and Fritz Baffour, who is now an MP. Fritz will make the Ghanaian parliament even more fun, I hope. In fact, our favorite political rapper, A-Plus, did some stand-up. There's also Kwaku Sintim Misa who deserves a whole blog post. Watch out for that one.

PS: I am hungry, so will leave the blog post here. :-) Yup, who remembers 'the impudence of a dying cockcroach' from the Ghanaian television series, Action Security? Am off to watch the BasketMouth playlist.
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