‘Stand-up comedy is dying’ – Basketmouth

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By Sunny Green Itodo

Popular comedian Bright Okpocha, better known as Basketmouth, has lamented that stand-up in Nigeria “is dying.”

He noted that, unlike the music and movie industries, the Nigerian comedy sector lacks “structure and platform.”

He spoke in a recent interview with Arise TV.

Basketmouth said: “My colleagues will agree with me that stand-up comedy in Nigeria is actually dying. The culture of stand-up comedy is bleeding terribly.

“You know, with music, they have their streaming platforms; they have a platform that supports what they do across the world. With movies, they have the same thing: they have the streaming platform. And Afrobeats broke into that space and made room for the movies. Unfortunately, for comedy, we don’t have any platforms. We don’t have comedy clubs; we don’t have any structure.

“In the United States, if comedians decide to go on tour, before they go on tour, they do comedy clubs across the states and try the materials repeatedly. But here in Nigeria, there’s no comedy club. There’s nowhere for you to practice your materials. Because this is an art, you can’t just create it and go on stage when you don’t know what the response is going to be like. When musicians make their songs, they call different people, A&R, and ask for their feedback before feeding it to the rest of the world. But out here, you see a lot of comedians. It’s a risky game. And they’re the ones promoting the shows, looking for sponsors. The system is not built to support comedy. A lot of newbies don’t have the platform like we had.”

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