In 2016, Ebonylife TV premiered The Boot, a half-hour celebrity interview show anchored by unabashedly eccentric TV personality Denrele Edun. It’s like any other thing Denrele has done, preserving his old impulses and signature while bundling famous people into a pimped keke and chauffeured by comedian Frank Donga.
In a small way, the show feels like a pastiche of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. In a large way, guests find it easy to immerse themselves in the show’s internal, gleeful mania, which is a callback to how Denrele upended red carpet television with humongous hair, insanely high boots, and gothic-adjacent outfits. Most importantly, his departure from expected norms of gender curdled forth a caustic charm. And on The Boot, there is, unsurprisingly, an ample dose of it.
The show’s sequence starts with the celebrity pick up, and this is only putting it mildly. Denrele hijacks his guests wherever they are, and after the first, chaotic minutes of pretending that contact is spontaneous, Frank Donga dutifully rolls out the retrofitted red carpet for the guest and then they take their seat in the keke. The thirteen-episode first season featured fan favourites like Lil Kesh, Ycee, Chigul, Banky W, Nedu, Gbenro Ajibade and Toyin Abraham, who initially swung into believable protest against being filmed but ended up having cake during her interview.
As a constitution, the show has a pronounced sexual bent, where questions are filtered through sex and intimacy and guests are obligated to answer. It’s a cheap gimmick the show can do without, and while knowing Victoria Kimani doesn’t prefer men wearing a man thong as a pre-sex ritual, The Boot doesn’t have a sharp, definitive voice because it tries to do too much in its limited runtime.
In 2018, and in the era of millennial-targeted TV series and the great morass of content, The Boot breaks through the surface with its madcap style. Interesting enough, the show sells Denrele’s quirky, zany sassiness by blurring the lines of gender. Aesthetically, this adds to the show’s feverish vitality, and serves as an inspiration for those who need it.