Nigerian comedy really is in the dumps, with the exception of a handful of truly talented comedians (Maraji mostly) the new crop of social media comedians have created content that is rarely self referential and truly challenging. Instead we’ve had a regurgitated mashup of old timey tropes, cross dressing visual gags and skit story lines that rather than finding humour in the often difficult situations people face, try to celebrate and reinforce misogyny, ethnic discrimination and violence.
— SYDNEY TALKER 🗣️ (@Sydneytalkerr) November 4, 2019
Sydney Talker, however seems to be the biggest comedian since Maraji to gain mainstream comedic fame. He has done this through a consistent stream of what you can call ‘dude humour’, jokes that are supposed to exaggerate everyday male interaction usually with women as the topic driving those conversations. Now, there is nothing wrong with this topic, and in the hands of a nuanced writer, these jokes could really do great work dismantling the sexism in hyper-masculine relationships, but instead Talker glorifies sexual assault, ogling and catcalling of women, and several situations where he suggests that gifts give men permission to physically assault and rape women. It’s quite distasteful. Even more distasteful that he has amplified this behaviour to his 2.9 million followers on Instagram and Twitter.
This is why it is hard to understand why CrazeClown, the veteran comedian who also started his career on Instagram and successfully transitioned away from Instagram to build a decent following offline, would participate in one of Talker’s videos; especially a video that sees him leering and sexually assaulting a woman in the name of humour. CrazeClown has a verified account across social media platforms and as a public personality can be reported for targeted harassment at women. Women are not props to be used to generate notoriety for social media accounts, and humour is not a good enough excuse to make videos where women are threatened with death in exchange for sex.
We would say he should know better, but then again, anything for a RT’s yes?
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.