Monday February 24 2014

Pablo’s upcoming comedians could cost him audience


Nigerians are actually good comedians. Perhaps better comedians than actors. Okay that can be fodder for debate but thing is, one of their finest, only identified as Gordons, left show goers in stitches on Friday. He intoxicated Kampalans at the monthly Pablo Live comedy show at the National Theatre with a well deserving dose of laughter, the type possibly last served by countryman Klint da Drunk.

The father of three hit the stage with an infectious touch of oomph, verve and passion for his game. One could feel the crowd fall in love with him at first sight. Every performer wants that. And boy did Gordons (in set), he of the conspicuous blonde coloured goatee milk the rapport.

“I am thinking of relocating Pablo to Nigeria,” he started and when the full house crowd protested he said, “But we are all Africans! I mean your president is as ugly as mine.” While the jaws settled down after this one, he threw a harder spanner, “By the way, back home, among us the Ibo, holy communion is made from pepper.” With a naturally flowing dramatic demeanour, control of stage and agility to integrate word with body action, almost whatever he said tickled the audience nerves, however silly.

“I have not yet seen a beautiful woman in Uganda,” he joked, attracting a wild uproar with a woman standing up to show off her ‘beauty’ only for him to say, “Can you turn around, the beauty is behind.” Such crowd-engaging jokes made the night a hilarious one.

Add to that Super Man Simba from Congo who lifted an over 20kg weight with his teeth before playfully passing a paraffin flame on his body. And then you have a recorded Pastor T.D Jakes preaching session with a weirdly dressed man mimicking the televangelist. Another crowd thriller.

Now, Uncle Bob may not be a very good comedian, at least for now but one can feel his growth, the way he worked the audience as he took them back to Afrigo music days while hitting at today’s “meaningless music.” But when he started mimicking journalists like CNN’s Christina Amanpour, he laid bare an air of ill preparedness; his imitation did not feel as natural as Pablo doing the same on NTV’s Samuel Ssetumba. Next time you can’t do it, leave it for the able, lest you look weird before the crowd.

And then came Sydney Kivebulaya. Only God knows! One could not help but sympathise with Pablo. Who risks his show with an adult going to force comedy unto himself? It is fine to be upcoming but not tolerable to be childish and stereotypical before serious men and women killing the week’s office stress with intellectual happiness. This is it, Pablo, like jazz emperor, Isaiah Katumwa has a class of fans, you won’t find Captain Dollar of the Emmese fame in Katumwa’s Serena Hotel performances.

Class… That explains the unease and strained jeers in the audience as Kivebulaya acted, cracking jokes on the usual victims- the Basoga before worsening matters with a narration of how a sheikh once farted in a mosque. Really? For a Pablo with another African act show? Save your soul Pablo.

By and large, the show sponsored by Nation Media Group, Hotel Sojovalo, Airtel and Rwandair, as usual was one to look up to, this time though with surprise acts and unique additions, which is a step towards a regular show standing the test of time.