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Opinions of Friday, 15 July 2016

Columnist: Graphic.com.gh

My point of view on DKB’s 'Point of View' - Francis Doku

History was made last Saturday night at the National Theatre in Accra. It was history because it was the night on which Derick Kobina Bonney, or DKB as his stage moniker goes, was crowned as the King of Comedy in Ghana.

Also, it was history because the long standing King of Satire and Comedy in Ghana, Kweku Sintim-Misa or KSM conferred that on him. KSM is 60 years old (the statutory age for retirement in Ghana) and hanging his mic (if ever there was such an expression) and thus need a successor as the one true king of comedy in the republic.

For 15 years, KSM has been making people laugh. From when he started his one-man theatre (he didn’t want to call stand-up comedy, because it wasn’t) with the earth shattering Saga of a Returnee, he has got many including presidents, former presidents and different calibre of people who patronised his shows in stiches.

Over the years, he introduced and performed other great comedic theatre pieces including Afia Siriboe, and Politically Incorrect and all these in addition to his show on television known as Thank God It’s Friday or TGIF earned him the accolade, King of Comedy. He had done a lot to earn that!

It was curious, therefore, that he accepted to and indeed went on to hand to DKB that big title.

“When I see DKB, he says KSM you are the man and I say no, I was the man. Now you are the man. I am very proud of him, so it is my pleasure and my duty to introduce to you the new King of Comedy DKB”, he said.

But this was not KSM’s night. It was DKB’s show and his night. All others performing were doing so because he permitted them.

Thus after KSM had uttered those words and introduced DKB, the latter who was riding in a palanquin with “courtiers” made up of all the other comedy performers (except the shoe guy I will soon tell you about) on the night appeared.

The joy, whether real or contrived, on the faces of the other comedians was too obvious to miss. “Do they realise what they just did,” Yaw Sakyi sitting by Lexis Bill directly in front of us turned to ask. “Obviously, they look happy,” I responded.

So evidently, the other comedians in the GH Comedy fraternity had, as it were, acquiesced with KSM as to hand to DKB the ‘King of Comedy’ title.

It was as though this was the “this is it” moment for DKB. As though all the years of playing Madam Kpelems on Viasat1, getting sacked from the Big Brother Africa house, getting insulted by his country men and women for disgracing them internationally, being accused of not being funny and all other “ills” he had suffered for almost half a decade just dawned on him. It showed on his face.

He called for the mic stand. Then called for a chair on which he took off his leather jacket and hanged. Then he got the microphone and his first words were to remind the full housed National Theatre audience that whatever he was going to say was his point of view.

Well yes, everyone who bought a ticket and even those of us who go it for free, knew it was a comedy show called Point of View.

We had seen the adverts too, after all, it was all over the place. So the disclaimer was superfluous to say the least. However, it was to serve as an icebreaker of a confidence booster then he could be forgiven. After all, this was the first time he was organising such a show on his own on such a huge platform.

He then went on to perform for almost an hour, during which time his jokes touched on various subjects including politics, movies, music and women.

Indeed, from when he burst on to the scene and was accepted as an authentic comedian, Ghanaian tribal jokes had been his strongest suit and he didn’t move from that on his own show, although he didn’t dwell on it throughout.

The audience was with him throughout his performance. They laughed, guffawed and did all they could to show they approved of his jokes.

For when the low points were a few in between, besides his opening disclaimer, another has to be when he took on companies for not sponsoring shows. There will be a time and place for that, not here.

Another comment that I feel is very tired and should be dropped by DKB is the often repeated saying that “they said we were not funny blab la bla.” He repeated that before getting up to drop the mic to end his performance. Yeah let’s move on, you have proven to be funny, you filled the National Theatre and there is nothing else to prove!

Generally, was his performance outstanding? Not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I laughed at most of the jokes like everyone else in the auditorium, but I felt DKB could have done better with his delivery.

There were a few repeat jokes and apart from the fact that I thought his own stand-up should have come with a theme. So yes, there were too many random topic jokes, in my arrogant view.

If there will be another Point of View or any other DKB produced stand-up comedy show, I think thoughts should go more into producing a lot more compelling show based on a particular theme.

That said though, it’s just my point of view or I guess I didn’t have to add the disclaimer. Let’s just say that being his first solo show it was good performance. By the way, I rate DKB’s performance on the night 6.5 out of 10.

The best performer on the night for me was a young man named Lekzy de Comic. He was unassuming when he mounted the stage. I am still trying to figure out which of them is taller, he or George Quaye. But when he picked the mic and gave his first joke the audience sat up.

Within the time that he had, 10 or 15 minutes, he delivered and some among the audience, yours truly inclusive gave him standing ovation. His jokes were relatable (although one joke in which he said he didn’t like Asantes was said out of context) and so the audience got along with him. I scored him 7.5 out of 10 on the night.

I liked Forster Romanus entry, but I didn’t like the fact that both he and OB, who in my view were the most formidable comedians among the lot spent very little time. Maybe it was the agreement to be succinct so they don’t outshine the king. However, their time on stage were well spent and the audience loved them.

Ajeezay, the Nonfa King had time as the second act on the night and he had some good one liners, puns and bars on the night. However, it was too obvious he lacked stage experience and also forgot his lines at certain points. He should polish his stage act and he’ll go places.

Hogan was okay. Just okay, nothing spectacular beyond his previous performances that I have watched. Nino was saved by Lekzy while James Brown was a bit too boring for the stage. He has some good jokes, but his presentation needs some fire to light it.

I think Jacinta, the only lady on the night, had a better show the last time I saw her perform at the Conference Centre during Easter than I did last Saturday night. Maybe I had bigger problems than her joke.

The worst performance on the night was from a chap named McDon who wore a hideous jacket and shoes with metal plates on the front and back. Let’s just say he was so bad the audience saved him further embarrassment booing him off the stage.

I think apart from dressing as though he was a bank clerk, Khemikal as MC was one of the finest on the night. His jokes in-between performances were awesome. I rated him 7 out of 10.

Edem and EL performed on the night to bring the first solo stand-up comedy show by DKB to a good end. First show was good, we look forward to subsequent ones.

@TheGHMediaGuru