Change imperatives in the stand-up comedy of Ali Baba

  • Edward Egbo Imo


Against the backdrop of the change mantra as propagated by the Muhammadu Buhari led-administration in Nigeria, the paper examines the  transformational potentials and impetus in the satirical jokes of Ali Baba. While brandishing the Nigerian stand-up comedy as an emergent and viable  theatrical form, the paper establishes Ali Baba as one of the trailblazers of the stand-up comic tradition in Nigeria as well as a unique comic whose jokes  take a satirical swipe at the degeneracy in the standard of living in Nigeria as a result of the collapse of the leadership structure. The study adopts the  qualitative research approach as it uses some selected jokes of Ali Baba as performed in such notable comedy variety concerts as Opa William’s Nite of a  Thousand Laughs and Ayo Makun’s AY Live as paradigm for other Nigerian jokes in this satirical genre. The paper notes that like most theatrical  experiences, stand-up comedy serves the tripartite functions of education, entertainment and enlightenment. It is for the foregoing that the study  advocates the inclusion of stand-up comedy in the secondary and tertiary education curricula not just as a one-off subject or course but as a special field  of study. The paper also canvasses the need for Nigerian stand-up comedians to take into cognizance the audience factor when crafting their jokes. Also,  the formation of a purpose-driven comedians’ guild in Nigeria is long overdue. 


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562