• Entertainment - Featured
  • Updated: October 19, 2022

How Standup Comedy Is Dying — Helen Paul

Popular Nigerian comedienne Helen Paul has stated that standup comedy is dying.

Speaking in a recent interview with Punch, the Nollywood star shed light on some of the challenges creatives face in the entertainment industry.

According to Helen Paul, standup comics now rely more on filters and editing tools to create their content; something that comes with advantages but hinders the individual from mastery of the craft on stage.

"Nowadays, people rely more on filters and editing measures to create content.

"While there are advantages to those stunts and effects, the effect is that the content makers don’t master the craft of stage performances. It is a different ball game entirely.

Helen Paul

"With this might come a risk of comedy fans losing interest in and developing lethargy for standup comedy.

"The thrill of purchasing tickets and driving all the way to a standup comedy event might be lost.

"Why would anyone want to lose sleep over a standup comedy show when he or she could just watch it in the comfort of his or her home on a mammoth-sized curved TV with surround stereo speakers?", she said.

On whether skit makers capitalising on the online market poses any significant threat to standup comedy, she replied: "Yes and no.

Helen Paul

"Yes, because as earlier mentioned, if the fans get to a level where they get their thrills more from the filters and effects, they might as well just be entertained and amused by these skits from the comfort of their homes.

"However, the answer is also no because some folks are core fans of standup comedy.

"Skit makers and standup comics have different skill sets and are excelling differently in their respective fields.

"It takes years of practice and honing of your skills to stand in front of a crowd and perform.

"It takes a skit maker an idea and some attention to detail to shoot a skit and promote it online.

"With all sense of modesty, I daresay that a standup comic may be able to excel in the field of skit-making armed with a good idea and the right team.

"But it would take years of practice for a skit-maker to jump on the stage and move a crowd."


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