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Musicians pulling the comedy crowds

 

When closing the show at Comedy Store’s new home in Uganda Manufacturers Association multipurpose hall last week, host Alex Muhangi announced that for the following edition, the stage would be graced by Afrigo band.

The announcement drew wild cheers. While it is a comedy show, the host did not announce any other acts for the upcoming event. The comedians’ lineup was released online later in the week.

At the UMA hall, Kenya’s Nameless had just finished performing some of his classics such as Nasinzia that left revelers asking for more. Never mind that it was a comedy show; clearly, the musical act of the evening greatly influences ticket sales. 

Earlier on Mariachi, Dolibondo, MC Kapale, Afande KereKere, Snake and Zolo, Madrat and Chiko, among others, had done their comedy parts. Was announcing Afrigo band a tactical maneuver to pull back such an impressive crowd? The multipurpose hall was filled to capacity.

Comedy shows have been hosting a musician to crown the event. While it is good to spice up the show, revellers have been heard asking who the guest performer is going to be before even looking at the lineup of comedians.

Singer Sheebah Karungi at one of the comedy nights

Comedian Patrick Idringi aka Salvado agrees that the addition of musicians onto the lineup is for pulling crowds and more.

“Bringing guest performers to sing adds value to the events,” he told The Observer.

When asked whether comedians cannot stand on their own to pull crowds, he said:  “It is something that comedy fans are now used to and they would feel incomplete if a comedy show ended without a guest musician performing.”

Pesh Ahumuza has not attended the show since Juliana Kanyomozi was last hosted as the guest artiste. She believes that like her, many of the patrons are there for the music.

She describes comedy shows as “sex tales and recycled jokes” before adding, “Comedians are using musicians to hold onto their industry; otherwise, without them, those shows would flop.”

While her verdict is a little harsh, her stand on musicians being crowd pullers seems legit. “Alex [Muhangi] has a great sense of humour. I would also attend a Pablo or Salvado show without a musician, because they are very talented.”

Previously, Comedy Store has hosted Maddox Ssematimba, Radio and Weasel, Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool and Irene Ntale, in that order. The same musicians have also headlined other comedy events.

Tomorrow as revellers return to UMA multipurpose hall, it will be a mix of fans of the legendary Afrigo band and diehard comedy enthusiasts. A win-win situation.

barangasam@gmail.com

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