David Oscar, You Are Not Funny! – By Alba K Sumprim

Good grief, it seems nowadays that if you have no skills you head straight into the media. If you can turn on a camera, you’re a cameraman. If you know how to say ‘action’, you’re a director. If you know how to string a few sentences legibly together, you can be a programme host.

I’m a television junkie. I love television, so you could image my glee when Viasat came along, the alternative for those of us who can’t afford DSTV. Initially, I was glued to that station with a vengeance. It was the kind of escapist television diet I loved. Frivolous. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Of course, as with most things in our great nation, they start well and then quickly the downward slide kicks in. For me the downward slide started with their choice of local content. For some reason, Viasat like to use the word ‘hilarious’ to describe programmes that are not remotely hilarious. What all their ‘hilarious’ programmes have in common is the lack of hilarity.

God, someone, anyone, please, please, pleeeease, save us from David Oscar.

Has anyone actually laughed a minute during the hilarious ‘Laugh a minute’? This thirty-minute programme that overstays its welcome by about half an hour is the biggest pile of putrid tripe disgracing our television screens at the moment. And let me tell you, the list of competitors is extremely long. And yet, David wins hands down.

Now, for those of you who haven’t had the misfortune to see this ha, ha, ha, hilarious comedy programme, the format is simple and has been executed successfully several times over the decades by the Americans and Europeans.

A person cracks some jokes, often in a deadpan manner, tells some interesting anecdotes and shows us a few videos of people making fools of themselves, while offering up witty commentary. Simple. The problem here is that, (1) David Oscar, however hard he tries, is not funny. At all. (2) His attempts at deadpan positively shriek of ‘I’m trying very hard to pretend that I’m not funny, though I think I am.’ Sadly, he shouldn’t bother pretending. He is not funny.

(3) The video clips (only God knows where Viasat procures them from) look like the dregs from the 70s and 80s, grainyly shot on Betamax. (4) Ancient videos notwithstanding, some of them are extremely funny. However, David’s highly unentertaining drivel, masquerading as funny commentary would make even those with minimal taste cringe with embarrassment. With the few videos that are actually funny, David’s commentary strips them of any comedy they initially started with.

David showed a ‘hilarious’ clip of a cat jumping up to pull a door handle. I don’t know what’s funny about that, but David felt it needed to be included in the ‘hilarious’ clips collection. David’s oh so hilarious commentary that accompanied the clip went something like this, “The cat is trying to open the door.” Gosh, David, you could have knocked me down with a feather, I would have never guessed the cat was trying to open the door. “I think it wants to go out!” David’s powers of observation were awe-inspiring. On and on he went, while the canned laughter was strained to extreme limits.

I don’t understand David’s need to explain each cheap sad joke as if he were addressing idiots. Of course, anyone who sits through this thirty minutes of dross shouldn’t complain about being talked to like an idiot.

Finally David, for goodness sakes, asking Ghanaians to send in videos of them making fools of themselves is going to net you zilch, as you’ve probably already found out. We are a nation with a great sense of humour but an inability to laugh at ourselves. So full of our self-importance, we are totally averse to anything that might resemble an embarrassing situation, therefore, I think it’s a bit of an oxymoron asking people to record on video and broadcast to your audience of ‘three’ their silly side. The prize of 50 Cedis is no enticement for even the most HIPC of us!

David Oscar, let me give you some fast, fast apכ, ‘You are not funny!’

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