Tue 31 Oct 2017, 09:35
Known for his personalized green suit, Jalang’o is one of the most celebrated radio personalities and stand-up comedians in Kenya. In his most recent career move, which he says he is most proud of, Jalang’o is part of a three-judge panel in the Ultimate Comic auditions that took place in four major counties in Kenya – Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Nairobi.
A first of its kind on Maisha Magic East (channel 158), Ultimate Comic is a new talent show that focuses on finding the next big comedian in Kenya. Be sure to tune in for loads of laughter when it premieres on Maisha Magic East on 4 November at 19:30.
“We had to make sure that we get the ultimate comedian because the prize money, contract and car that we are giving out is a big deal. We just don’t want to bring anyone on board,” says Jalang’o. “During the auditions, we’ve been able to identify a few people who could be nurtured to become the next biggest comedians in this country.”
That’s not all Jalang’o had to say about Ultimate Comic. Check out the interview below plus a surprise revelation in the near future.
1. What are some of the craziest things you witnessed as a judge?
Kisumu had some very funny guys and of course comedians from Mombasa and their Kiswahili jokes that are homemade and hard to relate to if you don’t come from the region, that was a very big challenge for us. In Nakuru, there were guys who came all the way from Nairobi to audition and you’d expect to see them again in the Nairobi auditions.
2. What did you like most about doing the auditions?
I can’t lie, travelling was good, meeting different people and just experiencing the fact that comedy has grown. There were so many people who believed that it’s their next big career, people gave it their all and I am so impressed that I was a part of it.
3. How was the audition process like if you were to break it down for us?
The contestants were briefed on what to expect the moment they arrived. The next process was registration after which they had to go through the screening process to weed out the ‘jokers.’ Those who passed this process would then go in front of the judges and do their thing. Some of them had never seen such huge cameras and production lights so the shock affair also played a big part in shaping the next big comedian.
4. What happens next now that all winners from different counties have been selected?
All the shortlisted candidates will now come to Nairobi where the real battle will be. This is where everyone from all over the country will come to showcase what they can do.
5. In your own words, why are talent shows like Ultimate Comic necessary?
Shows like this are necessary because it’s like passing a baton to the next generation of singers, comedians, athletes and so forth. At the end of the day, Jalang’o is not here to stay but if comedians like Churchill and I give the baton to the next guys then we have impacted a society. For instance, the winner of Ultimate Comic will land a TV contract which is even bigger than the car and the one million (shillings). Imagine over 52 episodes of your own show; that is how you make a difference in a society like this. Creating and exposing new talent in all sectors is very important.
6. What makes Ultimate Comic different from all the shows out there?
We actually went to all these counties and witnessed the diversity from different comedians. We got to capture features from these places; some people who have never gone to Kisumu will have a chance to see what Kisumu has to offer. The same goes for Nakuru, Mombasa and Nairobi. The reality, the diversity and the entertainment part of it makes this show stand out from all the rest.
7. Any other project you are working on these days?
You all know I host a radio show on Hot 96 FM in the morning, I run my media company (Arena Media) but most importantly, I went back to school. I’m doing my Masters in Community Development so it’s a crazy schedule for me.
8. What inspires you to be comedian?
Poverty. Each and every single day I remember where I came from and it has been my motivation to always make a better life out of comedy. There are other people who are in this as passers-by but this is my career. I am planning to do comedy until I can’t do it anymore.
9. How do you prepare for a show?
Of course you have to rehearse and work on your lines and your confidence, put up the content and do your research to know your audience. And then pray and let God do the rest, because He gave you the talent, always go back to Him.
10. Any important pointers for all those aspiring comedians out there?
There is such a big space in comedy in Kenya; the cake is still very large. Churchill, Eric Omondi and I have not even had a quarter of the cake. It’s not like in America where every single comedian has their own live show; we are still not there yet. So the opportunity is still here, go out and fight for your space.
11. Any future projects we should know about?
In 2022, I’m going to be the MP for Lang’ata Constituency. I’m not going to vie for the seat, I’m sure I’m going to be the MP. My decision to venture into politics is a chance for me to give back to the community and serve the people who have been so generous to me.