Ignatius Chukwumah



Standup comedy in Africa has begun to attract interest in recent times, though for more than a decade this new artform has been in existence. On the Nigerian cultural scene, stand-ups are from both sides of the gender divide: Gordons, Akpororo, I Go Dye, on the male side; and Lepacious Bose, Helen Paul, on the female side. Scholars have studied linguistic, social, satirical and interactional spheres of this comedy, but have overlooked its intermedial formation, especially with respect to Gordons D’Berlusconi’s comedic art. Because Gordons is versatile in linguistic modification, original in introduction of familiar terms in strange contexts, and astute in combining media domains, culminating in intermediality, this project draws on Werner Wolf’s theorizing of intermediality—plurimediality and intermedial references—and the close reading method to analyse his art. This essay describes Gordons’s standup comedy performances with a focus on his effective intermedial delivery of hilarious punch lines. Where plurimediality of music and language serve as the general backdrop of Gordons’s “joke-Wards,” intermedial references which explicitly mention and cite a medium or implicitly imitate another medium through quotation, evocation, or genre/form heighten the originality that endears him to listeners/viewers. In conclusion, his performance strategies are as intermedial as audience-conditioned.


KEYWORDS: standup comedy, plurimediality, Nigerian popular culture, intermediality, Gordons

DOI: 10.30395/WSR.202306_16(2).0006


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