[ View the story "Looking back with a laugh" on Storify] Looking back with a laugh Comedians join The Stream to break down and comment on this year’s top stories.
The Stream· Mon, Dec 30 2013 10:44:54
Adeola Fayehun, Hari Kondabolu and Nemr Abu Nassar, comedy is serious business. These professional funny people are not afraid to speak their minds, and tackle topics varying from colonialism to plastic surgery.
One of Nigeria’s most
popular news satirist, Fayehun makes light of current events for her African viewership. For her hit show ‘ Keeping It Real,’ she is the writer and producer, breaking down all the big stories of the continent.
Keeping It Real With Adeola - Episode 101 (Obasanjo's Letter To Jonathan)Saharatv
“I personally don’t see anything interesting in just listening to news, I just get depressed. If I myself get depressed then you bet my listeners are also depressed. If I can make it in my way and make it fun then I can do the news.”premiumtimesng.com
@AdeolaFayehun Adeola always link and bring news that matters. U're the bestSegun Adebisi Jr
@AdeolaFayehun You're the voice of Afrca! proud of you my sis! Keep it up!!TABOR
For Fayehun one of the biggest stories of 2013 came at the end of the year. Zimbabwe’s critical cash
in December lead to
in the country as people could not withdraw or deposit money for the holidays.
A serious cash shortage has gripped #Zimbabwe’s banking sector, sparking violent demonstrations by angry depositors
Friends travelling to Zimbabwe for the nu year Vic falls party please be warned, there is no money in Zim,the banks are out of cash.Nothando Maseko
This year, Adeola Fayehun's satire has made fun of some of Africa’s first ladies like
Patience Jonathan of Nigeria and Grace Mugabe of Zimbabwe who are infamous for their extravagance. They have been rebuked for not following the American First Lady Michelle Obama’s example of simplicity.
Not enough to pay FAAC & staff salaries on time, but enough to buy 200 cars for First Ladies - Jonathanian Commitocracy
Rashidi-Mulumba: Obama should call a summit of African first ladies, not for a fashion parade, to set benchmarks on sexual violence #WIW10Sonal Bains
#Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe, long criticised for lavish spending, builds pricey school costing $3500 per term
She is also critical of Nigeria’s
power shortage that currently has over
in the country living without a regular supply of electricity. The government estimates it needs $100bn to meet consumer
for power by 2020.
“#Nigeria's economy could [grow] at over 10%, compared with around 6.5% now, if it solved its power crisis.” –Bureau for Public EnterprisesRaymond Eyo
Nigeria's power sector is doing very well, says the government. Have you seen the 2014 budget for diesel & generators? LOLOmojuwa | GenVoices
To think in the year 2014 Nigeria's still gon be battling with power supply is disheartening.Scara Lee
politically conscious comedy speaks openly of racism and white privilege in the United States. A child of immigrant Indian parents to New York, Kondabolu jokes about identity and uses his standup acts to show the diversity and plurality within America.
Hari Kondabolu Stand-Up 10/02/12Team Coco
Asking me "Why do you have to make everything about race?" is like asking me "Why do you have to use your eyes & ears all the time?"Hari Kondabolu
@harikondabolu people keep telling me to apply for a certain job bc the company is looking for "diversity." Makes me want to run.iRish!
@harikondabolu everything is about race if you're paying attentionRachel Setzer
This year Kondabolu used his comedy to draw attention to the controversial
stop-and-frisk policy used by the New York police department, that was ruled unconstitutional in August. Kondabolu was outraged that Kal Penn, an Indian-American actor who put his career in Hollywood on hold to work for the Obama administration, would support the policy:
Hey @kalpenn, is Barack Obama your only black friend?Hari Kondabolu
@harikondabolu @kalpenn's gonna need some aloe for that burnNina Jacinto
king of comedy in Lebanon, Nemr Abou Nassar is the only comedian to have begun his career in the Middle East. He hosts the popular 'Comedy Revolution', Lebanon’s first live comedy radio show, in addition to running his own YouTube series, television, radio and film production company.
@NEMRCOMEDY My favorite Christmas tradition :) Listening to you on Mix from the States. I can't call but Merry Christmas to Gabey in Beirut!Melissa
What a show @NEMRCOMEDY you are a beast! You're probably guilty of killing an Egyptian with laughter tonight #Doha #Qatar #EpicGooda
@NEMRCOMEDY Salutation across the nation Commander Jonathan! :D Listening to #Epic all the way from the North,Tripoli :) #happydaysYara
From Lebanon’s penchant for
to how they
and engage in
, Abou Nassar makes fun at all things unique to Lebanon and the Middle East.
Nemr Abou Nassar Live at Casino du Liban in "This is Why I'm Hot!" part 1enjoylifeingeneral
He believes his comedy can unite the region:
I’m trying to give people a good time. Arabs are the most incredible, loving, funny and hospitable people, and we have the best ability out of anyone in the world to be brothers and sisters. I’m just reminding people what it’s like to laugh together.arabnews.com
We asked The Stream community if comedians should be allowed to joke about what is in the news.
@AJStream #comedians deserve same poetic licence as all artists. Those offended at certain jokes shld invest in a sense of humourSimone
@AJStream No limits. People should judge for themselves what is funny. Comedy helps society internalize challenging ideas & situations.Nick Earle
@AJStream they should not target self respect and any leader or holy manzulfiqar ali
@AJStream #freespeech a 2-way street; comedians can make any joke they want; if it upsets people the comedian should face that consequence.Shevek
@AJStream if those cracking jokes aren't completely deflecting the issues then joke away. but people often joke to deflate gravity of newsAyat Mneina
@AJStream If you know deep down & in your heart it's wrong then don't cross the line! once you have said anything you cannot take it back.Paul Westwood