BY DEOYE FALADE
For someone who’s made a name for himself as a comedian, it’s quite refreshing that AY Makun is now becoming a regular of sorts on screen. His appearance alongside Ramsey Nouah in the successful box office hit, 30 Days In Atlanta seems to have cemented his place as well. So it is only natural that a comparison will be made between AY and Hollywood’s Kevin Hart at some point. I’m impatient so let’s kick off the comparisons right now – sensible or not. Here’s why AY can (or cannot be Nollywood’s) Kevin Hart.
AY is basically accessing Nollywood from the same springboard Kevin did – comedy! Kevin Hart didn’t just show up on our screens, he already made a name for himself in comedy clubs, touring arenas, headlining his own shows and via his online platforms with comic scenes on YouTube. There’s a similar trend with AY as well and he seems to be one of the very few comedians taking film seriously and so far, he hasn’t failed to deliver the goods.
Hey be calm, I already said you’ll find both sensible and silly reasons here. Okay AY isn’t ‘tall’ but he’s not little either. There’s something funny about little men, just look at Kat Williams – or Kevin Hart, at least he’s the one we’re comparing AY to. Kevin’s is so cute, you could decide to keep him in place of a pet – like a Chihuahua of a man if you please. And he uses his size well too, with ample hilarious references to his size getting him into trouble. AY doesn’t have that but there’s gotta be something he can use, right? Or maybe he doesn’t even need anything…
Now AY is funny but to me he isn’t as funny as Kevin. Maybe he doesn’t need to be; maybe he does. As a standalone, he doesn’t quite get me laughing as much as I know I would to some other guys (but hey, this is just me). On the other hand, Kevin is one sick bag of funny. I could just look at his face and burst out laughing. However, what I’ve seen AY do really well is make people laugh by creating a scenario with other people active in it. And since he’ll be in movies, this would work out really well for him. We’ve already seen him do this on The AY Show and with Ramsey Noah 30 Days In Atlanta. I reckon there’s much more to come.
I believe AY’s appearance on screen has injected some freshness into Nigerian comedy on film. For the most part, what we’ve seen in movies classified as comedy is a mishmash of funny (or not so funny) scenes – heavy on comedy and farce but really thin on direction, storyline, plot, etc. This shouldn’t be, comedy should make you laugh but also pass a message or two across. It could be a parody or not but it’s not just a bunch of funny characters doing and saying funny stuff just to make the viewer laugh. Comedy shouldn’t singlehandedly carry the story; it should be the other way around – with the story having a purpose and direction but with the comedy going along for the ride. People will laugh but they’ll get the point too. This was done to good effect in 30 Days In Atlanta.
Well they’re both noisy dudes when the need arises; Kevin in the stereotypical African-American manner; AY in the stereotypical South-South Nigerian mould. Their noise is one that we seem to like and they both seem to have this on-screen attitude of wanting to always come out tops – even if they have to shout and scream their way through. It’s always funny. They’ve also got the same knack for experimenting and pushing themselves and their brand. Kevin has the upper hand because he’s been in more movies and can easily pass for the better actor of the two. AY can get there too – he’s on his way – and soon, people will most likely take him more seriously based on his ability to act, as well as his ability to make them laugh.