Entertainment of 2014-02-10

Help push Ghanaian comedians or else there will be no future - Fritz Baffour appeals

One of Ghana's pioneer comedians and Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour has called for a concerted effort to help push the Ghanaian to the top.

The MP had said in an interview with Channel R last week that, “I’m not too enthused about Ghanaian comedy. When we started comedy in the past with people like KSM and Tommy Annan Forson, we gave out deep comedy. Now the industry is bad! Investment in comedy is poor, so basically, I’m not enthused about comedy in Ghana now.”

Speaking as a guest on Rhythmz A-Z on Joy FM Saturday, Fritz lamented that the fortunes of the Ghanaian industry has dwindled drastically and called for support for up-and-coming comedians to sustain it.

"It's not as good as I thought it should be. The way we started and I thought more people will come on board and that there will a great response from the Ghanaian people," he said.

Credited for starting standup comedy in Nigeria in the late 1980s, the MP recalled that, "When he started in 1986 with Fritz & Friends with Tommy Annan Forson, it was a pioneering thing because that kind of comedy thing had not been seen in Ghana for quite a long time," although he will not take full credit for starting comedy in Ghana.

He gave credit to the likes of JB Danquah's son, Paul Danquah and BT Kingsley Hayford for laying the foundation for Ghanaian comedy in the 1960s.

His hit comedy series, Fritz & Friends, was aimed at mentoring people who wanted to do comedy but there was no support in terms of sponsorship, Fritz lamented.

According to him, during the Charter House comedy series "we had our guys but they put on the backburner and that was it. If you don't encourage them, if you don't interact with them, if you don't give them the chance to perform, to polish their routine then you are in trouble."

Ghanaian comedians, the veteran lamented, came in as openers for the big Nigerian stars and that was it. "Young men like comedian David Aglah, I see him, a wonderful young man but I feel sorry for him because he is not given the push," he said.

"When it comes to comedy, it's not about you pushing yourself, you actually need somebody to push you...if you don't have the backing and the support, then we are in trouble," Fritz stressed.