It is Throw Back Thursday guys and I am super excited because we get to travel down memory lane and celebrate events or memories from the past.
Before internet became mainstream, the TV was our best companion.
I stumbled on an old disk of the popular show back then, “Nite of a Thousand Laugh” and a smile found its way to my lips as memories started rushing back. Although, I was not born when the show started but one good thing about the show is that it was made into discs.
The jokes were original and the audience actually ,laughed a ‘thousand’ times. Nite of a Thousand Laugh is a comedy concept that has created the comedy movement. There was no comedy industry before ‘Nite of a Thousand Laugh’ started and Opa Williams took the advantage and started the show.
The very first show, the annual comedy fiesta, was staged on 1st October, 1994 at the National Theatre, and it was a flop. Less than 68 people came to watch the show, the cast and crew of the show were far more than the audience. Even the second show was bad that two of his friends, late Chico Ejiro and late Udensi, whom he had convinced to invest backed off. But he never gave up and stayed on with his dream after they left.
Okapo Williams, better known as Opa Williams, is one of the biggest producers in the movie industry. He is believed to be the father of Nigerian comedy. He had a big dream which was brought to reality by launching the show, Nite of a Thousand Laugh.
HOW IT STARTED
It started when they were at a location, Igbobi Orthopedic Hospital, to shoot a movie and they had some hiccups. There was nothing to be done and they started cracking jokes.
Okey Bakassi and Regina Ebere were the ones really cracking the hot jokes, everyone laughed so much that they forgot their sorrows. It was there it dawned on Opa Williams that if the patients on the sickbed and the doctors were laughing that much, then it is something that should be done. That got him to his feet to create something spontaneous.
Inspite of the boom enjoyed by ‘Nite of a Thousand Laugh’, after it found favour with people, it visibility began going down.
One of the biggest problem facing it is that the cost of putting things together has become very expensive and sponsorship has become a major hindrance in Nigeria. The show is currently on in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
The show created a platform for artistes who had ideas and many industry giants were discovered. Below are some of the stand-up comedians the show produced and are making waves:
Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basket mouth, is a popular and accomplished comedian. He was born in Ajegunle in 1978. The Abia state born is the first Nigerian to do one man comedy concert with Basketmouth uncensored.
Ayodeji Richard Makun who gained popularity under the name AY, the self-acclaimed “Warri boy”. He started out as a PA to comedian Alibaba and he came to limelight on the stage of ‘Nite of a Thousand Laugh’. His impersonation of Pastor Chris Okotie brought him another level of fame.
Abovi Ugboma, is a Nigerian comedian, from Warri, Delta state. His show, Bovi man on fire, has been staged across the globe. He got his first big break in Nite of a Thousand Laugh.
Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule, popularly called Okey Bakassi, is a Nigerian Stand-Up comedian and actor.
I GO DYE
Francis Agoda, popularly known as I Go Dye, is a Nigerian comedian. He featured in the comedy show Nite of A thousand laughs 2000 year edition and made the comedy show. The vcd became the most salable comedy cd according to the marketer Mr Obino Music, he performed for a decade and he was eventually honoured by the producer of Nite of a Thousand Laugh Mr Opa Williams as the most outstanding comedian to have been on Nite of a Thousand laugh stage for ten years
I GO SAVE
Otaghware Otas Onodjayeke, professionally known as I Go Save, is a Nigerian comedian from warri, Delta state. I go save first performed comedy at the Nite of a Thousand Laughs show, organized by Opa Williams.
Bowoto Jephthah Oluwatiseyifunmi Tanimola, professionally known as Akpororo, is a Nigerian stand-up comedian. In 2008, he went into the National Comedy Challenge by Opa Williams and he won the Calabar zone of the competition.
Onyebuchi Ojieh, known as Buchi is a Nigerian stand up comedian. He met Opa Williams, who gave him a spot on his Nite of A Thousand Laughs show.
Alsoo read: TOP TEN COMEDY SKIT MAKERS IN NIGERIA