Monday, 12 December 2011
No More "Night Of A Thousand Laughs" - Opa Williams
After 16 years dedicated to building the premier comedy show, Nite of A Thousand Laughs, comedy merchant and the man reputed to be the founding father of modern day stand up comedy in Nigeria, Opa Williams, is taking a bow.
This shocking news was contained in a statement signed by his media company, Media Image Managers, MIM. Williams, a movie producer and director, is resting Nite Of A Thousand Laughs. Consequently, the pan Nigeria show will have its last editions on December 26 in Benin and January 1 in Port Harcourt.
An emotional Williams said in his office that the decision to stop the show that has brought him fame and fortune as well as served as a launch pad to all popular stand up comedians like Julius Agwu, Basket Mouth and I Go Dye among many others, was “a hard one.”
And why would Opa Williams take such a hard decision after 16 successful years of taking the show to Europe and across Africa? “When we started Nite of A Thousand Laughs in 1995, we were the only comedy show, we were the real, and Nigerians witnessed something fresh and unique.
“Jokes were original and audience members actually laughed a ‘thousand’ times. Consequently, the show produced superstar stand comedians who got their first break on the stage of Nite Of A Thousand Laughs. These comedians went ahead to start their own shows.”
These shows became a recreation of Nite Of A Thousand Laughs. It turned out to be a ‘see one, see all shows’ situation. “The fallout is that the audience members paid dearly for this as they are short changed without knowing it.
As a pioneer, in fact the arrow head of the comedy revolution in Nigeria, I decided I won’t be part of this audience short changing scheme anymore, so Nite of A Thousand Laughs is stepping aside, to retain its dignity,” an emotion laden Williams said.
He brushed aside the insinuation that competition is forcing him out of the game he founded.