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Trevor Noah Is Not the Only Comedian in Africa

5 November 2015 2:07 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

When “The Daily Show” tapped South African comic Trevor Noah to take over hosting duties from Jon Stewart earlier this year, it simply confirmed what many on the continent already knew: African comedy is a hot commodity.

“Comedy is so central to everyday life here,” said Marie Lora-Mungai of pan-African studio Restless Global. “There’s such fantastic comedy in Africa that you have to do something around” it.

Restless’ first comedy series, Kenyan political satire “The Xyz Show,” has reached an audience of more than 10 million across multiple platforms. A Nigerian adaptation, “Ogas at the Top,” had more than 1 million views in its first three months on YouTube and, Restless’ online VOD platform.

Comedy is particularly well-suited to the digital age, with short skits easily uploaded and shared through social media. But Lora-Mungai said the two series’ biting satire has done more than just help the company to reach a broad audience. »

- Christopher Vourlias

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