Comedian Teju Babyface has taken the next step in his career with the introduction of his TV show, ‘The Teju Babyface Show'. The show which is forged after the Ellen DeGeneres', Arsenio Hall, Benny Hill and The Tonight's Show will be launched on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 on Silverbird Television, (STV), by 8:00pm. Teju gives us an insight into his new role as producer/talk show host.
Before the vision I caught the dream a few years ago when I got tired of waiting for my phone to ring, because that is what comedians do. We wait to hear ‘Hello, is that Teju Babyface, we have an event, are you busy?'
I thought it was time to be proactive and find other means of income that is not largely dependent on people calling us to be MCs for events.
People have said to me in the last few years ‘Teju we do not hear about you, you are not doing shows anymore and all that.' [Reason is] I have spent the last three years trying things that have not worked. I tried to do what I called ‘Comedy Academy'.
I needed funds and there were no sponsors. I also tried to do what I called ‘healing laughter', it was supposed to be a day of comedy at Christmas for the less privileged handicapped but there were still no corporate takers so I put it on the shelf.
Then it occurred to me when God gave me this vision that if I had a show on TV, I will be able to sell any other kind of vision that I have.
The ‘Teju Babyface show' is not only a talk show, it is like your one-stop shop as far as entertainment is concerned. Though influenced by international shows, you need to remember that it started with the Bala Mila show, a fantastic NTA production, and Zoom Time. The show will deal with political, medical, scientific, astronomy-related and religious issues. This show is [also] supposed to be home for up and coming comedians.
So far, the following people have been featured Abimbola Fashola, Muiz Banire, Dele Momodu Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), Asa, Basorge Tariah, Ali Baba, Basket Mouth, Okey Bakassi, TA, Holy Mallam, Koffi, Gbenga Adeyinka the first, amongst others. Excerpts from the show, reveal RMD miming Victor Olaiya's ‘Baby Jowo', Asa's dream guy and Mrs. Fashola answering questions on whether she suspects her husband of being unfaithful. Talking about the director of the show, Tade Ogidan, Teju says, "I did not think Uncle T will ever direct my show. You know how you think that asking somebody to do something is an insult, it was that sort of thing. A lot of the comedy ingenuity in the show that makes me look like a genius are the things he told me to do on the spur of the moment. As I speak to you, we are spending millions on the Teju Babyface Show and Mr. Ogidan has not taken or asked me for a dime. I have also been privileged to use his editing suite free of charge." He adds tongue-in-cheek. "The downside is that he now calls me for his family members wedding and I dare not open my mouth and charge."
When this vision was delivered to me from God, it seemed and it still seems like a lot do. Getting funds, the venue, the infrastructure, the equipment, editing, was a challenge. We rented the venue for two weeks, which means we had to shoot everyday for two weeks. Then the questions arose. "Where are you going to get the guests that will sit down? If you send out invitations for a hundred spaces, are a hundred people going to come? Are they going to come on time? How many shoots do you schedule per day? How do you make sure that Professor Utomi, Mrs. Fashola, King Sunny Ade, are in the country in those two weeks? All these and funds posed a challenge. Nobody wants to sponsor you anymore, everybody wants you to put it on TV and get followership before they come on board. We do not mind, it just means, if you should have paid N50 million at the inception, you will pay N250 million when it starts to air.
I hope that the time would come when, if you want to debut a new single or album in Nigeria, the Teju Babyface Show must be one of the places where you do it because our following is that strong. We have a segment that we could not accommodate in the first season which is called ‘Sweetest Moments of Life' where people send us pictures or short videos of things that they have seen or experienced.
For the next season, I also plan to bring on Ibrahim Babangida, dance performers Alfa Sule and magicians. The website comes online soon. There is a fan page on Facebook called the Teju Babyface Show and a YouTube channel where viewers can view excerpts of the show and drop comments on what they want. We plan to be on African Independent Television (AIT), Televison Continental (TVC), Galaxy and on every possible station here in Lagos before we begin to move into other parts of the country and then we go cable.
CLIPS FROM THE SHOW PREMIERING TOMORROW