Munya Chawawa’s current skits were a viral lockdown hit, now it’s prime time. He talks about racism, Matt Hancock and the psychology of laughter
You may not know the name Munya Chawawa, but if you have a Twitter or Instagram account, you’ve surely seen his face.
It doesn’t matter whether he’s telling the latest panic purchase of gasoline on blues hit 2001 “Too Close” or portraying adulterous former Health Secretary Matt Hancock for a version of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me,” the comedian’s sharp parody songs inevitable viral hits.
“That was a crazy day,” he says of creating the Hancock video. “As soon as I saw the story and saw how many people were talking about it, I knew I had to do something, whether or not I was in a creative mood.”
He wrote, filmed, edited and published the one-minute parody – which includes the text: “Even though she didn’t have her vaccination, she got a little cock from me” – within hours of after The sun the news of the politician’s extramarital affair.
“When people asked me about this video, I don’t even know what to say,” he says.
“I don’t know how I did it. I just felt inspired and the internet was just laughable. ”Since the song appeared on Twitter in June, it has received over 38,000 retweets and 105,000 likes.
Chawawa attributes his viral fame to good timing: he’s one of the few people who found the pandemic made his job easier.
“I’ve let a lot of things play out in my favor. We were all inside and no one had seats to be. The only person who stopped me from making the most of this year was myself. I was fortunate to have my camera, tripod and laptop with me – all the tools I need to work. “
Nevertheless, the 28-year-old does not want to be pinned into the pan as a social media flash.
“It makes me smile when people look down on TikTok or Instagram comedians like we’re these Gen Z snowflakes,” he says.
“Most of us know that if we went to a television commissioner and said, ‘I think I could do a pretty decent show’ nine times out of ten, they would say no.” Online platforms give people the chance To create “their own doors” into the entertainment industry, he says.
As if to prove his point, Chawawa is playing as co-host of his first prime-time television series tonight. Complaints welcome on channel 4.
He, Jessica Knappett, and Tom Allen form the “Complaints Committee,” which is tasked with reviewing the many complaints from the audience about weekly television.
No genre is off-limits, Channel 4 claims, and Chawawa promises all of the trauma caused by the. was caused Antiques road show Theme melody to the outrage caused by a look at “Amanda Holden’s areola”.
Grumbling is a coping mechanism for life in the mostly cloudy UK, says the comedian.
“It feels like our UK complaint habit has really increased in recent years – it has become our national sport. That takes advantage of that. The great thing about it is that you can complain and give us material for another four series if you don’t like it. “
Chawawa was born in Derby and moved to his parents’ home in Zimbabwe when he was four and returned to the UK when he was twelve. “My dad was trying to figure out the least likely places I would join a gang, so we moved to Norwich,” he says.
Not that he was in danger of joining one: “I was teachers’ pet. I was more concerned with reading the dictionary than with joining any gang. I think my father just misunderstood my preference for 50 cents. “
His childhood in Zimbabwe was happy and the “sunny side up” approach of living in the country – despite the political turmoil of the time – stuck with him.
“As a child, I was keen to experiment and very expressive,” he says. “When I moved to England I became more introverted. Only recently did I feel that I could show my true personality. “
Chawawa studied psychology at the University of Sheffield. “I wanted to be the quickest way to sit down and talk to people and help them,” he says.
“When I moved to England I quickly found that people don’t want to know how you are when they ask you if you are okay. I wanted to be the next – a little less creepy – Sigmund Freud. “
Instead, Chawawa went on TV and radio, but he believes his comedy can serve the same purpose.
“The perception is that it might not be a serious job, but when something bad happens, comedy is a necessary tonic,” he says.
“Laughter is an escape route. If we took every negative situation at face value, we would be the most distressed civilization on earth. Psychology is about learning how to help people deal with it – that’s comedy. “