Comedy of tragedies in Nigerian popular culture

Tunde Adebisi, Henry Nweke-love, Edidiong Ayeni, Victor Afinotan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


The intrinsic consequences of political actions on society become more obvious in a developing state like Nigeria, where consequences of governmental actions or inactions over the years had become tragedies causing severe emotional, mental, and material distress for its citizens, one of which is insecurity. Nigerians have consequently turned to comedy for relief as the country’s comedy content is largely centered on ridiculing politics and inefficiencies of the government. This study, therefore, attempted to ascertain the utility of comedy using as a politically-induced social problem; insecurity as a paradigm. Three (3) politically-induced contemporary comedy shows on YouTube were analyzed using Sentiment Analysis in Nvivo and a search on ‘insecurity’ and/or ‘security’ was initiated. The analysis showed a predominance of neutral comments (53%) followed by negative sentiments (29%) suggesting that most Nigerians remain unperturbed about their tragedies as Comedy remains a tool for comic relief rather than for social change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-223
Number of pages16
JournalComedy Studies
Issue number2
Early online date9 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Appreciations to the owners of YouTube channels used for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Comedy
  • insecurity
  • Nigeria
  • popular culture
  • social media
  • socio-political tragedies


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