Is Demi Adejuyigbe the Funniest Man in the World?
Is Demi Adejuyigbe the funniest man in the world right now? Obviously funniest person in the world is a bullshit title with no real meaning, because God knows there’s probably some dude in Antarctica so fucking funny he would literally make you shit yourself with laughter talking about the differences between men and women. But for the sake of this rticle I am going to argue that, yes, Demi Adejuyigbe is, in fact, the funniest man in the world.
It is not at all unusual for guests on Punch Up the Jam, the utterly essential comedy music podcast he hosts with the delightful Miel Bredouw, to end a podcast by telling Demi how unbelievably talented he is and how blown away they are by the work that he’s done “fixing” the pop song they’ve been dissecting all episode long through some manner of parody or mash-up or other elaborate sonic re-imagining.
This never comes off as fawning or sycophantic, smarmy or insincere. The guests aren’t sucking up to Demi; they’re merely acknowledging the incontrovertible reality of Demi’s awesome, overwhelming talent. I discovered Demi when I stumbled upon a Punch Up the Jam episode on “Summer Girls”, a song that I am unhealthily obsessed with to the point that I want it played repeatedly at my funeral, and if anyone doesn’t like that they can go fuck themselves.
I binged everything afterwards and while not every episode is as consistently brilliant as the ones devoted to “Summer Girls”, they’re all pretty fucking brilliant. I am continually blown away by Demi’s talent but even by the comedian, podcaster and writer’s exceedingly high standards, his mash-up of Morrissey and Green Book is fucking God-level genius.
On the Punch Up the Jam episode on “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” Demi confesses to not being terribly familiar with the Smiths but that somehow has not kept him from understanding Morrissey, Morrissey’s persona, Morrissey’s personality, Morrissey’s tics and mannerisms as a singer, a songwriter and a human being and pretty much everything about Morrissey so deeply that it would be easy to mistake him for a huge lifelong fan.
The conceit of “Morrissey's End Credits Song from "Green Book” is right there in its title. It’s a fake Morrissey song crooned from the perspective of Viggo Mortenson’s reformed racist in the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.
Every line of the song is laugh out loud funny but it’s hard to beat couplets like “Racism’s easy to defeat/Just drive a black across the south and force him to eat KFC!”, and “Oh the Green Book.I’m now a better man, I used to hate the blacks, but now, consider me a fan!” for pithy hilarity.
Demi gingerly, gleefully destroys the film’s condescending, self-congratulatory, hopelessly glib take on racism when he sings, “There’s nothing wrong with being proud of who you are/For me, that’s born and bred Italiano (Mamma mia! Pizza pie!)/But don’t forget that other people have their value too/Like did you know that blacks can play piano?”
Morrissey’s own racism lends the song an additional element of meta-comedy and comedy. Demi might not been overly acquainted with Morrissey’s output before this song and the “There Is a Light and It Never Goes Out” but he absolutely nails the singer’s sing-song rhythms when he drones, “I’m no longer racist, we can be friends/I’m no longer racist, we can be friends/I’m no longer racist, so now we are friends/I stopped being racist, and now the black man is my friend.”
I have not seen Green Book. I’m not much of a fan of movies that win the Academy Award for Best Picture because they tend to be glib, self-congratulatory, hopelessly white meditations on racism that are, at best, oblivious and at worst pretty goddamn racist.
Now I particularly don’t feel the need to see Green Book now that the funniest man in the world has transformed one hundred and thirty minutes of cinematic hooey into two minutes and twenty-three seconds of pure comic gold.
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