Comedy Roots

Comedy Roots

Comedy Roots Images courtesy of: Dancing Cup, Bugolobi

We all need a good laugh from time to time. The challenges the world has faced over the last few years, highlights this more than ever.

Deli Jonathan Host of Comedy Roots at Dancing Cup Bugolobi
Deli Jonathan Host of Comedy Roots at Dancing Cup Bugolobi

It has long been established that laughter can not only benefit an individual mentally by stimulating the release of endorphins, but it can also help you physically through the intake of more oxygen rich air as well as getting that heart pumping.

It is not only humans who laugh either. If you are lucky enough to visit Kibale National Park, home to over 1,500 chimpanzees, you may witness the phenomenon of them laughing as they play and interact physically with each other. Gorillas too! Did you know there are scientists who are paid to tickle animals for a living, so they can record and study the results. It is safe to say that laughter is a serious business.

Uganda’s comedy scene

So, what do we do here in Uganda if we want to enjoy a giggle work-out?  It led me on a quest to infiltrate Uganda’s comedy scene. Yes, you heard me correctly. Uganda has a comedy scene like any other country on earth!


Another scientifically proven fact is that humans are thirty times more likely to laugh, if they are in a group (it seems laughter really is infectious), so I asked Siri where I could experience some comedy nights here in Uganda. I have a poor relationship with Siri. It started out well, but once the honeymoon period was over, it became strained. She lacks the ability to pronounce Ugandan words well enough in my opinion, and she has done little to improve herself over the years. I turned my back on her and tapped into Google instead.

Comedy Store Uganda

Comedy Store Uganda is a weekly live stand-up comedy show that was created in 2016 by comedian Alex Muhangi. He has hosted the show since its inception. The show is recorded on Wednesdays at UMA Multi-Purpose Hall, Lugogo, Kampala and is aired Fridays on NTV Uganda. It attracts a large crowd, and often has popular local musicians performing alongside some of Uganda’s better-known standup comedians. If you go, you should be aware that the show is delivered almost entirely in local language. Comics have tried performing in English, but the audience did not respond well. It is a high-energy show, with a lot of visual performances that can bridge the language barrier rather well. I tried Google Translate, but it was little to no help unfortunately, as the show was so fast-paced. I could have tried Siri I guess, but she is still not talking to me.

Comedy Black Friday

Comedy Black Friday is hosted by Okello Okello and started in 2019. It happens quarterly at the National Theatre. It has grown in popularity, and the venue is often packed. Performances are almost entirely in English, with a high-quality cast armed with a rib-cracking blend of one-liners and observational comedy routines that have consistently proved to be crowd-pleasers. The event has become so popular that it has been mentioned a larger venue could be needed. Okello and his team responded creatively with ‘Silent Comedy.’ This involved issuing headphones to audience members so they could enjoy the show from the comfort of the bar!

Are comedy venues tied only to Uganda’s capital city?

I was happy to discover they were not.

Laugh with Owakabi Comedy Show

Laugh with Owakabi Comedy Show has operated for 4 years in Northern Uganda. It has steadily grown during this time, hosting some top African comedy acts like Eric Omondi, Klint da Drunk, Ann Kansime, Pablo, Emma Napoleon, and Optional Allan among others. Laugh With Owakabi Comedy show is a weekly standup comedy show that happens at Bomah Hotel, Gulu.


As in any city, the comedy scene has many smaller venues that offer a steppingstone for fresh comedy talent to hone their skills (or die trying). The Green Bistro New material night (hosted by Timothy J Nyanzi every Monday night. Green Bistro doubles as a garden centre and is located along Kira Road in Bukoto.

The Green Bistro – Bukoto
The Green Bistro – Bukoto

Dancing Cup Restaurant in Bugolobi

Dancing Cup Restaurant in Bugolobi has recently launched the Comedy Roots night. It is a monthly standup comedy show hosted by one of Uganda’s upcoming stars Deli Jonathan. I caught up with Jonathan and asked him to tell us more.

Deli Jonathan

Host of Comedy Roots at Dancing Cup, Bugolobi.

“Comedy Roots offers a platform for performers trying to break onto the comedy scene. We add live music performances to add a certain spice to the evening’s entertainment. Our sets are in English and have an international flavour. Through our partnership with the Dancing Cup team, we are able to offer opportunities to young performers who find it hard to gain experience at the larger, more established venues. We also always ensure female performers have equal opportunity to work on their sets with a live audience.”

“Larger, more established venues, only book bigger names that attract ticket sales. However, with Dancing Cup and The Comedy Roots teams working together and cost sharing to deal with advertising and transport expenditure, we are providing an alternative. If the industry is to develop in a professional way, it is essential that new artists gain experience on the smaller stage, and we are very happy that Dancing Cup’s management are supporting us in making that happen.”

Flower A regular feature comic at Comedy Roots never fails to charm the crowd with her unique brand of observational comedy
Flower... A regular feature comic at Comedy Roots never fails to charm the crowd with her unique brand of observational comedy

For more information

Please contact Dancing Cup

Location: 71 Luthuli Avenue, Bugolobi, Kampala
Tel: +256 784 093797

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