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Diary of a Badman: from YouTube to standup gigs

By River Reporter Dec 8, 2011

By Amirah Valu

Meet Humza Arshard, the YouTube sensation who has stormed the online world with crazy antics on his online show Diary of a Badman.

What makes this uprising comedian, known as Badman, someone we should be keeping an eye on next year?

It might be his good looks or his funny one liners or the way he can tell a story and make it relatable to so many young people today.

“It’s really hard being a young Muslim, Pakistani and British citizen. It’s all very confusing, like my Uncle Taj’s moustache,” said Humza.

 The 26-year-old comedian from South London has become a YouTube sensation, gaining over 28 million views from his videos and is now playing his first ever UK stand-up tour.

The short comedic films he creates on YouTube capture the Badman in his day-to-day life of living in London, hanging out with his friends and causing the occasional bit of chaos. At the end of every video there is a moral message based on the Islamic religion.

“What I have tried to do with my comedy is to have a message at the end that is subtle.

“The messages put in them are to inspire the viewer to be a better person or learn something from it. You don’t have to be Muslim to respect your mum or learn that violence isn’t the right way. Any culture or religion can relate to it.”

Initially planning to do 10 episodes, Humza is contemplating whether to carry on with Badman after receiving “friendly threats” from his dedicated fans.

“There’s nothing really good on television these days, my fans want some form of entertainment. There is so much that I can do with Badman, it’s only been going for a year. I want to see what happens with number 10 and we will take it from there.”

When Humza first started part one of his diaries series, it took him three days to make, but as the diaries became more successful, they have taken him longer to create and edit.

“Everything has got bigger, there’s so much pressure because we have a larger fan base. Now it takes a couple of months.”

If you think that he is similar to his alter ego then you could be right.
“Unfortunately we are quite alike. But there are some things I exaggerate, like him being dumb, that’s not really me.”

Humza, who has been on his first nationwide tour across the UK this December, will be performing his last tour date Saturday at Kingston University.

“It’s a really great feeling performing in front of a packed audience, the buzz and energy is completely different. In my room I’m speaking to my camera and it’s really lonely.”

And expect some new material from Humza’s tour.

“I can’t rely on the same jokes all my life, I have to be creative and imaginative, and it’s not always the easiest things to do.”

Humza will be playing his last tour date on Saturday December 10 at Kingston Hill’s Lawley Lecture Theatre, 7pm – 9pm.
Black Beanies advised. Tickets cost £10.

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