Social media has well and truly opened up the door for a new gen of creatives to inject themselves into the British arts and, without it, comedians and actors such as Michael Dapaah (Big Shaq), Kayode Ewumi (Roll Safe) et al., might not be the entities they are today. The online sphere has allowed for original, unadulterated content to really stick to the brain. Just one simple post on Instagram can change lives forever, and the living embodiment of this philosophy is UK funny man Mo Gilligan.
Through his Snapchat and Instagram pages, the South Londoner has gained fame and notoriety for his comedic repertoire — satirizing everyday situations we all encounter through a number of sketches and characters with such wit and precision that he's on the lips of anyone with a sense of humour. It's almost baffling to think that — despite his recent ascension — Mo has been navigating through the British comedy circuit for over six years, beginning at the age of 19 near his Camberwell home.
This exposure gave him the taste for more, and later sets brought about a continued stint as host of The Sunday Show. 2017 proved to be a breakout year though, with his online celebrity translating into a sold-out nationwide tour and a co-sign from one of the world's biggest music stars, Drake, who quoted one of Mo's most famous phrases in an Instagram post.
The method to Mo's madness is simple: through a vast range of characters, like 'The Geezer', 'The Roadman' and his 'Different Types Of MC' series, Gilligan captures and enhances the everyday. We all know — or have seen — the people he presents and his sketches serve as something of a social commentary on the vast subcultures of people in London. One particular highlight is 'The Geezer', the East London-repping man with his wife, Julie, tasking her to "get a coupla cans in", and singing reggae tunes in a high register.
These are characters that Londoners, especially, encounter on a daily basis and in a short space of time, Mo has mastered the art of satire, inflating them for maximum comedic effect. His Insta clips have caught on like wildfire, reaching as far out as the aforementioned Drake, Stormzy, and even national recognition via a recent presence on prime-time TV. This is set to continue this year after it was confirmed that he and fellow funny man, grime MC Big Narstie, are to host a late-night entertainment show on Channel 4. With this, Gilligan's graduation from internet sensation to TV darling has been confirmed and he is now a household name.
Staying true to his craft of stand-up comedy has proven a masterstroke, and through hard work and an incredibly unique set, Mo Gilligan has captured the hearts of many, injecting modern black British comedy back into TV. He continues to be consistently funny, taking every opportunity to prove himself with aplomb. And with social media becoming a barometer for the blow up, the example led by Mo is an encouraging one for creatives in Britain and beyond.