Updated: Tuesday, 13th November 2018 @ 4:08pm

YouTube sensation Humza Arshad gets ready to take his 'Bad Man' show on the road

YouTube sensation Humza Arshad gets ready to take his 'Bad Man' show on the road

By Marya Yasin

Out of the numerous internet sensations YouTube churns out every day, one stands firmly apart.

Humza Arshad, 26, has been making viewers laugh out loud with his hysterical take on what life is like for a young British Pakistani Muslim, in his ‘Diary of a Bad Man’ series.
 
Since hitting YouTube in 2010 with his diaries, Humza has amassed over three million channel views and just under 100,000 subscribers.

Now he is hitting the road with a comedy tour of nine cities, including a visit to Manchester University on 27 November.

Mancunian Matters caught up with the busy Bad Man and proceeded to ask him exactly how he came to document his experiences.

“I wanted to do something that would relate more to the youth and that’s why I created the character Bad Man,” he said.

After school, the Londoner held aspirations of becoming an actor and studied performing arts. However, he admits that he was far too lazy to audition for acting roles.

“I just wanted to take the easy way out, so I thought let me make my own material.”
With his father’s help, he bought a video camera and iMac and began to upload his videos.
 
The diaries are viewed in countries such as Pakistan, USA, Canada and the UAE. He admits he was somewhat shocked when he found out that places such as China, Kenya and Singapore are also keen Bad Man viewers.

"I am so grateful for how big the response was," he said. “It’s genuinely crazy.”

His diaries include observations about South Asian families, his posse of misfit friends, and of course girls.

However, in recent episodes he has been tackling issues such as knife crime and betrayal.

The mixture of humour and seriousness that have come to typify Humza’s comedy style is not very far from TV sitcoms such as ‘Goodness Gracious Me’, which tackled issues of race and religion.

Humza credits the cast of Goodness Gracious Me for bringing South Asians to the forefront of the British media.
 
“It changed everything. Goodness Gracious Me was a big part of my life when it first came out,” he said.
 
Although his friends have been extremely supportive of his acting ambitions, his parents found the idea farfetched.
 
“When I went to my family and told them I wanted to do acting, they were like ‘you mean you want to be a doctor’-‘no I want to be an actor and a comedian’-‘oh you want to be a lawyer’. ‘No I want to be an actor’-‘no you’re not bloody Bollywood’.”
 
Asked why his videos have become a roaring success, Humza points towards the moral message at the end of each episode, after Bad Man finds himself in a sticky situation.
 
“A lot of comedy does entertain you, fair enough, that’s brilliant but that is all you get from it,” he said.

“But I wanted to give just that little bit more, I wouldn’t say education but maybe a push in the right direction, you know a little message and a good meaning.”
 
Humza understands the impact his videos have had and acknowledges that for the British Muslim Pakistani community he has become a positive figure.
 
“There is a lot of negative feedback from people who do not know about Islam and Pakistanis,” he said.

“I have to kind of represent and say we’re here, we’re human just like you, and we can have a laugh and show what we’re all about.”

Having recently uploaded the ninth instalment in the Bad Man series, his intention was to make the tenth one, the last. However, he is now rethinking this due to pleads from fans.

“I’m going to make number ten and I’m going to see how it goes. It was supposed to be the last one but obviously I realise there is so much potential with Bad Man.”
Currently, he is gearing up for his comedy tour and his impending visit to Manchester University.

“I’ve been to Manchester before and the people there are amazing.”
He will be doing some stand-up, taking questions from the audience and will show some unseen footage.

“It’ going to be fun for the family, fun for the friends,” he said.
To book your tickets, go to: http://www.badmantour2011.co.uk/ and to see the Diary of a Bad Man series click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/user/HumzaProductions
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