Opey Olagbaju Is a Singular Single Comedian

Transitioning between jokes with “I’m single” is a stand-up cliché so ubiquitous, it was parodied by Andy Samberg in the 2011 SNL sketch “The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Tour.” Samberg’s character, Chip “So Yeah I’m Single!” Feeney, is an instantly recognizable archetype: a comedian who tells a joke about their quirky or off-putting behavior, then adds, “I’m single” for another laugh. It’s a crutch comedians rely on for momentum, and it works. But in a recent Don’t Tell Comedy set recorded at Ilan Dei Studio in L.A, comedian Opey Olagbaju demonstrates that, when deployed strategically, this stock go-to still has the potential to elevate a set in surprising and memorable ways.

Throughout the ten-minute set, Olagbaju — who’s performed on Comedy Central, written for Hulu’s I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman, and sold a pilot to Hulu with comedian Biniam Bizuneh in 2022 titled Bammas — showcases his knack for breathing new life into potentially tiresome material like this. Even the video’s title (“Dating Is Trash!”) paints a picture of a far less original act. But buoyed by an easy charm and writerly sensibilities, Olagbaju enlivens a number of overused premises, like iPhone users’ discrimination against Android users and a woman who identifies as a “vegan witch,” by sidestepping easy targets and finding fresh angles. “If I got shot by the cops because they thought my phone was a gun, you’d be upset,” he says. “But if you found out that it was an Android, you’d be like, ‘Well …’” Rather than mock this “vegan witch” for her beliefs, he draws from personal experience to question her commitment to her avowed lifestyle. “I’m from Nigeria. I know real witches,” he says. “You don’t do what we do … You’ve never killed a goat. You’ve never slit a goat’s throat and drank its blood, and I know you haven’t, because that’s not vegan.”

But the most memorable part of this set is the way Olagbaju uses “I’m single” as a recurring motif to create an overarching sense of structure. He kicks off the set with this declaration, gets mileage out of it after his impassioned defense of being an Android user, then breaks it out a third time after a particularly profane bit about loving anime goes awry. “Back in the day, you couldn’t talk about anime, because everyone assumed you liked hentai,” he posits. “Yeah, I watch hentai. I jerk off to cartoons. Y’all watch real people fuck. Gross. Y’all watch real people? What the fuck’s your problem? You watch a motherfucker with a social security number give head to a n- - - - who has student-loan debt? You’re the loser, not me. I’m watching a Pokémon and a Digimon run a train on Sailor Moon. That’s what I’m watching. You ever see Pikachu cum? You ever see that shit?” He pauses for a beat before continuing: “But I am single, though.” It’s a tag, a callback, and a segue that grounds him in familiar territory again. And it kills.

Earlier in this joke, Olagbaju draws an analogy to illustrate how much Black men love anime. “We love it so much we’re starting to act like we invented that shit,” he begins. “We’re gonna do to Goku what white people did to Jesus.” While Olagbaju is taking credit for things he’s dedicated to but didn’t invent, he might as well lay claim to the “I’m single” maneuver, too. Check out Olagbaju’s full set above — it’s worth it.

Opey Olagbaju Is a Singular Single Comedian