FUNNY MEN: Samuels (left) and Shebada.
How does Jamaica’s enduring king of comedy feel about the sensational new kid on the block who many are calling theatre's new king? As it turns out, Oliver Samuels is a huge admirer of his younger comedic contemporary Keith ‘Shebada’ Ramsey.
“He apparently is doing tremendous work, and one thing I know because we now share the same space [at Stages, New Kingston] is that he’s got a very, very large fanbase. And I lift my hat to him,” Samuels said when he sat down last week for a chat on the increasingly popular Lauren O Lauren talk show, which airs on Flow TV. “And I also learned something about him a few weeks ago that he’s one of the kindest persons and one of the best human beings in this country. His feelings about people and about poverty are just absolutely amazing. He really, really cares for the less fortunate.”
Meanwhile, Samuels says he wouldn’t mind collaborating with Shebada on a future production, but notes that the young actor would have to tone down his famously exuberant stagecraft. “If the opportunity arises where I am asked to work with him, I’d love to do it,” Samuels admits. “But it won’t be this Shebada that you know, because I have certain reservations about theatre. So it would have to be a bit different. He would probably have to adjust, because I am old and set in my ways.”
CATCH THEM IN ACTION: Samuels is currently starring in Who Ah Di Don? while Shebada is up to his usual antics in the still-running The Politicians.