21-year-old Olajide Olatunji is one of the UK’s biggest YouTube stars. The 6.3 million YouTube subscribers on his KSIOlajidebt hub form an audience bigger than any British channel not name TheSyndicateProject, and the British division of an American cable channel is harnessing those fans. Comedy Central UK has launched Demolished, a five-episode series in which Olatunji–who is commonly referred to by the handle KSI–gets roasted by British comedians.
Demolished was inspired by Comedy Central’s roasts, in which well-known celebrities sit through a barrage of insults delivered from the mouths of comedian guests. In search of an influential star to show off on Comedy Central UK’s new digital division, exec Sam Delaney came to KSI, whose filter-free style and crass jokes makes him a perfect target for roasting. Demolished was filmed in June, and it is now available in its entirety on Comedy Central UK’s website.
In the first four episodes, a quartet of comedians–Kojo, Michelle De Swarte, Bobby Mair, and Alex Lowe–each take a turn firing off verbal abuse in KSI’s direction. The finale gives the YouTuber a chance to fight back, as he gets in some shots of his own. The whole time, KSI’s parents and his brother Deji (a fellow YouTuber whose channel is titled ComedyShortsGamer) look on.
KSI is a controversial choice for Comedy Central, since he has previously drawn criticism related to his disparaging treatment of women. Even so, KSI’s fans make for a dedicated audience. Many of them sent in their own playful barbs for Demolished, thus joining in on the task of roasting their favorite YouTube star.