Humza Arshad is an unlikely internet star: a self-styled "troubled young man with the mentality of a seven-year-old", whose webcam monologues and sketches touch on issues from arranged marriage, to his aunty's moustache and his contempt for dhal. But his Diary of a Bad Man series, launched late in 2010, has become a worldwide hit, attracting 35 million views to his YouTube channel.
Diary of a Bad Man is a satirical take on British Asian culture, with a twist: the videos all end with a moral message. If there's anyone that deserves your "patience, kindness and respect", he says, "that one person is your mum". Indeed, Arshad's most popular clip features a rap battle between him and his mother (who wears a niqab), in which he raps: "If you wore a cape, you would look like Batman!" Other clips show him mocking his father's vanity when describing how he met his wife in Pakistan, and joking with a devout friend whom he calls "Taliban". (...)