Stand Up comedy is not new to India. I recollect watching Filmfare award show on TV when I was in school and guffawing away at Johny Lever’s jokes. That was almost two decades ago… In the early 2000’s came a series of TV shows based on stand up comedy and the likes of Kapil Sharma, Raju Shrivastav became household names. With the rise of YouTube, India saw a whole new generation of celebrities – the YouTubers! This band was young, hip and their comedy is no-holds barred.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know about AIB and their (in)famous Roast. The group appeared at a discussion during the India Today Conclave and I saw a part of that video. What struck me were two things –
- Indian Stand Up Comedy is hard business. There is hardly any money involved. This deters a lot of talented guys from taking this up full time.
- The Indian stand up comic group is very small and a close knit community. In fact, Rohan Joshi of AIB said during the discussion that they used to be able to fit into one WhatsApp group.
I saw this and thought that these guys need to be encouraged. They need to becod-me more mainstream! I check out these videos when I am low and they sure make me upbeat. Besides, it is on demand, bite sized entertainment. Perfect for a busy me!! Other than AIB, there are a whole lot of really funny guys that I have found on YouTube. Abish Mathew is one of them. He is often the butt of jokes. Even on his own show! Then there is Aditi Mittal, one of the rare ladies who do stand up. And she is good. Have you read her tweets people?
Bhai please make up your mind ki tum pehele se zyada jeene lage ho ya marne lage ho? I cannot be dating some half-life zombie type creature.
— Aditi (hot takes 4 koolkidz) (@awryaditi) September 10, 2015
So, when I heard about Comedy Hunt, I was intrigued. What is this all about? When I snooped a bit more, I realised that this is a YouTube initiative where they try to find the next Big YouTuber in India. No, they are not looking for a tall fat Indian – they are looking at finding comedy superstars of tommorow.
The best part is that the stars of today are mentoring the newbies. Jusreign, East India Company, SNG, Shudh Desi Endings MOAR and AIB are part of this initiative. The programme has received a lot of support from the industry and you have sites like LiveinStyle promoting it. Check out the promo of the Comedy Hunt guys. It is HILARIOUS!!
I am looking forward to the finale… are you??
Day 17 – September Blogging Challenge