No Laughing Matter: Why is the Indian Comedy Scene So Morose?

POV

No Laughing Matter: Why is the Indian Comedy Scene So Morose?

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

first saw Being Indian’s stellar digital documentary, I Am Offended in early 2017. The documentary traces the history of comedy in India to the early days of Mehmood, the struggle of Johnny Lever, and the journey of Vir Das. It features a veritable who’s who of famous and soon-to-be famous comedy professionals including Vrajesh Hirjee, the AIB quartet, the EIC gang, Aditi Mittal, and more talking about not just the craft of comedy but also about the consequences of speaking truth to power. So impactful was this docu, that halfway through watching it, I was convinced that the comedy scene in India was truly revolutionary. It gave me the courage to go ahead and register for my first comedy open mic.

An open mic is basically a karaoke for comedy, but we are a different breed of besuras – slightly sanguine. Aspiring stand-up comedians like me actually believe we have a shot at making this our career.

READ MORE

Comments