A small stage, catering to people not more than 300, in some mall, with spotlight just on the speaker and their logo in the background. Instead of speaking up about the hot topics that are catering to the controversial heads in our country, the young person at the microphone specialise in offensive snarls and ridiculing and constant roasting. Instead of getting backlash from the audience for offending them, the audience awards the person with roars of laughter and applause.
Let’s go back in time, when the comedy was slapstick, which involved poking fun at other known celebrities and often mimicking them. Such comedy found its platform on TV shows like Indian Laughter Challenge, Comedy Circus and the legacy can be seen to be followed religiously by Kapil Sharma. However, the times have changed, and changed for good.
I have never enjoyed such slapstick and cheap comedy, and that’s when we were awarded with the invention bought forth by Vir Das. Cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, with an established pub culture, soon jumped into the frenzy that was initiated by Vir Das- stand-up comedy.
The art of stand-up comedy soon developed into an up-market act enjoyed by many, people who enjoyed Russell Peters and the oncoming of what Comedy Central bought to our country. Both these things made us attune to the idea of stand-up comedy, and we started enjoying the art of it. The laughter that came in ripples was something everybody wanted to experience. Before we knew, it was the next cool thing. All wanted to catch an act, and soon these act started selling like hot pancakes.
The stand-up artists, now agree that the scene and scope for stand-up acts has grown because good venues now exist and audiences are read pay, and ready to have taboos mocked rather than take offence and sulk, like many in our country do. Sulking is a thing in our country, right next to intolerance.
So, here’s a list of few stand-up artists that are worth a watch:
- Vir Das
Vir Das, can be credited with bringing the entire scene of stand-up comedy to our country. His versatility has made him one of the most popular face in our country. He has shared screen space with some extravagant caste, and is the only comedian to have established his career both as an actor and a comedian.
- Kenny Sebastian
Hailing from a defence background, Kenneth Sebastian spent his schooling years across different parts of the country. After his father’s retirement, the family settled down in Bangalore. He paved the way leading to stand-up, after participating in Stand-up Comedy festival in IIT Mumbai. Since then, there’s no looking back. He believes that stand-up should be done for the love of comedy, and when one stands up for nothing at all.
- Abish Mathew
Abish Mathew is a known face for those who are acquainted with AIB, and for those who don’t- he’s one of those against you are supposed to be offended. His performances are amazingly fresh and thoroughly entertaining, if a bit sexist in nature. He’s one of the most experience comedian in our country.
- Kanan Gill
He was working as an engineer, before he pursued his talent for stand-up. He gained popularity with the viral YouTube series Pretentious Movie Reviews. He reviews critically panned Hindi movies along with Biswa Kalyan Rath. He is, now, all set to make his debut opposite Sonakshi Sinha, in the upcoming film Noor.
- Aditi Mittal
One of the first women to do stand-up comedy in India, Aditi has been rated amongst India’s top 10 stand-up comedians by The Times of India. She is worldly renowned for her comic timings and her sarcasm which literally sets the auditorium with laughter. Mittal is one of the better-known faces of the Indian English stand-up comedy scene in India
- Sorabh Pant
Pants’ material has been described as, “over the top”, “manic”, and occasionally, “marginally unstable. Pants’ jokes take a dig at communities and involve a lot of sex. He is one of the most successful comedians in our country, having done 250 shows in over 17 cities.
Let’s get rolling, and of course, just with laughter.