The Rise Of Standup Comedy Events In India

Posted at October 4th, 2017 | by Tithi Mukherjee | in Comedy, Entertainment, Featured

Gone are the days when youngsters resorted to watching Russell Peters on YouTube and laugh at the first-world jokes. Comedy is no longer restricted to Shekhar Suman’s one-man show Movers and Shakers or Johnny Lever’s hilarious, over the top antics in Bollywood. A new wave of  standup comedy in the country has brought relatable, Indian and most importantly, witty humour to our personal laptop screens. The content and format have no limitations and the sole purpose is not just to induce rib-tickling laughter, but also to raise the IQ of the comedy genre.

Biswa Kalyan Rath and Kanan Gill became overnight sensations with their ridiculously funny Pretentious Movie Reviews on YouTube that aptly made fun of popular Bollywood movies and drew our attention to their mindnumbing stupidity. Films like Gunda and Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon which have absolutely no logic or rationality bear this funny duo’s brunt.



After the controversial and very public ‘roast’ event, All India Bakchod popularly known as AIB, gained popularity as the highest rated comedy group in India. Their sketches and videos range from socially relevant topics like the arranged marriages and sexism in everyday life in their ‘Honest..’ series to nepotism and sexism in Bollywood.



Many upcoming comics also resort more to social media platforms than the TV. Mallika Dua is the latest Instagram queen and is reigning the Insta and Snapchat comedy circle with her rib-roaring sketches featuring her two alter egos, Makeup Didi and Shagun Di. Her antics and mannerisms have earned her a steady and increasing fan following and she is now all set to appear as a mentor on the upcoming TV show, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Another Miss Funnybone happens to be the adorable Sumukhi Suresh whose avatar Parvati Bai, the cunning yet cute maid who exposes her ‘didi’s’ domestic hilarity has caught all Facebookers’ interest. She and Dua also feature in AIB’s unabashed two-part video called A Woman’s Besties also featuring Kaneez Surka, yet another hilarious find.



This rise of Indian comics has been supported by the who’s who of Bollywood. Stars like Kangana Ranaut, Vicky Kaushal and Richa Chadda have been a part of AIB’s sketches that condemn nepotism, sexism and stalking in Bollywood movies. Internationally acclaimed star Irrfan Khan has also acted in AIB’s video Every Bollywood Party Song that instantly went viral. A recent collaboration happens to be between Nucleya and Varun Thakur whose Vicky Malhotra, a loud and small town stud character is another funny addition to this group of comics.



Following this steady rise of comedy as a genre, many youngsters have dared to associate this as a possible career option. Comedy events that take place across India, encourage youngsters to come up with their witty genre of humour. Abhishek Upamanyu, Sorabh Pant of another talented comedy group called East India Company, Malayalam cutie Kenny Sebastian, etc have made their mark on the comedy scene in India. Events like open mics at Canvas Laugh Club promote upcoming comedy artists and are held in various cities in India.



These comedy events have not only grabbed the attention of metropolitan cities, but are also spreading drastically over cities like Chandigarh, Pune, etc. Comedians enjoy packed shows and tickets are almost always completely sold out even in the small towns. The audience enjoys and appreciates the subtleties of humour and it’s not just restricted to a certain tier of society. Events like Punchliners, Headliners, ScratchCard, etc have come up with the exclusive aim to promote the comedy scene in India by holding events across the country.

So, from Vir Das who has actually reached Netflix level with his comedy to small town upcoming YouTubers, the genre of standup comedy in India is steadily reaching hilarious peaks and we cannot laugh enough!

Tithi Mukherjee


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