There are two kinds of stand up comedians emerging in India. One, who cannot end a sentence without the S or the F word. And then there are the ones who can actually crack jokes (not that they don’t swear at all). And slowly, I also see a beginning of the third genre who is using comedy to drive attention to some of the key issues our country is facing. The evolution of the stand-up comedy scene is very refreshing and encouraging to see, especially in a country that seems to be losing its sense of humor and the ability to laugh at itself.
There are a couple who I love to hear and follow on YouTube.
He’s a CEO turned standup comedian – probably the eldest in the fraternity but I guess that’s why inspiring across age groups to send a message that it’s never late to follow your passion. He is largely known for his Sindhi jokes – how everyday efforts to save every single penny creates comic situations. He isn’t even shy to crack a few ones on his age – turning it into an advantage!!
The ease with which he creates humor is amazing. I have seen very fewer folks trying out stand up comedy in Hindi and do well (although increasing these days). He definitely comes as one of the best. The theme of aam aadmi’s everyday struggles and feelings with a comic touch establishes the connection with that group of audience.
I loved his show “Chai Time with Kenny Sebastian” that picked up various topics like childhood comics, ladies purse, Indian kitchen and more. His sense of humor and the metaphors are amazing. He supplements that with the props and visual aid to increase the impact.
Former Director of Interactive Entertainment Business (XBOX), he is, again pretty much like Atul Khatri, a corporate drop out. In his 40s, he definitely inspires people – it’s never too late. He has a good variety when it comes to topics he picks up. I didn’t see any set pattern to expect when watching him again and again, which is really good for an artist. His selection of language (between Hindi and English) to communicate a joke or even a line within an entire piece to increase the impact is amazing.
We randomly came across his channel on YouTube and instantly subscribed to it. Politics is his forte. Very recently he has started his podcast named “Shut Up Ya Kunal” where he invites a guest, associated with the topic intended to be discussed – mostly politics and current affairs – and exchanges views and counter views on various aspects of the topic. The first episode had BJP Youth Wing Vice President, Madhukeshwar Desai, while the second one had Indian National Congress National Spokesperson, Priyanka Chaturvedi. The most recent one had the two JNU students – Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khaled. I loved the ease with which he discusses every single point in a logical way and still keeping it very humorous.
Besides these, there are other good ones like Nishant Tanwar, Vikramjit Singh, Anirban Dasgupta and Rahul Subramaniam. I don’t follow them but watch them whenever it pops up on my YouTube recommended videos.
Overall, it’s a healthy trend but it’s not yet reaching the masses who deserve to receive the context of a particular issue in an unbiased and possibly humorous manner which they don’t receive from today’s 24X7 news channels.