Article: On Comedy in India

Talking about comedy in India on the Random House India blog, Random Reads:

Comedy in urban India is going through an unexpected revolution. I say revolution, as if to suggest that it has come out of necessity (as the above anecdote hopefully reveals) but it didn’t.  Elite India always asked itself, after watching something humorous and western, why can’t we have an Indian Ali G or Seinfeld or even a mass product like a Hugh Grant romantic comedy?  But no one did much about it, except to watch Russell Peters, the Canadian Indian stand-up comic do Chinese impressions and jokes about his testicles (sometimes together) or download The Office or Entourage.

 

Suddenly, across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore a range of British and Australian comedians started showing up. Local comedians like Vir Das and Papa CJ (that’s not a restaurant but a person) found release through larger producers and bigger gigs. The Hangover, a Hollywood comedy about the aftermath of a Las Vegas night (tiger in the bathroom, baby in the closet, lost groom, lost tooth, Mike Tyson, unplanned marriage to stripper, clearly nothing hugely specific to us) became the highest grossing English language comedy ever. City hipsters found themselves laughing every other weekend, in halls previously populated by Naseeruddin Shah in robes and a sword, to Australians making jokes about Varanasi god men (bribes and weed) or Vir Das ranting about the Indian male sexual organ (small).

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