Imagine your virtual social life without abbreviations like ‘lol’ and ‘lmao’, seemingly incomprehensible slang like ‘mood’, and an endless variety of emojis. Boring, isn’t it?
Entertainment is a very important aspect of our lives. Earlier in India, comedy wasn’t as evolved as it was in western countries. Charlie Chaplin served as the inspiration for most comedians. And how can we forget legends like Mehmood, Asrani, Rajendra Nath, Johnny Walker, Keshto Mukherjee, and Kishore Kumar, who brought comedy to the screens of Indian cinema? Shows such as “Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai”, which prevailed before the era of stand-up comedy, still rule our televisions consist of sarcastic and self-deprecating comedy.
Next, came the advent of TV shows such as “The Kapil Sharma Show” (which all uncles watch ) and “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge”, now followed by “Comicstaan” on Prime Video. While late-night Hindi comedy-cum-talk shows like Kapil Sharma introduced new dimensions to stand-up comedy, Comicstaan, Son of Abish, and the recent One-Mic-Stand cater to the comedic sensibilities of the modern Indian youth, straddling both Indian and Western cultural references with equal ease.
Nishant Suri, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Raunaq Rajani, Samay Raina, Aakash Gupta, Kenny Sebastian, Russell Peters, and Zakir Khan, to name a few, are popular stand-up comics. With their content supported by streaming networks like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and circulated en masse through short clips on YouTube and other digital media, comics can now entertain audiences around the world and expand their horizons.
There are various types of comedy, with observational comedy being my favorite. It tells us about everyday mundane events that we never really pay any heed towards. This is followed by topical comedy, which tells us about the recent issues around us which we can relate to and learn from. Sketch comedy, too, is very interesting and relaxing, as we can sit back and watch a comic scene unfold with relatable and absurd characters.
But most of us don’t go around watching shows and movies daily. On a day-to-day basis, we simply scroll through our Instagram feed––liking and saving relatable, witty or nonsensical memes has become an integral part of our daily routine. Our partner’s cheesy messages do not bring that knowing smile that these memes manage to get every time.
Social media has made dog, cat and baby videos a trend––making the entire world like such uncanny posts, which can be varying degrees of unbelievable, hilarious and lame. Maybe this is where some people’s sense of humour lies.
In this world full insecurity, loneliness and depression, comedy cheers us up, makes us laugh. Comedians don’t mind being the butt of the joke themselves, just to elicit a laugh from us. After all, laughter is the best medicine!
What does this field hold for us now? Is it going to be more of memes? [Who knew memes were going to be a thing!?] Or reviving iconic shows like Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai? Or is it going to be a season of lame jokes?
Hang in there to know more––just don’t end up dying!
(Okay, that pun was a massive fail and has prematurely ended the stand-up career I never had.)
– Vaasvi Sethia, Arya Vidya Mandir, Bandra1 Like