India, where comedy offends all!
Let’s put it out there, I love comedy. Whether it is Ricky Gervais’s four-minute opening that provoked the audience at the Golden Globes, managing to insult A-listers like Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, and John Trovolta or All India Backchod roasting the shit out of Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh at the AIB Knockout, I back them all. If nothing, at least they make us laugh which is something that we could sure use a lot more of amidst everyone’s obsession with offence.
After the AIB Knockout, I specifically remember a heated conversation that looked something like this;
Roommate: “How can you insult someone with such obscenity? It’s so offensive”
Me: “That’s the way roast works. Why did you watch it? They had a disclaimer as well”
Roommate: “That’s not the point. We couldn’t even watch it with our parents”
Me: “Well if you are uncomfortable, then don’t. I don’t see your parents coming over while you watching Porn. Now, do they?”
Controversy that shook the nation! (OR so they say)
Something that forces Arnab Goswami to talk about it is sure as hell of grave importance. What is even more baffling is the fact that amidst all the Tanmay Bhat Snapchat controversy, the people who took offence did not include Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar. The offended audience included self-proclaimed and pretentious fans of the two. Talk about people taking offence on behalf of someone.
The good game of FIRs
You know you live in a dysfunctional environment when the numbers of FIRs filed against comedians are way up than those against criminals (blackbucks, anyone?). If anything that makes you laugh ranging from a clown at the circus to a man joking about the size of his penis, how can it be bad? Use public resources for a better reason, not for meagre gains.
People talking about Limits
This is the lamest thing I have ever heard of. Who defines “crossing the line”? I want to know these wannabes. If some joke aims at you or something you don’t approve of, it is “Oh my god! The next thing I am doing, is file an FIR”, but when it is aimed at another person or view, it is “Gosh! I can’t stop laughing. This guy is so funny”. Hypocrite much?
Prove your patriotism or die!
No matter how hard you and I laughed every time Kunal Kamra exclaimed, “ Siachen mei humaare jawaan lad rahe hain [video],” there are certain people who sent him death threats. Yes, the people who carry a rule book of patriotism locked in their pockets, ready to be thrown on others’ faces whenever they feel offended. Or as the disclaimer says, “India is a democracy, unless you criticize it.”
Sena > Everything
Comedian Sourav Ghosh faced an extensive flack for his routine about how Mumbai airports, are named after a historical personality (you know who). Not only did he receive abuses and threats on social media, he was forced to cancel his gigs in Mumbai, thanks to MNS and Shiv Sena supporters. Because, Sena > Everything!
The Corporate Gigs
Having attended more than 20 standup comedy shows and counting, one thing I have learnt is the game of corporate gigs is a lot more difficult than performing at a club. No jokes on religion, caste, politics, sex and racism because not offending anyone becomes more significant than being able to make people laugh.
The Comrades’ remarks
I remember Sunil Pal exclaiming, “Half of the audience in these shows are gays and lesbians and they enjoy the show because they love spreading filth in the society.” First of all, Raju Srivastava should have won the Laughter Challenge. Second, when did “Sanskar” include sexual origins?
Another one is Riteish Deshmukh on Tanmay’s Snapchat story, “Am absolutely shocked. Disrespect is not cool and neither is it funny.”
Looking at their films, Irony just died a thousand deaths.
Rising above all the allegations and filthy remarks, there are those who make us laugh no matter what. This is why I respect comedy artists. Not only do they teach us to laugh at ourselves, but every time I laugh with them, at least for that one fleeting moment I feel happy! In a world full of chaos,we all could use a bit more of comedy and a lot less of irrelevant outrage.