It takes two to three days for YouTube to convince me to watch a video unless it is big bang theory bloopers, celebrity gossip or contains high-quality images featuring lip-smacking street food. When an awkward tall guy appeared on my homepage for a week in a row I scoffed at YouTube and its AI system for badgering me into watching this stupid stand-up comedy act! There never has been a time I haven’t hated stand-up comedy. It’s unforgivably cringe-worthy to watch all the lights turn on a single person while he pulls out the memorized gigs he possibly performed on dozens of stages by now. If anything, jokes should be spontaneous.
Apparently, stand up comedy acts are very popular in the west and there is absolutely no way you can watch ‘America/Britain/Australia’s got talent’ without putting yourself through these really lame gigs on dogs, cats and every other silliest concern on the planet.
Then there was All India Bakchod, gaining nationwide attention through AIB Knock-out roast. They redefined the line separating comedy from offence to Indian audience, taking it a notch down to most people despite all the buzz that followed. AIB was successful in advocating mockery based on physical appearance, age and challenged other delicate concepts prevalent in all civilized societies under the pretense of net neutrality. They managed to get the laughs at the expense of someone else’s deep hurt feelings, which was not my idea of jokes at all.
The title read “ Dark skinned and Getting married/Sai Kiran. I gave in after being taken aback by the number of views the video had managed to gain in the two weeks. Three minutes into listening to the weird looking guy with a sound that didn’t suit him, I was creased up.
“ My grandfather was dark as coal but rich and my grandmother was fair like an albino but poor. That’s how they got together. Now look at me, I am dark and poor! “
I couldn’t hold on to my chair at this one and laughed so loud that my mom came and checked upon me. He was going on and on about the dilemma he faces as a dark-skinned man in finding a suitable bride. Regardless of being a country with the majority of the population being brown, India’s obsession with fair skin is out loud and deep-rooted. It is impossible to escape the snarky comments and judgement while you grow up. Everyone aspires to be fairer and walks around in white-washed faces rather than embracing their natural skin tone. Quirky, witty and crisp, Sai Kiran’s engaging one-man act gave me a new perspective to addressing social stigma. One doesn’t have to bawl out and whine in order to focus the attention of the audience to a socially sensitive issue. And Sai Kiran was bang on! That was a revelation to me which opened door to unique pieces in stand-up comedy by many young men and women.