By Surangya Kaur
Do you remember the “Rape: It’s your fault” video? You might, it did go viral. It was a humorous, satirical take on rape culture as it is brewing in the contemporary world. They managed to rope in Kalki Koechlin for that one along with Juhi Pandey. It was released at a time when debates on rape and its causes were the hot topics for discussion in newsrooms as well as living rooms. The Indian household might have move passed that topic, as it has a propensity to forget quickly but these guys didn’t. They went on to tackle one social issue after another in their typical way: by squeezing out oodles of laughter from their viewers and simultaneously making them aware of the social stereotypes and obsoleteness still existing in our system.
Their next major hit was the question-answer session with Imran Khan on homosexuality. It was released soon after the government reinstated Section 377. Section 377 had mixed reactions: while many blew off their heads astounded by its absurdity and archaism, a much larger number breathed a sigh of relief. The video targets the latter, the homophobes. Although this again is done in a sarcastic and hilarious way such that the slow ones might not realize till much late that they are the ones being taken a dig at.
The channel is run by four stand-up comedians: Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya. And they are doing what few others dare to do, raise their voices, clearly distinguished from the crowd aiming at bringing a change in the status quo. They express the mindset of a chunk of India’s population quite eloquently. And most of all, they are not afraid to offend you.
It hasn’t been a breezy ride, offending people. They have faced spleen for it, been threatened and forced to take down their videos which just goes on to show that a gargantuan number of Indians still lack a sense of humor.
Not to sound biased, but Dhoom:3 did seem quite ridiculous, although I never dared to watch it. And the internet is brimming with parodies and spoofs of all kinds of movies, even the excellent ones. It’s all in good fun. But our film industry can be a real bore at times. These guys too made a spoof, a spoof on Dhoom:3. But I can pass no sort of judgment on it since I never got to watch it. It was taken down on the insistence of Yashraj Productions. Yashraj obviously dosen’t believe in all publicity being good publicity.
However, these four don’t take a telling off sitting quietly. That too an unfair one. Here’s how they reacted:
So, who are these four?
(Picked up from their website, Wikipedia and stalking them elsewhere on the internet).
Gursimran Khamba: He is India’s most politically incorrect stand-up comic, one-half of India’s most widely heard podcast titled All India Bakchod, a humor columnist and the brains behind one of India’s most widely read blogs www.gkhamba.com – a politically incorrect Indian website which looks at current affairs, politics and everyday absurdities through opinion pieces and comics.
Tanmay Bhat: He is one of India’s brightest comedians and one half of India’s number one comedy podcast All India Bakchod. He’s performed over 150 shows in over 7 cities in the last 18 months. He’s an improviser with The Cardinal Bengans,a television writer with over 8 years of experience (Filmfare Awards), a feature film writer, humor columnist, speaker at TedX and some say he’s very good with coconuts (no idea what that means).
Rohan Joshi: He is a stand-up comedian, writer, columnist, and occasional screenwriter. He used to be a full-time journalist, and it was this strong background in the highest form of Indian comedy that there is, that inspired him to quit, and pursue comedy full-time. TIME Magazine put Rohan at #1 on their 100 Most Influential People Who Might Lie About TIME Magazine Statistics List, and Newsweek calls Rohan “Huh? Who?”
Ashish Shakya: Ashish has earned himself a recurring spot at The Comedy Store, where his incisive observations about the idiocy and idiosyncrasies of the world – be it in the field of politics, entertainment or pop culture – have received a great response from an urban crowd that is hungry for more such no-holds-barred Indian stand-up comedy. And Ashish is more than happy to deliver.
So log onto their channel and go down in peals of laughter! Or better still, book tickets for their gigs as they might be coming to your city for live entertainment as The Royal Turds! (a classy name indeed).