Raging identity wars among the stagnant cultures of our country inculcated proficiently with an inherent sense of patriarchy as I write this article but let’s just agree to the fact that Indian female comedians are not that funny, regardless.

And I’m not even being sexist.

Before feminazis decide to feast on this article like vultures on a dead corpse in a desert, let me assure you that I’ll try my best to present an unbiased view and channel it into a positive discourse with a critical analysis of comedy as an act and its flag-bearers in India, in the modern times.

Let’s take a look at comedy as an act and primarily deal with the concept of stand-up comedy in India:

You’ve got your average Joes, you’ve got the elites (Biswa Kalyan Rath, Sorabh Pant, etc.) and you’ve got the cringe-worthy Bollywood comedians but we’re not gonna talk about those (sorry, Johnny Lever).

Sorabh Pant
Sorabh Pant, one of the top stand-up comedians in India.

So what makes the elites funny?

One simple answer: QUALITY JOKES.

Also, on a totally related note: Our List Of The Top 5 Stand-Up Comedians In India

A dynamic stage presence added with the carefully woven punchlines make up for subtle yet ridiculously funny jokes and that’s why they are highly marketable. So far, so good.

These mentioned comedians (and many more names) have made a name for themselves and established stand-up comedy as a credible profession, putting it all over on the Indian subcontinent.

The main problem which we’re now gonna focus on is female comedians (primarily, stand-up comedians) in India and why this apparent wave of dormant sexism is entrenched in their mindset:

Looking at the 2 most prominent female comedians in the stand-up comedy scene, let’s look at the situation of Aditi Mittal and Neeti Palta.

Neeti Palta (L) and Aditi Mittal (R).

Now I respect these ladies for taking a stand and establishing themselves in the scene but it remains a well-known fact that female comedians as a community are under-appreciated, less investor-friendly, and most importantly, undervalued.

Why? Let’s Look at Their Content:

Looking at the kind of content which has made Aditi Mittal relatively popular, her rather well- videos on “female struggles” which including talking about how difficult it is to buy female lingerie and discussing menstrual cycles pass off as BARELY LIKEABLE, an opinion shared by many but voiced by few.

The core message of her videos is loud and clear but as a stand-up comedian, you need to be humorous and not act like a preacher on social issues.

Same for Neeti Palta, as she continues to talk about social issues or everyday shenanigans with barely any punches to her jokes, which can be passed off as borderline lame.

And a very important point: Using the word “BC” (which is an acronym for a rather popular cuss-word in Hindi) doesn’t make you cool or funny, Miss Palta. And neither does flaunting a Punjabi accent, only to fail at it. Punjabi is a beautiful language, kindly don’t spoil it for us.

And as much as I’ve tried to find genuine reasons to solve the mystery of the relatively low number of female comedians in India, I keep circling back to your videos, only to be greeted by a dose of mediocre, lame, dry and borderline slapstick humor with the same monotony of core content.

And mind you, as I said: I’m not a sexist. Proof: I don’t like Atul Khatri for the same reason. Too many cuss words don’t add any weight to jokes or humor of any kind.

Now I agree to the message of this slightly exaggerated article on HuffPost which discusses how 5 male comedians and only 1 female comedian were invited to discuss “sexism” in the profession of comedy but how long are we willing to live in the dark to acknowledge the reasons of under-appreciation of female comedians?

Dear Miss Palta and Miss Mittal, let me tell you something:

Your jokes are average at best. Deal with it.

The facade of dormant sexism can only help you as much if you for once acknowledge that the problem lies, within.

Sure, sexism is bound to exist in some or the other avenue in any profession but does it make the entire profession or its pursuers, sexist?

And why not take some inspiration from female comedians like Mallika Dua, who has made a name for herself with her YouTube videos and Facebook appeal. And ever wondered why she has done a great job in such less time? Oh, wait. Yes. It’s because she doesn’t constantly crib about how sexism has bogged her down.

And owing to our habit of aping the Westerners, why not look at the likes of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey? They’ve been in the biz for more years than you can count on your fingers and still keeping it fresh as if they just started off, a day ago.

Calling the audience sexist or calling the profession sexist might not always be correct.

Kindly open up your stance towards constructive criticism and ironically enough, grow a sense of humor.

Image Credits: Google Images


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