Mimicry and oodles of laughter

Mimicry and oodles of laughter


A recent comedy evening at Alliance Francaise brought up on stage a young, struggling actor and mimic, Varun Thakur. He was one of the three stand-up comedians who headlined an edition of a series of comedy shows in town called Comedia Del Arte.

Shyam Bhat

A packed audience for a comedy show came as a pleasant surprise for starters. Wine glasses in hand, there were many murmurs from the audience before the show began. Shyam Bhat, a psychiatrist by day and comedian by night, hosted the evening and played out a few acts that barely managed to bring a smile, let alone laughs. Of the headlining acts, Canadian stand-up comedian Daniel Ryan Spaulding opened the show dressed in a bright pink outfit.

His jokes revolved around his recent stay in India and the lack of acceptance of his homosexuality. While a few of his digs on Australians and Americans did br­ing in many a laugh, a few others on Frenchmen and Indian gods didn’t go down to well with the audience leaving just a few sour laughs in the air.

What came next was the actual surprise package of the evening, a not-so-well-known Varun Thakur. He took to the stage effortlessly and won over the audience with his Mumbaikars jokes in no time. The audience was in splits as he enacted his opinion over everything from Mumbai traffic to train stations all the way to the vast number of struggling actors in the City.

His mimicry of actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Nana Patekar was met with much applause. While most of his style was easily that of slapstick comedy, he did space it out with a few subtle jokes. The audience laughed and cheered hard with little sign of offence even though he targeted Mumbaikars, Gujaratis and Bengalis. All in all, the evening did seem quite worth the effort with a few original Thakur jokes.

The last in line was Abish Mathew, a Delhi and Mumbai boy who hails from Kerala and bears a slight resemblance to Sachin Tendulkar. Predictably enough, his act began with a few Tendulkar digs and moved onto the Mallu brand of humour. A trained singer, Mathew kept a guitar handy and broke into song at random intervals. He switched between family and marriage jokes, Malayali jokes and a few Bengali ones too. His impersonations of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the Bengali version of ‘Terminator’ were memorable. On the whole, his act wasn’t the sort that would leave you laughing uncontrollably but would certainly bring a smile on your face.