Doses of laughter in 16

STAND-UP COMEDY

With Gulzar’s show being staged in the next auditorium, all of you have bought tickets to listen to BC.?” This was Raghav Mandava’s line as he opened the two-day festival of comedians, ‘Losers Nightout’ that was conceptualised and presented recently by Shoelace Productions at LTG auditorium.

Mandava was just being honest because the festival did see a housefull on first day itself. Crowds were seen waiting patiently for the gates to open so that they could go in, share some laughs and hopefully, de-stress their lives. And the 16 comedians provided them with not just the required amount but much more! Deepak Dhamija, producer of the show said, “I had started out to make a play on the dichotomy of reel and real lives of comedians but ended with a show where three stand-up comedians came together and we called it ‘Bar Boys.’ This year, it took the shape of a festival where 16 comedians were invited to be a part of the festival.”


Mandava kick-started the series and divided the audience cheers on basis of their profession, religion and marital status, etc. and had the audience in splits. But the best one was his statement on every mother’s habit of re-using bottles (without removing their original label) which often results in dhaniya ki chutney in a Nuttela jar and matthis in a box of Danish Butter Cookies. His jokes accompanied with gestures livened up the audience mood and set the course for the evening.

Though the evening opened with Niti Palta, the only fem­a­le comedian on day one, it actually took off with Monty Singh who presented his concern for Punjabis by making them the butt of his jokes. The pun centred around a ‘loser’s’ life and dumb relatives which was narrated in a particularly husky voice. But the comedian could not avoid the usage of the ‘F’ word.

Sayak Basu was up next but failed to impress the audience. His theatrics were funny but his jokes were not.

He kept referring to “crazy things keep happening” which he didn’t define, thus reducing the laughter levels.

The mood lifted again when Apoorva Gupta slicked up the comic accent in his distinct Hindi speaking style and jokes on professionals such as engineers.

While day one witnessed a largely Punjabi audience, the second day saw a number of Bengalis and South Indians in the auditorium who sat upright initially but later their were seen having a great time when comedians of various communities took digs at their own. Vasu Primlani was the the host and shared her experiences of India. Since she is an NRI, the common narratives were delivered from a different point of view.

Keshav Naidu’s experiences of South India and jokes on South Indians filled the vacuum that was overlooked on day one. Even Parsis were not forgiven as Varun Popli, a first timer on stage, cracked jokes on his own community.

Hilarious songs ended the show on both days. While Vipin’s I am a male you are a female/ chedunga tujhe toh jaunga mein jail/daddy mera karva dega bail/ghar lakar banayega meri rail...  in Hinglish was loved by everyone but it was Sameer Maira’s English piece Never ever fall in love with a porn star...  which was the real show-stealer. It starts I saw her at a party/ she looked really naughty/ and instantly I fell in love.

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