Hits and flops in funnies biz

Hits and flops in funnies biz

Punya Arora

Bengaluru is home to many people in the funnies business. They tell Metrolife their best and worst jokes. 

Punya Arora

A photographer-turned-standup comedian, she is happy she picked a profession where she gets paid to talk.


Jagdish Chaturvedi

Getting it right: During the trials, I try to find the rhythm of a joke. Once I have perfected it, I don’t exactly tell the joke, I sell it.

Always works: When I say, ‘I am a South-Indian Punjabi. I like my curd rice with butter chicken.’

Often doesn’t work: Trying to pull off a joke about a situation I’m stuck in, I say, ‘This is like Abhimanyu and the Chakravyuh’. People give me blank faces. I always thought it was a brilliant line.

Jagdish Chaturvedi

An ENT specialist, Jagdish likes making people laugh with jokes in Hinglish (Hindi and English).


Bhargav Ramakrishnan

Getting it right: It’s not what you say but how you say it. I work a lot on the delivery and use my theatre experience.

Always works: Bengaluru is a start-app capital. Har cheez ke liye app hai aaj kal. I searched to check if there was anything without an app. Aur uske liye bhi mujhe app mil gaya. It is called ‘Apne App Dhoond Lo’.

Oft doesn’t work: This has a low success rate: ‘Why do we call a toilet a restroom? Hum log rest karne jaatey hain kya wahan?’

Bhargav Ramakrishnan

Fulltime standup comedian Bhargav aka Baggy speaks in Tamil and English.

Getting it right: I always feel tense.

Always works: An experiment to understand people’s relationship with their fathers: Take their mobile phone, punch their father’s number and call. Daughters are usually father’s pets, so a girl’s phone will display, ‘Dad Calling’, ‘Daddyyy’, ‘Subu’, ‘Venky’, sometimes even ‘Subs’ or ‘Venks’ or such cute nicknames. But if it is a guy’s phone, it is likely to say, ‘M Venkatasubramanian BA, BL.’ Other ways the name is saved: ‘Torture’, ‘Hitler’ or even ‘Unknown Number.’

Often doesn’t work: “I have a theory Hollywood copies from the Indian epics. XMen are avatars of Vishnu and the Game of Thrones is just Mahabharata abridged. To prove my point I say the superhit sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother’ is a gender-reversed version of the story of Sita talking to Lava and Kusha. So the Ramayana is nothing but ‘How I Met Your Father.’ Somehow the joke never takes off.”


Sneha Suhas

Sneha Suhas

An RJ-cum-standup comedian, a lot of her jokes are about hecklers.

Getting it right: Ticketed events scare me. I cut myself some slack at open-mic sessions.

Always works: Quite a few actually. I start my shows usually with ‘I come from a minority community in Bengaluru: I am a Kannadiga.’ And it always works.

Often doesn’t work: There are some I am still working on, like ‘Jack in Titanic is a hot loser. He is a Superlike on Tinder but a reject on Shaadi.com’.  Another that always gets sighs instead of laughs is: ‘There is a magical word which turns on a lot of men in our country. It’s ‘no’.


Anup Maiya

Anup Maiya

A trainer at an IT company, he mixes his workplace comedy with Kannada puns.  

Getting it right: It depends on the crowd. When it’s Kannada jokes, the crowd is often dominated by people above 60.

Always works: A test lead says to a tester: ‘Naanu avaaginda bug torsta iddeeni, neenu nodtane illa.’ (‘Bug,’ or how ‘baggu’ sounds in conversation, means to bend.)

Often doesn’t work: How to make a girl invite you to her house? Ask her, ‘Do you like chapatis?’ If she says yes, tell her, ‘Make some. I am coming over.’ If she says no, say, ‘I like them, but never mind. I’m still coming over.’

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT