The funny Indian boys on Amazon Prime
The last five years have been instrumental for standup comedy in India. We have come a long way from the infamous All India Bakchod quartet. Today, over 10 Indian comics have their own standup specials on Amazon Prime alone. As Rahul Subramanian and Kautuk Srivastava make their debut on the streaming platform, we review the new and look back at a few old ones.
You know a failed gig when a comedian needs to explain the context of his politically incorrect jokes. However, despite wasting a lot of his one-hour original on needless explanations, Rahul Subramanian somehow makes it work. He effortlessly moves from dealing with housemaids to hating DJs, the horrors of driving and the creative high of doing drugs. Not the best on Prime, but certainly watchable.
Prime Video's latest offerings are not even a whisker of its breakout standup originals. Case in point: Kanan Gill's last year's Keep It Real. It is everything you expect of great comedy gig. It's effortlessly funny, exceedingly well-written, the right amount of suave and charmingly performed. Also, a brilliant lesson for comics who think funny can't be done without hurling crass slurs and slangs.
Kautuk Srivastava's Anatomy of Awkward, which released on March 23, is as awkward as he claims he is in real life. He explores the life of an awkward guy when in different situations - parties, making out, Tinder. It's an unending, unfunny, unimaginative borefest that Prime Video could have easily done without. Should you give 66 minutes of your life to it? No.
There is a reason why Zakir Khan is hailed as the voice of single Indian men. In Haq Se Single, he is the Sakht Launda once again, the every Indian guy going through every modern-day relationship dilemma there is, from not knowing what sushi is to unrequited love. His USP isn't his humor so much as it's the relatability of his carefully-crafted persona and content.
Kenny Sebastian is a funny man. However, his Amazon special Don't Be That Guy is a bad example to illustrate it. It feels forced, as if Kenny is desperately trying too hard to impress. Thankfully, he isn't that guy. He is so much more. YouTube him if you want to watch him at his best. Or better, watch his latest web series Die Trying.