As we observe International Happiness Day on March 20th, it is worth noting that India’s Happiness Index tells a rather sad story. India’s ranking has dropped to 140, making various neighbouring countries like Bangladesh a happier state when compared to ours. With one out of every four persons being depressed in India, it becomes quite important to battle what triggers the gloom. So, let’s learn to do things that keep you happy-- whether it is pursuing a hobby, meditating or even better-- watching few of the best stand-up comedians tickle the funny bone in you while you sit at home during the coronavirus scare. And remember to get professional help if you are suffering from a mental illness.
They say the toughest job for an actor is to make you laugh. And why not? That’s one of the things that we don’t quite easily do. Here’s a list of the best stand-up comedians in India that can make you laugh out loud quite literally!
If comedy offends somebody, do more comedy- Vir Das
Vir started a career in standup comedy before he starred in Bollywood Movies like Delhi Belly. He entered the international stage in 2017 and gained tremendous popularity with his Netflix special Abroad Understanding. In an episode ‘Vir Das-From India’ that was released in January 2020, the comedian goes on with his satirical appreciation of the country. Known for his wit dipped in humour, Vir’s jokes will not only make you laugh but also ponder. And guess what? With coronavirus having shut us indoors, we have ample of time to do that.
Who hasn’t watched ‘Pretentious Movie Reviews’ on Youtube? Anchored by Kanan Gill and his friend Biswa Kalyan Rath, the reviews called out Bollywood movies for making some of the lamest films. Whether it’s Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan’s over-dramatic acting in Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon or them calling out the 80s movies for going by the motto: Din Mei Respect Karenge, Raat Ko Sex Karenge, Kanan Gill is known for his perfect comic timing and tone. He also has an Amazon Prime special of his own called ‘Keep It Real’ and damn never knew real was this funny! So, don’t wait. Watch all of his videos now, if you haven’t already.
He started making the ‘Pretentious Movie Review’ videos on Youtube with Kanan Gill and there’s been no looking back ever since. The now stand-up comedian was once in the IT industry but he quit his job to pursue his passion for comedy. The ‘Mast Aadmi’ made a comeback on Amazon Prime with his super hilarious performances on Stand Up Specials. Not to forget, he also has over 600,000 subscribers on Youtube.
Known for giving a funny twist to song lyrics and his hilarious sketches, Abish Mathew is one of the most popular stand-up comedians in India today. After gaining a considerable amount of popularity with AIB, he started hosting a talk-show called the Son Of Abish where he speaks to few of his other comedian friends. Imagine Abish, Biswa and Kanan sitting together--you’ll most likely end up laughing till you cry. Well, that’s what Abish Mathew’s humour does to you. Here's a recent one with Swara Bhaskar on trolls!
Let’s start with the number of Youtube subscribers this one has--over 1 million. Yes, you read that right. After struggling for years in the industry, Kenny has come up as one of the best stand-up comedians the country has today. So, if you want to roll on the floor laughing, then do check out his Amazon Prime Special called Don’t Be That Guy.
Fun fact: Kenny is a musician as well and his love for the same is quite evident in his sets.
A businessman based out of Mumbai, Atul Khatri is a perfect example of how it is never too late to take up something you are passionate about. With over 300,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel now, Atul is one of the most loved comedians. My personal favourite is his ‘Justin Bieber Concert’ stand-up set--I have never laughed so hard my entire life! For those who haven’t watched it yet, please click on the link below and prepare yourself for a laugh riot.
Abhishek Upmanyu is one of the most underrated comedy stars in India. From dialogue delivery to comic timing to making relatable content--this young lad does it all and does it well. He has a whopping number of over 2.1 million subscribers on Youtube and the figure is only rising. Whether it's talking to friends who have had a breakup or highlighting the difference between Delhites and Mumbaikars--Abhishek does it with so much ease and humour! Check out his video below to make your stomach ache with laughter. You’ll thank me later for this haseen dard.
His is a story many seek inspiration from. Of what I remember, Kapil Sharma first appeared in a comedy competition called Laughter Challenge, judged by Navjot Singh Sidhu and Shekhar Suman. It was after years of being loved by the audience as he appeared in different stand up shows that Kapil took the big leap got a show of his own. The Kapil Sharma Show is one of the most hit shows on the Indian Television and is also considered as a hotspot for many Bollywood stars to come and promote their movies.
Popularly known as the ‘Sakht launda’, Zakir Khan has over 1.3 million subscribers on Youtube. His stand-up acts are proof that one can mock himself/herself and still rise to instant fame. There’s been no looking back for Zakir after he won Comedy Central’s India’s Best Stand-Up Comedian competition. The key question here is: what makes him different from the rest? He focuses on people’s daily life struggles, which is something the larger audience relates to--whether it is talking about love or friendships, he does manage to strike a chord with everyone. It is also worth noting that he is not only a comedy star in India but his shows are sold-out even in places like Singapore and Dubai. Also, if you haven’t already, then please do watch his Amazon Prime special called ‘Haq Se Single’.
Last but definitely not least, Aditi Mittal is one of the first and also one of the best female stand-up comedians in India. She rose to fame after being the only female in the AIB roast panel. With over 210,000 subscribers on Youtube, she is known for her intelligence and sarcasm. And guess what? Besides being a stand-up comedian, she is also a successful writer. Aditi’s hit Netflix special called ‘Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say’ is a must watch if you wish to enjoy humour with a hint of sarcasm.
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