G.D. Birla Sabhaghar on the evening of August 30th resounded with laughter as Kolkata had its first dose of standup comedy in English by comedians from India and abroad. The show KALKUTTA KOMEDIANS is probably the only standup comedy show in English that has been organized in Kolkata and is trying to tap the talents of some of the city bred comedians as well as those from abroad.
The evening started with Raouf Gangjee, the half-German founder of Kalkutta Komedians introducing this “brotherhood of comedians” to Kolkata in his own style with jokes on practically every iconic figure that Bengal idolizes.
The first comedian who tried to tickle the funny bone of the audience present was Vaibhav Sethia, an IIT-ian turned comedian who is also a typical Kolkata bred Marwari with jokes drawn from the customs, thinking and behavioral patterns of the community. Vaibhav, though not an instant hit, did quite a wonderful job on stage.
Next on stage was Rj Shayan who started with the disclaimer that it was his first attempt at comedy in English which though right at the outset seemed quite funny did not go well with the audience till the end.
Shayan’s act was followed by that of Anirban Dasgupta’s whose favorite genre of jokes seemed to be politics as he had something or the other to say about almost all politicians, right from Rahul Gandhi to Derek ‘O’ Brein. Anirban probably got the loudest cheers from the men present in the show when he shared the secret of shutting up nagging wives.
And then came the star comedian, precisely the “Show Stopper” of the evening, Aditi Mittal who made sure that throughout the twenty minutes of her act the audience did not sit still in their seats. Right from jokes on politicians to FMCG products like the much hyped soap Dove to Sony TV’s longest running show CID, to the Sindhi-Punjabi community to the ever hushed up menstrual cycle of women and their sanitary pad woes to the acupressure chappals, Aditi had a joke for everybody and on everything. Aditi’s act probably was the only piece that would encourage people to come back again for a Kalkutta Komedians show. While speaking to Sholoana Bangaliana, Aditi even said that the only thing that she feels she can do best is comedy and she actually proved it in every way possible as we were treated with laughs and just more laughs all throughout the interview as well as her solo act.
Uma Thakar, the Australian comedian came last after the performance of the funniest of all, Aditi Mittal and thoroughly disappointed the audience as not a single act of hers could draw even a smile from the audience, leave alone a hearty laugh.
The next highlight of Kalkutta Komedians is a performance by Kolkata’s very own Mir that is scheduled for September 18th.
Kalkutta Komedians is indeed doing a wonderful job trying to infuse stand-up comedy into the DNA of Kolkata’s social circle and we wish them all the success in their efforts.