Comedy in India is no more about stereotyped actors, double meaning jokes or males running around draped in a Saree.
The comedy scene in India has evolved, the audience is tired with the same old talent hunt shows where people crack WhatsApp jokes and the unending episodes of men dressed as women making sexist comments. The audience has shifted to the new age comedy which has not only grown popular in the last 5 years but is also giving Bollywood a run for its money.
We bring to you 10 stand up artists who have proved their metelle with their content.
10. Abhishek Upmanyu
Located in Delhi, Abhishek Upmanyu entered the comedy circuit in 2013. With an incredible 70 million views on his just 5 videos, Abhishek has set the comedy standard very high. Hailing from Delhi, he got famous for his hilarious views on culture shock he got after coming to Mumbai. His rib-tickling special is known as ‘Thoda Saaf Bol’ because Abhishek doesn’t have a clear speech. If you have not seen his videos yet, here is one of the only 5 he has on youtube.
9. Anirban Dasgupta
Anirban Dasgupta cofounded Comedified, one of the first comedy groups in Kolkata. An engineer turned stand-up artist, Anirban has been in the comedy circuit for a very long time. Anirban, who got married at the age of 24, talks about his inter-community marriage often on stage. He also has sketches on politics (Yep, he is a true Bengali), social media and various trending topics. Early last year, he had his own Amazon Prime Special called ‘Take It easy’ where he tells stories and experience of his hometown – Kolkata. His Love Song (Afreen Afreen) is my personal favorite.
8. Kunal Kamra
Kunal Kamra lived a dual life for almost 5 years, an advertising executive by the day and a stand-up artist by night (Not as cool as Batman though!). He is very popular for his unfiltered thoughts towards the government and usually talks about the problems of our country, politicians, current affairs etc. Apart from his stand up work, he also has a podcast called ‘Shut Up ya Kunal’ where he interviews people with an opinion on politics and has interviewed the likes of Javed Akhtar, Yogendra Yadav, Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Ravish Kumar along with other famous youth leaders of major political parties.
7. Aditi Mittal
Aditi Mittal is one of the first females in the comedy circuit. She is also an actress and a writer. Aditi Mittal is not only a popular name in comedy clubs of India, but has also performed in countries like USA and UK. Aditi, along with comics from across the globe, was also a part of a documentary, Stand-Up planet which is about a stand-up artists pursuit of humor. She was also the only female in the panel of famous and controversial AIB Roast. You can read more about Aditi Mittal on her Wikipedia.
6. Kenny Sebastian
Born in Kerala, brought up in Bangalore, Kenneth Matthew Sebastian popularly known as Kenny Sebastian has been a Youtuber since April 2008. Kenny is not just a stand up comic, he is a singer and a filmmaker too. With a lot of content in English, Kenny loves to give the Hindi touch which adds humor and is loved by the audience. On Amazon Prime video, he has done an hour-long special called ‘Don’t be that guy’. His ‘Chai time with Kenny‘ on youtube is very popular among the youth too. He also has an original series ‘Die Trying’ and an improvised show ‘The Improvisers: Something From Nothing’ on Amazon Prime Video. You see, there is hell lot of talent behind that cute smile and charming face.
5. Abish Matthew
Another YouTuber born in Kerala, Abish Matthew is our favorite because of his comic timing and clean jokes. We have all seen the famous celebrity talk show Son of Abish. Abish Matthew started the talk show around 5 years back. Son of Abish has seen celebrities like Irfan Khan, Vidya Balan, Vicky Kaushal, Zakir Khan, Sania Mirza, Farah Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Dulquer Salman, Swara Bhaskar, Arman Malik, Yami Gautam, Abhay Deol among many others. Abish has also collaborated with AIB on regular basis and was also a part of the panel on popular AIB Roast.
4. Vipul Goyal
Born in Rajasthan and an alumnus of prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Vipul Goyal is known for his crisp and clean comedy. He has content on Current Affairs, Indian Dads, Engineering, Management Facebook and Politics to name a few topics. Vipul Goyal is the only stand-up comic to have his own web series, Humorously Yours, produced by TVF, is considered as one of the most successful web series. Vipul Goyal has been a part of TVF Team and his videos are usually posted on their YouTube Channel. His stand-up sketch on Kashmir & Real Estate Price in India is one of his most loved videos. His sketch on Modiji and Taxes has more than 4.5 million views.
3. Zakir Khan
I believe a comedian who has the least haters is Zakir Khan because everyone loves him and his content connects with the youth on their day-to-day life. Zakir Khan is also a writer, actor, YouTuber & very few people know about this, he has a diploma in Sitar and is a college dropout. Zakir Khan, in 2012 won the Comedy Central’s India’s Best Stand-up, a competition for comedians and rose to fame after that. His “Sakht-
2. Vir Das
Raised in Nigeria & India and a graduate from Knox College, Illinois, United States, Vir Das started stand up comedy from his college days. Vir Das returned to India in April 2003 and since then has done more than 100 stand up comedy shows, 35 plays, eight TV shows, two movies & six comedy specials. He has written comedic columns for Femina, Maxim, Exotica, DNA & Tehelka. We know him for his quirky and funny role in Go Goa Gone but he has done other movies also like Delhi Belly, Badmaash Company and a very small role in Namaste London. Vir Das has two Netflix Specials ‘Abroad Understanding‘ and ‘Losing It‘. He is also featuring in the main cast of an American action comedy-drama ‘Whiskey Cavalier‘ which premiered on February 27, 2019, as CIA Agent Jai Datta.
1. Papa CJ
An MBA from Oxford, Papa CJ began his stand-up career by quitting his management job in London after he visited Edinburg Fringe Festival in 2004 where he performed multiple times later. Papa CJ is an internationally known stand up comic who has performed across all five continents. He was the first Indian to be invited to perform at the Just For Laughs festival in Canada. He was also first Indian to perform a solo show at Melbourne International Comedy Festival where he performed his famous, hilarious and an emotional journey of his life ‘PAPA CJ | Naked’. Apart from comedy, you can know more about PAPA CJ on his wiki.