There have been a lot of live comedy shows in India that have stood the test of time. Some of these have heavily relied on mimicry or taking potshots. Some of these keep the comic tone situational and subtle. The burlesque kind of genre, however, is the one that’s caught on like wildfire these days, at least, in the online market. And one of the reasons for that is undoubtedly the emergence of All India Bakchod (AIB). Co-founded by comedians Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhat, alongwith Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya, AIB presents edgy, candid and tongue-in-cheek humor without mincing any words. Gursimran Khamba (also known only as Khamba) is a stand-up comic, political satirist, and a writer from New Delhi, India. Tanmay Bhat, who hails from Mumbai, is a well-known scriptwriter who has also worked for Weirdass Comedy (an Indian comedy company started by Vir Das).
AIB crew is the one that actually started the trend of comedy podcast shows in India, which nowadays seems to be making a headway. They wanted to do something out of the box that would raise the bar of Indian comedy and target the youth platform. In an April 2011 blog post, Khamba wrote: "I’m pissed off that we don’t have an original voice in India – anywhere. We don’t have anyone who speaks truth to power. All we delve in is safe stereotypes about things we know the audience will like. We know saying b***c*** will make people laugh. We know every comic in Bombay will diss Delhi and make a rape reference, and everyone will lap it up." This quote clearly reflected the fire inside Khamba to change the perception of Comedy in India.
Besides having a cult following in online circuits, AIB is also gradually developing a loyal fanbase for their live comedy shows and their brainchild Royal Turds (a parody on the decadent Bollywood award shows) was an instant hit the year it commenced. AIB tasted instant fame with some video chartering an astounding number of YouTube hits. A few of their videos have also mingled social message with humor quite competently. In September 2013, a video “It’s Your Fault” starring actress Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pandey was released. Within a week, it crossed 1 million views on YouTube, creating massive hysteria.
AIB’s foray into the world of satire hasn’t been a bed of roses either. It has had its share of vituperative detractors who have taken their sense of humor in a flippant fashion. Yashraj team is one of them. In November 2013, when their request to spoof the trailer of Dhoom: 3 was turned down by Yashraj Studios, AIB decided to make a video dedicated to ‘Grumpy Ole Bollywood’, that found its following in the many Social Media aficionados who shared it on their respective profiles, garnering a mostly viral response to the video. AI B has also started taking a keen interest on political matters. They recently uploaded a video titled Nayak 2 : The Common Man R ises. Featuring Alok Nath in the lead, it’s basically a spoof on the uprising of Arvind Kejriwal, his robust party and subsequent government developments. The video already has more than ten thousand likes on YouTube and is slowly and steadily gaining much popularity.
Delving into their boisterous track record, it would be safe to predict that the prophetic signs seem bright for this young, enthusiastic and bold team of AIB. Inimitable, brazen, in-your-face, yet so funny – AIB is certainly here to stay.
By Anubhav Shrivastava