Could be funnier
70%Overall Score

Shashi Tharoor is the best thing about Amazon Prime’s new stand-up show in which celebrities get behind the mic after being mentored by professional comedians.

Directors: Kreeti Gogia, Angshuman Ghosh, Stephen Alexander, Manu Prakash Singh
Writers: Dhruv Deshpande, Siddharth Dudeja, Aishwarya Mohanraj, Pavitra Shetty, Sapan Verma
Cast: Sapan Verma, Bhuvan Bam, Zakir Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Angad Singh Ranyal, Richa Chadha Ashish Shakya, Vishal Dadlani, Rohan Joshi, Shashi Tharoor, Kunal Kamra
Seasons: 1 (2019)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Amateurs are paired with seasoned comics

Amazon Prime released One Mic Stand on Friday, November 15. In this format, celebrities are paired with professional comics, who mentor them before they take the mic. Each episode has sets by the celeb, the mentor and the host, Sapan Verma, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses of the prep. YouTuber Bhuvan Bam is matched with comedian Zakir Khan, actor Taapsee Pannu with Angad Singh Ranyal, singer Vishal Dadlani with Rohan Joshi, actor Richa Chadha with Ashish Shakya and Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor with Kunal Kamra.

Shashi Tharoor’s set is encore-worthy

The mentors succeeded in tutoring their wards for the celebrity participants staged fun sets. Bhuvan Bam jokes about his YouTube characters (Bam’s fans request him to utter abuses like his potty-mouthed characters); Taapsee Pannu tackles getting trolled on social media (she’s “dear” on Facebook, “babe” on Instagram and Twitter thinks she needs to cover up); Richa Chadda takes a crack at Tinder and marriage (if parents operated Tinder on behalf of their kids, how would they swipe?); and Vishal Dadlani takes on mental health. The episode that truly stands out is the one with Tharoor. He cleverly takes potshots at the ruling government and pokes fun at his own habit of using obscure English words in his tweets.  He is mentored by Kunal Kamra, who is also known for his sly anti-BJP jokes. The two have in common another roast-worthy individual, a certain TV journalist (who the nation knows very well) they don’t name or he might file a defamation case.

The comedians deserve more screen time

Both celebs and their mentors deliver sharp punch-lines and brave, political humour. Each of the five episodes are 30 minutes long, making the series a quick snack. However, it would’ve been tastier had the behind-the-scenes bits been trimmed. Our attention wavered during these moments of the show and we wished more time had been allocated to the stand-up routines, especially Tharoor’s memorable debut.