With a line-up of 40 comedians and a crowd of more than 15000 people over three days, The Pune Comedy festival 3.0 was a massive affair. With a lot of sponsors, partners, and fans, this comedy festival is turning bigger and better with every edition. The festival witnessed a huge fandom that lead to cheers of joy and tears of laughter.
Spread across three days and three sections in each day, the festival got all the 15000 people in attendance laughing till their sides started to hurt. The three segments each day were separated by a 15-minute break and the show became funnier with every passing comedian. The new ones were kept in the first segment, the comparatively older (not by age, by experience) ones were kept in the second segment, and the headliners were in the third segment. It was a hilarious experience. So, here are all the highlights for those who were trying to recall names of the acts they loved and for those who missed this epic comedy extravaganza:
The first day of the festival had the most diverse line-up amongst all three. They had the pun lovers and the Punjabis, the Abish Mathew, the never-ready Aravind, and of course the final act of the day – the mast aadmi Biswa Kalyan Rath. It was a massive crowd for anyone to interact with, let alone comedians. Yet, nothing stopped some audience interactions and riffing off, courtesy Jeeveshu & Daniel. There we also found a little-known gem – Samay Raina, who was indeed the funniest of all in the first segment.
The show was set up in an open ground and there were mosquitoes enjoying an elaborate buffet dinner. Given this live situation, what a comedian can probably do about it, scratch you might think. No, they make jokes about it. The catch being, comedians can extract fun out of the most uncomfortable situations and Biswa did exactly the same. He is too good, not because he is just funny but because he can make any random shit sound funny AF.
It was impossible to pick the best act out of all because, well, look at the lineup. People laughed and laughed despite the fact that mosquitoes can enter their body through that massive mouth opening.
Highlight: Kunal Kamra came as a surprise act of this day. He was not a part of the line-up earlier but he performed because he was there at the venue. How cool is that? Also, a special mention is well deserved by Daniel Fernandes for improvising an entire set just because some people said they have seen him perform in past few months and hence may have heard his jokes. Very impressive and funny simultaneously.
Lineup: Atul Khatri, Kanan Gill, Anubav Pal, Rahul Dua, Sonali Thakker, Mandar Bhide, Pushkar Bendre, Masoom Rajwani, Manu Vijayan, Nivedita Prakasham, Guru Narayan, Shaurya Tyagi, Rohan Gujral, Anshita Kaul, Kajol Srinivasan, Govind Menon, Parijat Sarkar, Akash Gaurav Singh (host)
In the last edition of the PCF, Kanan Gill had a brief confrontation with the Pune police while he was performing the closing act of the day and the event closed sooner than it was supposed to be. This time Kanan made sure he performed the entire set (not just 20 minutes) and hence he was the second last act of the day. Not only this, the incident also contributed to a small part of Kanan's epic funny material.
Age gives you experience, and experience gives you stories. Atul Khatri, being a true Sindhi, uses his 50 years of life stories to make money and then obviously to make people laugh. He was also the closing act of the day. Sonali Thakker was the only female in the second half of the day and once you watch her perform you'll know why. She made people laugh with a straight face, no kidding.
Everyone from Anubav Pal, Mandar Bhide, Bend-kar Push-re…urm…Pushkar Bendre to Rahul Dua contributed to an evening full of LOLs and claps.
Highlight: Rahul Subramanian who was supposed to be a part of the line-up couldn't be a part of the festival because he was getting death threats from DJs. Awesome! He recently released a trailer of his Amazon special on YouTube. His jokes in that video revolved around DJs and hence the threats. The organizers informed the audience about this with a sad face, but other comedians didn't let us feel that Rahul was missing from the lineup.
Fans came in groups and crowds on the final day of the festival. The third day had the shortest line-up out of all three yet the most amount of people. People came well in advance just to take the best possible seats for the one and only – Zakir Khan. He was the headlining act of the day along with names like Sumukhi Suresh, Punit Pania, Andy Reghu, and Gaurav Kapoor.
Gaurav was the second last act. He expected the show to be his AIB Diwas. And guess what? Everyone in the crowd got the reference. And why not, he was performing just before the man AIB Diwas is known for. Zakir Khan was welcomed with hoots and cheers. It was highly overwhelming for the crowd as well as the man on stage. Zakir is a storyteller before he a comedian and his stories are worth a wait of three days.
Keeping every emotion and political correctness aside, the third day was all about the man himself. Zakir completed 2 million subscribers on YouTube the same moment he was being given a standing ovation from an audience of 7500 people.
Highlight: There were two highlights of the third day. One was when the teary-eyed, overwhelmed and emotional Zakir had to nod while someone else thanked everyone on his behalf. The other one was when the main man behind the event, Avinash Agarwal, came up to the stage for an eye-opener. Actually, the organizers received thanking messages from DJs for not making Rahul Subramanian a part of the festival, thinking of the act as a support. But he came up on stage to tell them they don't. LOL, that was just uber cool of him to do that!
This was the third Pune Comedy Festival till now and it has only gone bigger since the first one. Keeping in mind the success of this one, we are sure there will be another PCF too. If you have read to the end of this, then you are a person who'll love being at this festival. So, when The Pune Comedy Festival 4.0 happens, make sure you attend it.