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The skeptical ballads of the Indian stand up comedians

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I should start this piece with a quote by one of the greatest YouTubers of all time- Francis of the Filth, aka Filthy Frank. “The Internet is a sport. It’s all about who can whine the loudest.” I still take this quote to heart because, for me, the achievement of Filthy Frank was mountainous than that of all the stand-up comedians in India.

There was a time when I used to respect the stand-up comedians. I watched some of the sets of George Carlin on YouTube. Sure, his jokes might be offensive, and at times his jokes were also against the establishment, but they’re superbly funny.

The same goes for Filthy Frank. I’ve seen him poking fun on subject matters considered to be off-limits. In one instance, I’ve seen him poking fun at Peta and their bullcrap ideology of saving animals while euthanizing more than 80% of the animals “they supposedly saved.” In the same video, he also brought up former US President George. W. Bush for starting the Iraq War (though it was brought up as a punchline).

Sadly, those days are gone now. Carlin passed away in 2008, and the man behind Filthy Frank (Joji Miller) retired in 2017 to focus on his music career. As much as we want those days to come back, it’s impossible to reiterate those two icons thanks to the greedy corporations which want to turn the internet into their brand-friendly police state.

So, what do we get instead? A bunch of whiny little stand-up comedian schmucks whose only source of revenue was to make political statements against the establishment and the country. I think you get the idea of who I’m talking about? (Kamra, Vir Das, and Faruqui)

In an article I wrote on Youth Ki Awaaz, I criticized Vir Das’s god-awful “Two-Indias” speech. (Chill Dude, Don’t Take Stand Up Comedians Too Seriously). To paraphrase it, the video was so unbearable that I couldn’t watch it entirely. Furthermore, he was in no place to talk about India’s situation when he got canceled for making LGBTQIA+ pro-noun jokes. Here’s the excerpt-

“If you ask me (I wonder if anyone asks me, insert sad violin meme), I didn’t like it. I have to be honest here, it was neither offensive nor was it funny. It was so unbearable that I couldn’t watch the whole video. Hell, I got the idea, where is this going? It’s like watching Kunal Kamra’s YouTube videos.

And now stand-up comedians like Kunal Kamra and Vir Das making videos that are outrage-friendly. They know people would be toxic enough to respond to them in kind. Their stunts would gain more publicity and clout. It could also increase more followers on Instagram and YouTube.

It makes me feel like he’s in no position to talk about India for the reasons he himself got involved in albeit one. (Remember this is coming from me, a fallen Edgelord). This is why don’t put him or any celebrity on a pedestal, liberals.”

It’s safe to say that people like Vir Das and Kunal Kamra are making statements rather than doing their jobs i.e. sticking to comedy. Crapping on the ruling party’s government and the establishment sure gets more clout, fame, followers, and money on social media. Their major demographics of audiences are liberals, Western audiences, and the Anglophile elitists in India. Where Filthy Frank wants to offend everyone, their major objective is to please the above-mentioned groups.

Since all publicity is good publicity, they know saying anything about the PM would make people too toxic to respond to them. It’s funny that they criticize roasters for making jokes and getting fame through controversies, but they do the same thing as well. They’re just the Anglo versions of The Kapil Sharma Show. They’re also the Anglo versions of Hindustani Bhau. They’re just Karens with god complexes.

Their endeavor reminds me of the Pewdiepie vs.T-Series where Pewdiepie joked about India quite a few times, and the people brought their pseudo patriotism over this. But where Pewdiepie joked about India’s flaws and stereotypes, Vir Das’s video had the intention of pissing off people while acting all high and mighty (same goes for Kamra). No wonder why it irked me.

Another stand-up comedian who recently just got under hot water was Munawar Faruqui. At the beginning of the year, he was arrested for making religious jokes. When he was released, his sets were getting canceled for the said controversy. A few days ago he decided to quit comedy while stating that “Hate won”

Whether the jokes were harmful or not is up for debate. Whatever’s going on with him might be wrong. However, he brought this on himself. It’s not hate, but rather it is called consequences. I can say that because I used to make offensive jokes too until I realized how harmful it was for me, my family and friends, and my mental health. My jokes were also potential targets for unwanted bad actors. My future could’ve been at stake as well.

I know I can’t take the risk. It was just not worth it. Faruqui doesn’t understand it, and when things went south for him, he decided to leave comedy.

In the end, don’t take stand-up comedians too seriously. Nor put them on a pedestal. They’re just pseudo critics pretending to be anti-establishment. But being a rebel doesn’t mean you have good intentions. They’re just adding more fuel to the fire in this political Chernobyl. Other than Faruqui, these guys are here to stay so raging on Twitter won’t solve anything. The best course of action at this point is to just ignore them and let them do what they’re doing. Eventually, they’ll fall apart too.

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