This New Trend Is Keeping Odisha Hooked

While the art of performing comedy has always existed across the world in some form or the other, certain changes in the 20th century gave rise to what we call stand-up comedy today. ‘Stand-up comedy’ has its origin in the classic Parrhesia around 400 BC, used by cynics and epicureans, to tell the truth in a funny manner.

In India as well, the stand-up culture isn’t groundbreakingly new. People like Raju Srivastava and Johnny Lever have been present since long back. In fact, the very first stand up comedy performance to be documented in India was a Bollywood show where Johnny Lever performed on stage for an hour.

At present, with the wave of the millennials changing the culture of entertainment, stand up comedy has transformed and now includes observational comedy, blue comedy, dark comedy, clean comedy, and cringe comedy. With the invasion of YouTube, several stand-up comedians have taken the internet by storm. The breakthrough of AIB Knockout was the key milestone of the evolution of comedy in India.

As the comedy circuit grew across the country, Odisha did not lag behind. Talented artists like Biswa Kalyan Rath (professional Stand-up comedian), Biswapati Sakar (Creative Director at The Viral Fever (TVF)) hail from Odisha. Moreover, there have been an array of comedians performing regular shows in Odisha because of the huge demand for comedy in the state.

Here is a list of 5 of our favourite comedians who have recently performed in Odisha:

Biswa Kalyan Rath

Rath hails from Odisha and is an Indian stand-up comedian, writer, and YouTuber. He came into prominence through a YouTube comedy series, Pretentious Movie Reviews, with fellow comedian Kanan Gill. He has performed several times in Odisha.

Zakir Khan

Khan is an Indian stand-up comedian, writer, presenter and actor. In 2012, he rose to popularity by winning Comedy Central’s India’s 3rd Best Stand Up Comedian competition. He has also been a part of a comedy show called On Air with AIB. His alter ego aka “ShaktLaunda” has been a pop culture theme in trend amongst the stand-up watching audience. Last year Khan’s performance in KIIT University was sold out and in the stand-up lingo “he killed it”.

Kunal Kamra

An Indian stand-up comedian, who is famous for his quirky political satire, Kamra hosts a web series on YouTube titled Shut Up Ya Kunal. A clip of one of his gigs, uploaded on YouTube in 2017, lead to him receiving death threats for his satirical take on Indian hyper-nationalism. He has been a perfect blend of comedy and politics. Kunal recently performed in Odisha.

Abijit Ganguly

Ganguly is one of the few bi-lingual stand-up comedians in our country who is equally comfortable in both English and Hindi. His humour is essentially anything and everything he finds funny, be it stereotypical observations, alcoholism, office experience, student life, relationships, parties, Bengali-Punjabi tussle, beggars, Facebook, societal problems, middle-class life, among others.

Kanan Gill

An Indian stand-up comedian, actor and YouTuber, Gill attained popularity due to the YouTube series – Pretentious Movie Reviews, where he reviewed flawed Bollywood films along with fellow stand-up comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath. Soon, Gill went to reach heights in the stand-up circuit. His Amazon special “Keeping It Real” was highly rated by critics. Gill’s performance at XIMB was a full house entertainment riot. He has shown interest to return to Odisha to perform again.

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