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Laugh riot, live

No one was spared, be it actors or politicians, in Shekhar Suman's two-hour stand-up comedy show in the city recently

IT'S TOUGH enough to talk on stage. More so when you have to be there under the spotlight for two hours. A little more when you are doing a stand-up show and all you have is a bag of jokes, a couple of unknown actors and a band of musicians. And even more when you have the burden of reputation — everyone thinks you are one of India's funniest. Some of them have paid a thousand bucks to see you perform.

Given the scale of challenges, Shekhar Suman was first rate and quick to spell out the rules, right at the beginning: "Welcome, welcome to the show. In any case, I have no other option since you have all come and you have no other option but to stay since you have come all the way and the organisers have left with your money. Do keep your mobile phones on. After all, it's a nice feeling to know that you have company and the hall is not haunted like our movie halls these days. And mobile phones, are in a lot of ways, similar to women. They are always on. Only, that in the case of mobile phones, there is a silent mode. Don't try to stop children from howling or running around. In any case, everyone in the hall will soon be howling and running to the exit, unable to stand my jokes. Those who want to leave, leave right now since the doors will close in a couple of minutes. In the hope of two more people coming in, we can't risk four people leaving".

Salman Khan. Vivek Oberoi. Laloo. Vajpayee. Sonia. Musharraf. Shatrughan Sinha. Dharmendra. Amitabh Bachchan. Dev Anand. No one was spared. Not living people — the whole of the Indian population. Not dead people — ghosts. Or even the hosts - Shekhar got his actors to pull his own leg as well and he made fun of his own team on stage. Irreverence was the name of the game.

But the Hindi talk show laced with a little English, went down really well with the north Indian community, which turned up in large numbers. The organisers, Events and Studioworks, had a packed house on both days. "The decision to have it on two days was made only 10 days ahead of the show, after seeing the response we got," said Jai Mundra of Events.

There were a lot jokes below the belt too - jokes on fat people (ooops!), for example, didn't really fall into the category of Shekhar's definition of his brand of humour. "When the laughter dies out, what you are left with are serious issues," he had said, on the eve of his show.

What was the serious issue about the Indian government not running a truck service but a bus service to send Adnan Sami back to Pakistan? Anyways, it has to be said here that Shekhar Suman, came to Tamil Nadu and left safely, without a single joke on the Chief Minister.


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