Theatre

Gatecrashing with intent

The Comedy Central Chuckle Festival is back with their third edition, Uninvited

In 2013, American comedian Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias toured India for the Comedy Central Chuckles Festival, a visit that would later inspire his stand-up special comparing India to Mexico and busting myths that Americans believe about how ‘third world’ Indians are. Two years later, British comedian Russell Brand came down for the same festival, bringing with him his edgy, often offensive, humour.

This year though, the Chuckles Festival is changing things up a bit. The festival has introduced a new platform called the Chuckle Stop, a bi-monthly property across cities that chooses to focus on upcoming Indian comedians. Their first show, Uninvited, will feature comedians Jeeveshu Ahluwalia, Sundeep Rao and Daniel Fernandes and will be touring Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. If you need more incentives, Chuckle Stop has teamed up with the Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals (YODA) and 10 per cent of the Mumbai ticket sales will be going to a good cause.

Saugato Bhowmik, the Business Head- LIVE Viacom 18 and Consumer Products, says, “We see Comedy Central as a platform for all comedy talent. With a genre-defining brand like this, we feel it’s especially important for us to provide a platform for home-grown talent.”

The concept behind Uninvited is pretty interesting. Ahluwalia, Rao and Fernandes are from Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai respectively. “Since we’re touring all three cities, the comedian who belongs to the specific city will host the show while the other two will ‘gatecrash’,” Ahluwalia says.

Bhowmik adds that the comedians were the perfect fit for the show, since they have a dedicated following in their home cities.

Ahluwalia has been on the comedy scene for a while, refining his anecdotal and storytelling style of humour. You may recognise him from his debut in the 2015 movie Tamasha or from Gangs of Haseepur on Zee TV, but stand-up remains his first love. Rao admits he has a never-ending supply of blind man jokes since he’s partially blind, but the comedian’s charm is disarming, replete with witty quips and observational comedy. Fernandes, on the other hand, guns for more edgy and surreal comedy. Together, they are a force to reckon with.

Apart from promoting Indian talent, Bhowmik explains that these shows will also act as a build-up to the main Chuckle Festival event, which will take place around February next year and will feature top Indian and international comedians.

The CC Chuckle Stop Mumbai show will take place today at Deepak Talkies, Lower Parel from 8 p.m. See bookmyshow for details.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:53:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/Gatecrashing-with-intent/article15541289.ece

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