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UAE: Catch this desi comedy night in town

With old-timers playing hosts and newbies (young and old) bringing in the freshness


Purva Grover

Published: Thu 24 Feb 2022, 8:52 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Feb 2022, 8:55 PM

We returned to be in the audience for a desi comedy night after almost two years, partly due to the pandemic and partly as we’d lost interest in the acts. In the latter, the jokes were repeated and often circled racism, sexism and other ‘isms’, and whilst on few occasions they did draw in a good laugh, on others, they spoke much about the lack of good content. So, it was with little confidence, we seated ourselves on a weekday evening for a show hosted by Khichdi (Desi Open Mic) Nights titled To Hell With Valentines (The Anti-Love Show) at Revel Haus, Hyatt Place Hotel, Dubai. And we were in for a surprise and a good laugh, courtesy of the new and new-ish talent on the block.

Few of the ‘been there, done that’ comics did stick to their routine jokes, and to be fair to them, it’s tough to organise local acts regularly (and kudos to them for doing so), the acts of Miqdaad, TBONE and Amit Asudani (who returned to the stage after two years and good for him as it takes courage to be back) were close to a yawn and did not quite come close to the theme for the night as well, relying on the old formula of isms. The host, a local comic, Varun Bhatia, did a decent job at keeping the audience engaged and his crowd work did draw in few guffaws, even as a few one-liners seemed recycled.

The winners of the evening were the newbies. The energy on the stage is infectious and if it’s a newbie (not talking age!), you can almost sense it. A shoutout to Sandeep David, who aptly won the favourite comic for the evening as well. Sandeep put up an act on ‘how to approach a girl’ and with his voice modulation, comic timing and even a prop (a flashy hat) added a fresh dimension to the usual stand-up act. Azeem Khan, with his reliance on nostalgia and straight-face act, was refreshing to watch. Amit Dhawan’s presence on stage, complete with a focus on laugh-worthy content, worked to bring a youthful vibe to the evening. Nikhil and Ramita, the duo, earnest in effort, however, did not impress, for their act seemed to be a copy-paste of one-liners from the Internet. Sadiq and Emaad were two other names that stayed with us.

In all, the show did put our faith back in desi comedy, with the old-timers ensuring the show goes on, and the newbies (young and old) bringing in the freshness in content and hence the laughter. We’ll return!


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