NOT FUNNY #AIB #ComedyNightsWithKapil

What we laugh at says a lot about us and off late I’ve begun to deeply question the collective conscience of the world’s largest democracy, and more so of the educated and empowered part of this population.  Let me look at comedy from a frame of objective criticism. Yes, everyone deserves to be criticised, just because its a ‘Roast/ Knock-out’ does not mean you can get away with saying or doing anything.

And yes, this is a queer person’s rant, but we don’t hear many queer voices in this part of the world, so don’t even dare to say ‘it’s your gay ego talking’

Is calling someone black funny?  ‘Oh you’re so black that your mother got you tested for Ebola!’ Really? The fact that countless people laughed at this joke bothers me. How can the colour of someone’s skin be funny? Similarly how is someone’s promiscuity funny? How is ‘she has been on top of all the stand up comedians funny? Calling someone a slut is funny? Sure, celebrate promiscuity but this really does cross a line. And if promiscuity is amusing, then what’s the fuss around Honey Singh’s songs? Just because the hindi translation of slut ( ‘randi’) sounds crass and is therefore intolerable? Do standards of humour and morals apply differently to classes?

Why would Ranveer kiss Karan Johar? First, where is the consent? As a queer person, let me put it out there-  we don’t go down on every penis that comes our way. I don’t need a heterosexual man to kiss me to validate my identity. Had Ranveer done it to a woman, how would we have reacted? Why don’t we treat our LGBT people with the same respect, care and sensitivity as we seek for women.

Further on, I would have been really happy if Karan Johar came out for real because that deserves to be celebrated in ways more ceremonial than a Knockout. An ace director, who has given legendary movies to Indian Cinema, must come out, if not for his sake, then for the sake of countless millions of people who look up to him. Since he really hasn’t I don’t quite understand what’s so ludicrous about his sexuality to be made fun of over and over again. We get it that he is a closeted homosexual man, but that’s nothing to laugh about. I am sorry, it really does undermine the struggles of an openly queer person in India. Would bedroom practices of a heterosexual man be funny?‘Oh he’s a sucker for bdsm – Now let’s say it over and over again and laugh about it. Not funny. It won’t make a good joke. But he likes it in the ass- So? He likes to fuck a vagina- Is this funny? No. Then how is ‘he likes it in the ass’ funny. I also find it deeply offensive when people ‘act gay’. I am sorry. You don’t have to ‘act black’ ‘act Chinese’ ‘act American’ or ‘act gay’ to show me sympathy or give me approval. I hate it when heterosexual men make homosexual gestures or act feminine. Please do not. It’s deeply offensive.

Look at Deepika our new feminist from the industry enjoy those oh so sexist and misogynist.  jokes, and where is the brigade of educated intellectuals now? Is the moral compass of our English Speaking population different from the fibre of the rest of the population? Is humor a privilege of a certain class?

And please for the love of humanity, don’t pull of such outrageous, tasteless and disgusting things in the name of charity. Oh wait, the money goes to a charity run by Tata, a corporate house which treats its tea plantation workers as slaves, and the other- Being Human- the prodigy of a man accused of murder. Hmmm… Charitable indeed.

We need to hold the same principles to sexual orientation and gender identity as we do to race, caste, religion and every other form of identity that wrongfully discriminates and till the time we are not able to look at gender and sexuality with the same kind of sensitivity we associate with religion and race we will not make progress. And at this moment, I’m really looking out for my feminist and equalist and liberal intellectual empowered friends to step forward and tell what’s funny in misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, sexism or racism. The fact that we do find it funny, really tells me that probably you don’t quite practice what you preach. If anything, it should make you angry, not tickle your funny bone.

In a famous weekly show ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ half of their caste is men who dress as women for their characters in the show. The whole country loves it and the whole country treats transgender people worse than you’d treat a street dog, and we treat street dogs real bad in India.  There was quite some outrage when one of the characters in the show dressed up as the other race to imitate popular tennis player, Serena Williams. I guess the question we must ask ourselves here is that if dressing as the other race for comic humour is not acceptable how is dressing as the other gender for comic humour acceptable?  The same show has also often mocked other ethnicities for their ‘small eyes.’ Similarly the show mocks the men who dress up as women to portray their character. I am okay with the crossdressing bit but I guess we cross a line if we don’t treat men dressing up as women to play a female character as female and constant reminders of their ugly masculinity underneath their female attire is something that deeply bothers me in the same way as similar messaging about innate attributes of other ethnicities bothers me. If it’s unacceptable to mock people for their small eyes, skin colour it should not be acceptable to mock someone for their gender identity. In one episode,  Sunil Grover, who for that part of the episode was portraying a male character taunts another character(male dressed as female) by saying ‘mard agaur aurat ke kapde pahnta hai toh achcha thodi lagta hai’ – ‘does it look nice if a man wears a woman’s clothes’  I started questioning the show from that moment, and having watched  a lot of episodes of the show and even loving it for its humour I have also begun to deeply question all the times when they cross a line and no one notices it. In ancient times, men used to play female roles in plays and they did justice to those roles, by portraying them with grace and honesty. They were female for their characters and would be treated so. What Comedy Nights does is make jokers out of men who dress up as women. The fact that men wearing women’s clothes is funny, bothers me. It may not be the intent of the show, but they sure must think about the repercussions of standing on the slippery slope they always find themselves on the edge of.

If you find it funny that a man dresses up as a woman, then there is something extremely disturbing about our conscience, because its greatly disrespectful towards the struggles of everyone who does not conform to the gender binary, and that we find bending the gender binary funny raises a really big question on our tolerance and acceptance of our genderqueer population. A crossdresser ain’t a clown, nor is any genderqueer person. If I walk down the streets wearing clothes of the opposite sex I don’t do it to be your clown and I don’t expect people to look at me and laugh. Don’t make me your clown, please.

Contrast this to a show Orange is the New Black which made Laverne Cox famous. In one of her speeches she said how her character of a transsexual person in the show really made people aware of the struggles of transgender people and it made people more sensitive. That’s the power of media and till the time we don’t hold our cinema and media as accountable we’re not heading anywhere. I understand cultural shifts take time, but its also time to start asking the right questions. We may despise nepotism in politics, but nepotism runs deeply in Bollywood too and I wonder why we never question that. Our cinema is a reflection of our society, and it’s time we really start deeply thinking of the content of our collective conscience.


6 thoughts on “NOT FUNNY #AIB #ComedyNightsWithKapil

  1. It’s not just the show though. It’s cinema as a whole. Pretty much every third movie has homophobic undertones all over it. Weirdly enough if a straight man starts tricking, like in the movie BA Pass we’re supposed to feel sad. But a home sexual person is only supposed to make us laugh boisterously. But I don’t think education and empowerment have much to do with it.
    You say that we need to grant sexual orientation the same sensitivity as we grant religion, race or caste in this country. But we actually don’t. And even if we do its all for show.
    People only get pissed off and want to kill each other over religion and race. That isn’t being sensitive. That’s just being crazy. We are crazy in India. And sadly enough I don’t see much changing. Not with ghar wapsi at least.


  2. Moral policing at its worst. Look at the positive and learn how to take a joke. Yes, they said horrible things but they hugged and laughed about it together. Learn something from that. Take that pole out of your ass but since you mentioned you’re a fag, you probably wanna keep it there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly, I think you need to relax and let it go rather than make such a big deal out of small iterations of our society. Be it Bollywood, #AIB or #ComedyNightsWithKapil

    Secondly, I doubt that this is that big or deep an issue that you’re trying to highlight it with such a strong emphasis on men dressing up as women for a comic feel of characters in #ComedyNightsWithKapil.

    Thirdly, judging the conscience of India’s ‘educated’ and ’empowered’ population on the basis of entertainment is quite baseless and it only highlights an ignorant state of the author who condems the entire society for having fun at the cost of small characters played in good spirit.

    As you mentioned Ebola, The number of mentions and disgraced comments in Western countries will outnumber a single mention in India by a million to one. Ive encountered people relating skin color to ebola, not just region (Africa).

    Coming to the topic of Honey Singh, the singer who’s first song was an mp3/ wmv sound clip by the name of ch*t volume whatever. Now the entire nation, more so the well educated population go crazy over his songs. They might be queer/ straight/ bi. That’s out of scope of the argument. The fact of this example is that if lyrics really are an important factor to judge an Indian entertainment artist, then I am assuming the author dislikes all Honey Singh songs, the entire Hip Hop/ pop genre of music where some girl shakes her booty while the other tempts others to have her milkshake. The lyrics of R&B, Rap and Hip Hop do not need an explaination. So please give our artists some respect who have claimed their fame.

    AIB are the most versatile group of artists that are well educated, contemporary and they’ve worked hard to be where they are. One cannot expect them to crack jokes about serious businessmen, boring topics and straight forward gymics to make our educated yet fun loving audience laugh. They are funny and great artists. #Respect

    Being queer is more open in India as is in other nations. Look at shows like #BiggBoss where the participants not only live with a queer person, they respect him, love him and are proud to show it to the entire nation setting an example.
    There are so many other nations and corners of the world where on paper, they are treated equally, whereas in reality they are treated in ways unimaginable.

    Karan Johar has the right to accept that he swings the same way. He fears that the jokes cracked on him would get doubled if he comes out of the closet. Well I would say it’s high time he does gather his balls and accepts and stands out as an example to the entire Bollywood and country that he is proud of who he is. This requires courage and he would always be respected for that by our ‘educated’ as well as society in general as well as his own kind (no offence but using blunt words)
    But the fact he’s silent shows how he feels embarrassed by his actions and doesn’t intend to ruin his reputation (he thinks like that) by accepting it in public.

    If jokes about men acting like girls is funny, the entire nation is laughing and taking humor in good faith then just accept it and don’t judge the entire educated youth as ignorant and sexist.

    It shows you being defensive about an identity factor and blaming the entire nation about it.
    Then it goes without saying you have never laughed on a single #YoMama joke in your life. If you have then you’re accused of laughing on a mother ( is that funny, huh? )

    Talking rubbish about great businessmen and legends like Ratan Tata who have not only become Billionaires, but also have led to a great Industrial growth of India as a nation.
    I am assuming the author, making such comments like “Tata, a corporate house which treats its tea plantation workers like slaves” would not know employment provided to poor people gives them atleast a sustainable livelihood. Tata would have created at least a million jobs. It is not only commendable but honorable and legendary.

    On this note, I am assuming the author would never purchase any product from Apple or Nike (Just 2 of many examples) where all the work is outsourced to Vietnam, China and Bangladesh and workers are not only highly underpaid, but also made to work 20 hours a day under extreme circumstances.

    Being Human is a brand loved by all. #SalmanKhan is one of the biggest supertars India has ever produced. He is more philanthropic than a million people in this country including the author and myself. There are countless rapists, murderers who have commited the crime ( in many cases both ), and are still roaming free without any fear.
    He does not deserve such harsh words just on the basis of a single mistake.

    Conclusion: Take a joke and laugh it off. Don’t judge others and specially today’s ‘educated’ ones because Social Media is showing the amount of progression India is making. Don’t undermine and question everything about our country. Be proud to be an Indian and see the positives.

    Here is my post on how indians are guilty of seeing the dark side only, in a flury of bright lights in the new age.

    Peace Out!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The above statement was professional writing to stimulate your mind since you use such great intellectual words in your article. Don’t show off turd. Being informal, learn to take a joke and stop criticizing great people who’ve worked hard to reach where they are.

    P.S AIB and CNWK, both super funny. Dont show off your intelligence too much and make every other educated person ignorant peice of shit.


  5. I support u laylesh….ignore this ignorant people….u took out the right topic comedy does not mean being racist but it should be light hearted this people are earning money by mocking on ugly stereotypes of misogyny and racism..


  6. I don’t think you deserve all these harsh words.. The fact is a joke is always funny unless it’s on you. Everybody here seems to have forgotten that.


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