‘Gender in Indian Standup Comedy’ – Aadar Malik

**In part five of the 10 blog series, we profile Aadar Malik, and how he incorporates humour when speaking on serious issues. You can read part one (Kenny Sebastian), part two (Aditi Mittal), part three (Sorabh Pant), and part four (Nidhi Goyal).

“Kudiye ni tere brown rang ve,
Munde should be alright with the color of your skin
Colour of your skin, colour of your skin,
I don’t have any right to judge you by the colour of your skin
Housewife bann na
Ya office job karna
It’s your choice
Whatever you want to do with your life na
Excuse me miss
Kiss kiss kiss
Kiss main karunga tujhe after the first date
But if you don’t want to?
It’s cool, ill back away
Tenu rab ne husan ditta raj raj ke
Main kiha violet teri lip stick,
Bra that era laal
Wear whatever you want as long as you look like a maal. I mean
Shorts, skirts, or jeans, don’t make you a slut at all
All the mundas say that there is nobody like you
Main kiha someone who can hold a job, workout and raise a baby too
You livee girl!
And squat too, I can say
You so sexy but you know
In an empowering way
Kudiya nit ere brown rang ve
Mundes should respect your boundaries
And not call you late
Not call you late
Booty call bilkul nahi chal raha yaha pe
Roti bhaaji banane ka
Time se ghar pe aane ka
Your safety should not be an issue if you are working late”

For the entire episodes of Aadar Malik, log on to the YouTube videos, ‘What If Yo-Yo Honey Singh was a Feminist’. The Indian standup comedy industry is not only a new entrant in the list of cool career aspirations millennials seek but it is also a burgeoning culture of re-assessing and inserting humor in the ‘Indianness’ of an Indian life. It is through live performances / Open Mic nights that almost all the standup performers launch themselves. After which they financially optimize upon their live performance content through YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, SnapChat, Instagram and Facebook. Some of the standup comedy artists create separate content for Instagram and Snapchat.

The live performances and standup comedy stars are managed by new media organizations like East India Comedy, Canvas Laugh Club, Only Much Louder, A Little Anarky, KWAN etc. The target audience for new media is youth who extensively consumes internet. A lot of content is in Hinglish and hence the audience is required to know, understand and ideally speak the same in order to enjoy the humor. Keeping the target audience demographics in mind, we are looking at standup comedy to be popular in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Kanpur, Indore, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Lucknow, Patna, Vishakapatnam, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Gandhinagar. The aforementioned cities belong to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 classification. These classifications are arrived upon after calculating income of an individual and house rent expenditure.

The new media standup comedy questions the morality of India’s socio-culture fabric while the mainstream media standup comedy merely laughs at it or worse still reinforces certain questionable ideologies. At the outset, both seem to be thriving in the entertainment industry. However, which of the category an individual patronizes speaks a lot about that person’s own mindset.