Being a corporate slave with no life, I am not ashamed to admit that I pay hard cash to laugh. Yes, it’s been scientifically proven that laughing is good for health, that laughing increases your well-being and that laughing makes you a better person. Altogether, laughing.is.a.medical.necessity and companies should reimburse us for any expenses incurred at The Comedy Store.
Lately I have been having my daily dose of laughter for free by just switching on a news channel. Mamata Banerjee’s antics (and speeches) can easily put a stand-up comedian to shame. But since yesterday was a holiday and Anuvab Pal was performing, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to spend my evening listening to a fat, short, bald and badly-dressed Bong guy (that pretty much describes most Bong guys I know) make fun of himself, our community and the sprinkling of Bengali audience present at the show.
But 'The Nation Wants to Know' turned out to be a let down: while he was a natural on stage, the script left much to be desired despite a good start. Yes, the obvious jibes at our political leaders (without Ms. Banerjee, half of country’s comedians will be out of work) were funny; yes, the Arnab Goswami impressions were begging to be made fun of and yes, the stereotyping of Bengali men (lazy/cowardly/bordering on gaydom) were easily identifiable. However, at the end of the day, we came out feeling a little disappointed: the humour was loud, the humour was crass, the humour was forced, more like what I would see in a Rohit Shetty movie.
Call me old-fashioned, but I still like the touch of subtlety as opposed to on-your-face jokes, I still like wit over gags, I still like quiet sarcasm over vulgar puns and I still like the straight-faced one-liner which leaves the audience wondering whether to laugh or not.
I still like the old world charm of Mark Twain, Groucho Marx and Woody Allen. I still like Annie Hall…