Kunal Kamra: Of Jokes and Laughter

On the 18th of August, Manipal witnessed a riot of laughter as Kunal Kamra rocked the stage with his stand-up, tickling the funny bone all too well. Organized by DL 101, which comprises of seven passionate MIT students from Delhi (the band of Sujay, Dhruvraaj, Neha, Ujjwal, Ankita, Anand and leader Amitoj), the night of ‘Live Standup Comedy’ saw three prolific stand-up comics take the stage at Chaithya Hall, Fortune Inn.

The show was booked out nearly a week before the day of the event, a fact which reinforces the growing popularity of stand-up comedy amongst the youth of today. While some came to de-stress from their busy schedules, others wanted to see their favourite YouTube phenomenons live. Whatever be their reason, the entirety of the audience expected to engage in laughter and be left in a lighter mood by the night’s closing.

DL 101: The team that hosted Live Standup Comedy with Kunal Kamra

As the clock struck 7.30 PM, hostess Sukriti Dahagam, a second-year MIT student took the stage to introduce the line-up of stand-up comics.

First up, Manipalite Shubhang Yadav took the stage. Shubhang, who has previously opened shows for comics such as Kenny Sebastian and Sahil Shah, had the local Manipal crowd with him from the very start. Receiving loud applause and cheers, he presented a humorous view on Manipal and the few things he found problematic about this place.

Shubhang’s set was extremely relatable for the passionate Manipal crowd

Comedians have a different way of looking at the world, which is largely ubiquitous and much more humorous than others. Similarly, looking at Manipal through Shubhang’s eyes was both relatable and hilarious. The crowd was left laughing, some even falling out of their seats as he joked about the Manipal dogs, the incessant and often annoying rains and of course, DeeTee.

Shubhang left on a high note with the home crowd whistling and shouting for him. His performance was followed by the Bangalorean Sardar, Harman Preet Singh. Making the most use of his Punjabi origins, this comedian-cum-entrepreneur took all the stereotypes we associate with sardars and presented a completely opposing view on them. Commonplace “Fault in our Sardars” and Indira Gandhi jokes were pretty rampant as he used the historical and present-day narratives on Sardars to mold together a performance which was hysterical and one which made the audience rethink their own personal takes on Sardars.

Harman Preet Singh set the stage ablaze with his abundant Sardar jokes


One joke, which resonated with the audience members, was “However much you would want to believe it but not all Sardars are funny and not all of them are brave.”


Finally, the stage was taken by the star of the night, Kunal Kamra. In his hour-long set, Kunal managed to capture the audience’s attention and make them laugh till their stomachs hurt.

They say, “a small cottage where there is laughter is worth more than a castle full of tears.”

However, nobody ever talked about a hall full of people laughing till they reached the point of crying, as Chaithya Hall was on Friday night. His range of jokes varied from him being misunderstood with AIB’s Ashish Shakya to jokes about Daadas and Daadis.

Not only was his set funny but it served the purpose of being politically correct and extremely relevant at the same time.

His digs at Narendra Modi and Arnab Goswami brought light to the misuse of media by certain political parties. Kunal was fearless as he further tackled the issue of religion and religious biases, which is frighteningly commonplace in the modern Indian scenario.

He effectively managed to talk about Islamophobia without either fear or any form of hesitation. Kunal Kamra, who hails from Indore, also talked about the intricacies of the middle class, and the obsession which small towns possess towards malls.

His jokes were all well-received by this young and passionate Manipal crowd. The crowd responded to each of Kunal Kamra’s jokes and quirks with loud cheers and abundant applause. Kunal’s stand-up left in the mind of his audience an indelible sense of rethinking one’s own personal reservations about people of other castes and races.

Kunal Kamra, who has only three stand-up videos on YouTube, again proved that comedy is a true medicine to all the hullaballoo you see around you. No other comic establishes the buffoonery of the present political framework as well as Kamra, anywhere in India.

The show came to a closing with Kamra’s signature line,“Siachen mein humare jawaan ladh rahe h.

After the show, MTTN sat down with Kunal Kamra and discussed Siachen ke jawaan, death threats and a whole lot more about stand-up comedy and its presence in India.

To read the interview with Kunal Kamra, click here: http://manipalthetalk.org/columns/interviews/hysterically-conversation-kunal-kamra/

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