On 19th October, DU Beat spoke to Nishant Suri, the winner of Comicstaan Season One about his journey in comedy. Here are excerpts from the interview.

Khyati: You have switched between lots of professions. What made you stick to comedy?

Suri: I switched from my corporate set-up because I realised it was not my thing and not something I can do for the rest of my life. The switch was pretty natural. People tell me, ”Oh, you are so brave.” But it wasn’t like that. I was really unhappy and decided that I can?t do this. So I started to figure out what talents I had. I used to capture photos at my family weddings and I liked it. There are so many emotions that I liked capturing. I realized I could earn money off of this.

I don’t remember what prompted me to go for comedy but I also went for an open mic. I prepared 10 minutes. It went well. I started doing other couple of open mics. I had no aspirations or dreams with it, I wanted to do it on the side. I quit my job, I moved back to Noida.

It took me 4-5 months to start earning off of photography. I wasn’t very serious about comedy at that time. Last year, I got tired of doing it. Standing for 12 hours, taking photos, then editing those 1800 photos. Most people didn’t appreciate it and bargained like I was selling vegetables.

Then, last September Comcistaan happened. I progressed into comedy.

I don’t know if I will definitely stick to comedy. Life is uncertain but I am pretty sure I would like to stick to comedy. Mann lo, wild thought, agar Bollywood aa gaya toh? (Just imagine, wild thought, if I get the opportunity to get into Bollywood?) I am very open to change. And I get bored, sort of quickly.

Khyati: When was the first time you got on stage?

Suri: April 2014.I went after office. I got a few members from my team to come along. I also got a few friends, which is obviously good because they are going to cheer you. Plus, I had a few decent jokes. Some of those jokes I even used in the auditions of Comicstaan.  So, it went pretty well. I didn’t know I had 5-6 minutes. I ended up doing ten.

I don’t really have a struggle story. In any art form the first year you won’t do well. There is always an initial struggle. That’s pretty much the struggle I had. I was financially well off because I was at home and I was earning off of photography. I have been lucky. Even my parents have been supportive.


Khyati: Who is your favorite comedian and why?

Suri: My favorite is Louis C. K. (It is) not a very politically correct answer but it can’t change just because he turned out to be a horrible person. What he does on stage, I really like it. A lot of people have this confusion about whether you can disassociate art from the artist. I don’t know, but for me, I can. I like his skill. I find him funny.

Khyati: What has been the biggest obstacle in your journey?

Suri: It is the fear of failure. Initially I give people what they wanted which makes you a little commercial. I am still like that in a way. There are comics who did what they wanted to do and struggled for the first few years but they are  really good. They have developed their own style. The fear of failure stops me from trying out new things. For instance, I haven’t tried my hand at story telling because of the fear of bombing on stage. You lose it when you perform more. I have still not lost it.

There is a tug of war between what I want to do and what the people want on stage sometimes.


Khyati: What are your plans for the future?

Suri: I never make long term plans for the future.  I am moving to Mumbai. I first believed in destiny. You can’t know what will happen to you. Last January I didn’t know Comictsaan would happen and change my life so much. I want to go there I want to make a good one hour special over the next 5-6 months. I want to become better.  As far as the Dua Suri show is concerned, we might stop that in a couple of months because we might like to do our solos, or we might make it into a novelty show. But it is still very uncertain.

If you could choose a winner in your place, who would it be?

Rahul Dua. He was good at different genres. Even in the finals it could have gone either way. It was my day so I ended up doing better. Rahul dua is my personal favourite. And even Prashasti is amazing. She is hilarious off stage as well, and will only get better.


Khyati: What do you dislike and like the most about Comcistaan?

Suri: They could have shown a bit of the back story. Not as dramatic as reality shows  but just to tell the people more about who we are. It helps build a stronger connection with the audience. I mean it was their first season, right? It was new for everyone in India.

What I like the most is that it has completely changed my life. I love that we were pushed to do different genres within a week. It gave us confidence in our ability. I wouldn’t have done that Ramesh set. It was done in 4-5 days.  Usually, I have low self-confidence. . But here I couldn’t embarrass myself and fail. It was a good motivator. They forced us to come out of our comfort zones.

Khyati: Are you open to doing college shows as well?

Suri: Yes, why not? They are always better than a corporate show. There are young people. You connect with them. And colleges pay decent money.


Khyati: Which of your sets in Comicstaan were the most popular, according to you? Is it your favourite? How did you come up with it?

Suri: The Ramesh one. It is my favourite and I am really proud of it. People still come up to me and ask me “Ramesh mil gaya kya?”

I had a different concept planned out about the stage being an Inbox and I being an email looking for my brother email named Ramesh. When I was planning this in my house at midnight, I shouted for Ramesh and I decided I wanted to do this through the entire set. I just wanted to be there looking for Ramesh. So I don’t give any backstory. The novelty was not enough and the audience needed more. There had to be more jokes and a backstory. So I added that. Then I added an ending. I loved when I asked someone from the audience member to look for Ramesh. He actually shouted his name and played along. I smiled. I was so happy!

Khyati: What do you have to say to the budding comedians?

Suri: Don’t be one! We don’t need more competition! We are very happy with the shows we are getting. We would not like to share them! But if you really want to, it is scary going on stage and there is no doubt about it. And it is going to be scary for the first hundred times. Then it becomes better. There is no harm in giving it a shot. Everything is scary initially. But if it is something you want to try, register for an open mic. Force yourself.

You will be terrible initially, unless you are exceptional. So, give yourself some time and do open mics, before deciding on whether you want to really continue with it or not. It is important to go on stage rather than sitting at home and writing jokes.


Image credits: IMDB

Interview taken by Khyati Sanger

[email protected]

Interview transcribed by:

Khyati Sanger



Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette is riveting and brilliant. Her powerful social commentary would leave you in splits, but at the same time leaves you with something to think about.

In the early days of July, I received tons of texts telling me to watch Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up special Nanette. Truth be told, I had watched the Netflix specials of a lot of outstanding comedians ranging from Ali Wong’s Hard Knock Wife to Sarah Silverman’s A Speck of Dust, not to forget John Mulaney’s Kid Gorgeous. However, no comedy special had been so highly recommended by my pop culture enthusiastic friends.

I watched it and instead of leaving it with a smile, there I was, bawling my eyes out, crying. I closed the tab and I sat there, motionless, thinking. I had changed. I had never felt so validated as a bisexual woman. Hannah Gadsby’s every sentence makes you question the world we live in, questions the very essence of comedy.

Nanette beautifully weaves a story and talks about gender, sexuality, art history, and the power of storytelling. In the first few minutes, it appears to be any other comedy special full of anecdotes and self- deprecating humor. She spoke about growing up in a small town in Tasmania, Australia in the 90s where homosexuality was a crime. She also spoke about the repercussions of her coming out, full of hysterically funny one-liners. Minute 17th, the switch flips, and Hannah announces she’s quitting comedy. The atmosphere shifts dramatically and everything gets real.

Hannah Gadsby starts with telling her audience that she’s done with self- deprecating humor as for a person who already belongs to a marginalised community, it’s not humility its humiliation. It’s causing distress and harm to the people who identify with her. She was taught her entire life that she was not supposed to take spaces and that one should be punished if they are different. All that ever Hannah wanted to do was to be invisible; her confused childhood filled her with shame and self- hatred. In order to make people laugh, she had repackaged her traumatic memories, tinged it with humor and sold it to a straight audience for their comfort, for the sake of not upsetting the status quo. She had denied herself by repeating the story in a form of a joke, the lived experience of the reality. Now, she refuses to do it anymore. She’s tired and believes that it is time to tell the real, actual story whose setup would have tension but there would no punchline to diffuse it.

Gadsby very bravely talks about the time she was sexually abused as a kid and as a woman in her early 20’s. She was brutally beaten up by a homophobic man who believed that it was his right to do so by the powers vested to him by patriarchy. She, very honestly says that she didn’t report it to the police because she believed that she deserved it. The homophobia made her scared to even come out to her own grandmother. Hannah questions comedy, the way it is unable to bring out the true stories. She, through the perspective of art history, breaks the illusion that the art should be separated from the artist and that a man’s reputation is above everything else, even a woman’s humanity. Hannah breaks every notion promoted by sexism from ‘locker room talks’ to ‘don’t be so sensitive, learn to take a joke’, one hilarious joke at a time. She promptly breaks the myth that only suffering can create art.

You can feel her anger as she pleads for men to have empathy, and to understand the fear women have of them and if they really can’t, to ask the women in their lives. People who think they have the right to render another person powerless are weak, she states, and rightfully so. She rightfully speaks how women are what misogynists hate, but want.

Nanette might make you uneasy, uncomfortable. Hannah with her devastating delivery oratory will leave you speechless. The quiver in her voice and rawness, the vulnerability of her words will break your heart. It is undoubtedly one of the most profoundly illuminating specials. The hype is real, watch it and at the end of it, you would want to gif every moment of it.

Disha Saxena
[email protected]
Feature Image Credits: Netflix

The fourth and the last day of Oasis’17 commenced with Pitch Perfect, the a capella event, wherein seven teams competed singing their out of the box melodious harmonies. Students from different colleges of University of Delhi – Miranda House, Jesus and Mary College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Kamla Nehru College, and Sri Venkateswara College faced students of Shiv Nadar University and Pearl Academy as they vie for the title. The winners of the event were Synergy, the western music society of Shiv Nadar University, and the second position was bagged by Zyphr, the western music society of Kamla Nehru College.

The FashP: Pilani’s Next Top Model finals were conducted with Swati Mehrotra, an esteemed personality and maker of the Swati Modo collection, who has taught the inmates of Tihar Jail the art of shoe-making and has won awards by the President of India for her reputable work in the field of fashion. Fashion societies from several colleges including BITS Pilani, College of Arts, St Xavier’s College Jaipur, Lady Irwin College, Bharati College, and College of Vocational Studies bewitched the audience with their enchanting fashion parades that revolved around the theme ‘Realms of Fiction’. The winners of the event were- Manthan, the fashion society of College of Vocational Studies (CVS), won the award for best theme and Elantre, the fashion society of Bharati College was awarded Best Wardrobe.

Before Oasis’17 brought down the curtains, the event N20 entertained the audience with the performances of stand-up comedians Aman Deep, Kajol Srinivasan, Shamik Chakrabarti, Nasif Akhtar. Karunesh Talwar and Ashish Shakya.


Feature Image Credits: Vansh Sabharwal for DU Beat. 


Kinjal Pandey

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Niharika Dabral

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Radhika Boruah

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Saumya Kalia

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Stand-up Comedy is the new “in” thing on YouTube and its sister channels and Indian stand-up acts wouldn’t  disappoint you, for sure.

India, or for that matter Urban India, is slowly awakening to a newer, fresher, and unusual yet creative professions; despite the rant of becoming a doctor and an engineer continues to perpetuate. Spreading awareness is an important thing but doing that through wit and humour makes it all the more scintillating and this is where stand-up comes into play. University of Delhi has been a host to many of the artists, be it Abish Mathew, Biswa Kalyan Rath or Kenny Sebastian, or the very recent case of Zakir Khan gracing the SRCC Youth Conference intrigues us into finding out the best stand-up acts of India. Therefore, we bring to you our own set of favourite comedians who, really sometimes make more sense than our politicians:

DISCLAIMER: We know there are some great stand-up comedians missing from this list, but in our defence, we couldn’t add them all!

  1. Daniel Fernandes: If you are looking for dark humour, wit, and sarcasm mixed together with thought-provoking satire that’s based on social issues, Daniel Fernandes is the man for you. His takes on feminism, Syria, Trump Elections, rape, and all will give you chills, apart from making you laugh. Also, he never shies away from speaking his mind out on controversial topics –  watch his stand-up on why he hates Fawad Khan, for this example.
Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube
  1. Abhishek Upmanyu: For lighthearted and light-minded comedy, Abhishek Upmanyu is the typical, Delhi boy-next-door for you who thinks faster than he speaks, and his body language and tone will win your heart all over. His famous stand-ups on the likes of Delhi, Mumbai, comebacks, and insults will get you rolling on the floor laughing.
Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube
  1. Zakir Khan: With his every show getting a standing ovation, you should definitely stand up for Zakir Khan because he just stands out in all his performances. The “sakht launda”  has his own cult of fan following and his hilarious take on a Delhi girl, failing in an exam, airport rules, etc, will make you wanting more of him. Also, he once shared a video for his father online which made all of us cry with tears in the same way he makes us laugh with tears. This man can do it all.
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia
  1. Abish Mathew: “The Son of Abish” show is a major hit online and his sense of humour and adorable smile never fail to amuse us. He became extremely famous from the AIB Video, A Man’s Best Friend and yes, whenever you watch this guy, he will surely leave you in splits.
Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube
  1. Aditi Mittal: The stand-up comedy world is also, like any other world, male–dominated, but this woman outshines them all. Her witty take on sanitary napkins , bra shopping, and breasts will get you hooked onto her for life. She uses humour to raise awareness about issues in a way that will make you think twice.
Source: Aditi Mittal
Source: YouTube

6.  Kanan Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath: Yes, these guys perform separately and their individual performances rock the entire comedy industry but after watching their Pretentious Movie Reviews (You are living under a rock if you haven’t watched these), it is very difficult for us to separate the two of them. Both have their own charm and make sure to watch all of their videos, including their individual ones.

Source: Indian Express
Source: Indian Express
  1. Kenny Sebastian:“Chai -Time” with this guy is just the best time of our days and yes, Kenny’s understanding of middle-class restaurants, middle-class Dads, North Indians in America, will make people fall off from their chairs. His live shows, as well as his videos, are an equal pleasure.
Source: news18.com
Source: news18.com
  1. Sorabh Pant:When he left the East India Comedy channel, we all were heartbroken but this man never disappoints us. You can watch ‘The Rant of the Pant’ on his individual channel as well. He is one of the coolest stand-up comedians in India and one of the most intelligent and politically-aware as well.
Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

9. Vir Das: He is our very own blue-eyed boy whose shows in America are a major hit (online and offline) and he is one of the most cherished comedians of India. If you still haven’t watched his videos, you are missing out on all the fun.

Source: Film Companion
Source: Film Companion

This was our list of favourite Indian Stand-up comedians. If we missed any of your favourites, please tell us in the comments below!


Feature Image Credits: news18.com

Oorja Tapan

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During the first few days of a post-exam relaxation phase, it’s obvious that binge watching becomes an irresistible choice of indulgence. So after getting tired of sleeping for hours, I decided to turn to my television’s aid as a cure to my remaining exam hangovers. As I lay curled up in bed, flipping from one channel to another to find the most perfect show in a maze of television series, I immediately stopped at a place which relaxed the motion of my hand instantly.

Despite watching each episode more than a hundred times and owning a set of all its seasons to increase the numbers even more, I still knew I’d be unable to find any show better than FRIENDS to give me the solace I needed. That’s when I was drawn to a realization that despite being addicted to numerous shows throughout my teenage years, I always found myself coming back to those few all-time favorite classic American series which not only possess a power to cheer us up within seconds, even today, but also make us relive a bundle of golden memories that we hardly get time to remember and cherish in our busy lives.

So while some are still being aired in India (luckily), and some aren’t (unfortunately), here is a list of the TOP FIVE American Television Sitcoms of 1990s that we never seem to get enough of – and neither do we ever hope to!

1. FRIENDS (1994-2004)

With more than twenty years of its release, it remains till date, undoubtedly, the most loved and sought-after show ever produced in the history of television. Centered on the lives of six friends in Manhattan and their impetuous ups and downs, this show makes one generation after another laugh uninhibitedly and teaches the older ones that some addictions (or almost all jokes of this show) never get old. From Ross’s professed love for dinosaurs and Phoebe’s unique ice-breaking song collections to Monica’s neurotic enthusiasm and Chandler’s biting sarcasm, there was something hilariously charming in each one that glued us to them forever.

Whether it’s Joey’s “How you doin’?” to his utter refusal for sharing of food or Ross and Rachel’s “We were on a BREAK” fiasco to Phoebe’s signature composition- Smelly Cat, there’s always something one can easily find to smile or laugh about in all its episodes which almost make us oblivious to our problems in life, as long as we’re in their presence. As time passes by, these six friends in ten seasons of happiness are bound to “Be there for you” for life.

(Currently being aired from Monday-Friday at 9 pm on COMEDY CENTRAL, India)

First episode of Season One, Friends

Image credits: www.stylearena.net

2. Full House (1987-1995)

There is something magical about this very name which brings a wide smile across anyone’s face who has ever been lucky enough to watch it. Contrary to the popular belief, this American family revolutionized the family culture in the most real and sweetest way possible. The awesome trio of Danny Tanner, the Father (the sensible one), Uncle Jesse, his brother-in-law (the handsome one) and Uncle Joey, his best friend (the dorky one) showed how raising three little girls- DJ (the tomboy one), Stephanie (the mischievous one) and Michelle (the coolest one) under one roof was no piece of cake, and yet, in their most cracking sense of humor handled every single dilemma from their very first steps, school days to boyfriend dramas in an unbelievably adorable way.

Apart from Jesse’s ‘Elvis’-ness and Joey’s goofiness, what made this show even better were the comical ways in which the sisters never left a single chance to mess with each other. DJ and Stephanie’s arguments on the most random issues being complimented with baby Michelle’s priceless reactions were served like an icing on top of the cake.

Michelle Tanner, the youngest, funniest and cutest of the three siblings in Full House.

Image credits: www.cdn3.teen.com or www.lovelace-media.imqix.net

3. That 70s Show (1998-2006)

Set in the spirit of 1970s- the decade of love and rock ‘n’ roll, this is one show that dials up every possible level of craziness and gets you fixated on the most ridiculously flawed group of teenagers after only one episode. The major plot revolves around Eric Forman, a typical geek with a forever-confused look, born to Red and Kitty Forman, a father who lived for the joy of his son’s embarrassment and a vivaciously cool mother whose wittiness was incomparable to that of any teenager.

With Eric’s consistent chaos with his sensible girlfriend, Donna and the pretty rich brat, Jackie’s clash of views with her incredibly dim-witted boyfriend, Kelso, were the two relationships which formed the foundation of a never-ending amusement. Fez, a young ambiguous foreigner and Hyde, the indifferent sarcastic king of the group further completes their entire entertainment package with a kick. The influence of the gang remains as strong as it ever was as I still find myself grooving to their title song, nodding my head along with them and singing its lyrics; and finding a comfort like no other.

(Currently being aired from Monday-Friday at 8:30 pm on FX)

‘Cheap Trick In The Street’- the theme song of That 70’s Show. Caution: Highly Addictive. Listen at your own risk.

Image credits: www.8smash.com

4. Seinfeld (1989-1998)

All those who’re aware of this show know exactly just how amazing it is to reminisce some of its best moments with another Seinfeld fan/s, especially since one gets to live such moments quite rarely. Being aired only for a brief period of time in India and then rerun with a couple of episodes few years back was not enough to do the show justice. While the trend of the 80’s fashion or payphones may have been outdated, the jokes certainly haven’t.

Be it Elaine’s goofball complexity and quirky attitude towards life or George’s hilariously adorable “paranoid, totally inadequate, completely insecure” character’s relatability, Kramer’s epic entries, wackiest expressions and static hairdo to Jerry’s alluring charisma, everything in the show just blended perfectly well together. Like every true Seinfeld fan, I would have to say, “That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!” and so it shall always remain, with all the present sitcoms in comparison to it being simply “Yada Yada Yada…”

Seinfield’s Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer- the coolest group of friends television has ever witnessed.

Image credits: www.img.buzzfeed.com

5. The Simpsons (1989-2016)

The very fact that a show of the 90s has been able to garner such an endless amount of love and appreciation that its story continues till date, reaching a peak of 27 seasons is more than enough to mark its appeal in the world. Set in the town of Springfield, the Simpsons are an exceptional, one-of-a-kind family that every child wished to be a part of. The humorous affairs mostly concentrate on the lives of Homer Simpson’s atypical anti-father/husband figure running on the ambition of unproductive-ness, endless donuts and laziness, his wife Marge, an ideal housewife and a caring mother who tries her best to keep her family as remotely sane as possible with their three kids- Bart, the impulsive troublemaker, Lisa, the vegan, smarty-pants and Maggie, an infant of the family.

Over the years, after having witnessed a plethora of animated shows, it has been proved that none of them have been able to come anywhere close to this pure comedic brilliance of animation and achieve the replacement of a family as dysfunctional and idyllic as the Simpsons.

Homer and his wife, Marge Simpson- the most EPIC couple of the animated world of television.

Image credits: www.i.imgur.com

I sometimes wonder how life would have been had these shows never been produced. Well, certainly not the greatest one, that’s for sure. If only I could go back in time and watch each one of them all over again, for the very first time, I would. So while these sitcoms continue to remain close to my heart, I’d suggest those who have never watched some of them (or any, God Forbid!) to take out some time in these holidays and experience the nostalgia of 1990s along with happiness and laughter on a whole new dimension.

Happy Holidays!

Shagun Marwah

[email protected]

I do not watch Comedy Nights with Kapil, not FIR, or any other comedy serial that comes on Indian Television today. I find most of them low on content and high on antics that serve no purpose. Therefore, most of the weekends find myself going back at the episodes of “Khichdi” and “Sarabhai V/s Sarabhai” to revisit the time of good Indian Comedy.

“Office Office” starring the brilliant actor Pankaj Kaapor in the lead role as Musaddi Lal, the distressed common man instantly struck a chord with the masses. One of the best satires on Indian bureaucracy and administration, the show managed to highlight the shortcomings of the officers , and making the audience simultaneously laugh. The characters of “Patel” and “Pandey ji” instantly became a part of household vocabulary.


“Khichdi” with its diverse characters with outlandish traits was always a treat to watch. From the voracious eater Bhavesh Kumar, to the incessant complainer “babuji”, from the dumb Praful to gossip queen “Jaishree”, all of these people always managed to bring a smile to my face. “Khichdi” was the amalgamation of various silly but kind-at-heart characters who established a connection with the Indian masses because of their simplicity and “typical Indian family” image. Set in a gujarati background with equally gujarati idiosyncrasies, it made “bade log” and “praful tu to gadha hai” a part of common usage.



Then comes my personal favorite- Sarabhai V/s Sarabhai. A satire on the elitism of the high class society, Sarabhai never ceased to make me double up with laughter. Be it Rosesh’s poetry or Monisha’s “middle classiyat”, Dushyant’s obsession for machines or Maya’s narcissism , the show was one of the most realistic sketching of the present society.

image and gif courtesy:tumblr.com