Friday, 19 February 2016

AIB co-founder Tanmay Bhatt defends the AIB Roast in Reddit

After paying a high price of 4000 Rs for the AIB Roast to see some copied jokes which were often repeated , some people went vocal on Reddit.

I hated it.I must be the odd one out here but the AIB roast last night at NSCI in Mumbai was disappointing at best. I'm a big fan of AIB and also of the Comedy Central roasts and while I expect Bollywood to copy from the west I do not understand why even our comedians are now copying from the west!
The absolute worst one was some short guy named Abish Mathew who screwed up some of his lines and the ones he didn't were from jokes that have been done to death on reddit. "Karan Johar is so deep in the closet he is in narnia" This was funny as a meme in 2012. I mean c'mon - people have paid 4000 bucks for this tickets. The least you can do is come up with your own jokes!!

Aditi Mittal is god awful and she continued to make me wonder why the hell is she popular at all! Her jokes left the crowd silent.

Khamba and Tanmay Bhatt were brilliant and miles above the rest. Rajeev Masand as a guest was decent as well. The rest besides that is a blur right now and this is the biggest let down. They all kept on making the same jokes again and again and again. I heard jokes on Arjun Kapoor being 12th fail by at least 6 comedians. Seriously? Some of these jokes became so repetitive that it felt like these guys had written all the jokes in 2 days and just split them among themselves.

And then at the end Arjun and Ranveer kept bouncing of the stage like drunk idiots. Ranveer would randomly start singing hindi songs and then yell at people for not watching Kill Dill. Something is wrong with that guy. Arjun Kapoor was forgettable at best. Of course, two bollywood actors kissing and jumping and yelling - the crowd ate it up. The last 15 minutes were just Kjo, AR an RS goofing off (Ranveer even smooched Karan) and suddenly at the end we had a standing ovation.

On my way home I kept thinking to myself - is this the best of Indian comedy? I hope not! 

To this Tanmay Bhatt replied:

Hey! Just saw this! Given I was a part of the show and one of the four writers who wrote it, I'd like to give my perspective on this.

a) I'm sorry you thought the show was disappointing. However, accusing us of "ripping off" the comedy central roast is totally and a little unfounded. "Roasting" is a form of comedy that's existed for decades, way wayyy before Comedy Central popularised it on their show. Just wiki it. It's been around for ages. It's like saying if someone does Improv comedy here, they're copying it from Whose Line Is It Anyway. Fact is, it's an art form that's practiced around the world and is an accepted generic format of a show. We deal with such accusations often enough. Sometimes folks watch a local stand up comedian do some crowd work and talk to the audience during a show and make jokes on them and then walk out saying "That guy copied Russell Peters by making fun of the audience". Again, a classic misjudgement made by an audience that hasn't been exposed to a lot of comedy. :)

You mention that Karan, the roastmaster walks onto stage and introduces the panel and then the roastees. Again, it's standard format across roasts to introduce the panel by the roastmaster by roasting them and then introducing the roastees. Sometimes, the roast master introduces the roastees first and then the panel. But more or less the show flows the same way.

About the Narnia joke. Sorry if you thought that was copied. We sat in a room for 15 days straight and wrote over a 1000 one liners. Fact is, when you write 200 "being in a closet" jokes, there's a good chance somebody will make the connection to Narnia. Why would we copy a joke intentionally? We're very aware that an online audience is exposed to the best roasting in the world and is exposed to a 100 diff kinds of comedy. Copying something that too so early in our career is suicide. Nobody in their right mind would copy something intentionally :)

Anecdote: There was a joke Ashish made about Raghu which went "When Raghu and Rajeev were born the doctors said "Mubarakh ho chutiye hue hai". While editing the show a month later, I saw it and I looked at Khamba and said "Khamba, this joke sounds too easy to have never been made by anyone before. It sounds like someone somewhere might have made it. Can we look this up? Surely enough, a thousand people had made the "mubarakh ho chutiye hue hai" joke about a 100 different people. Infact, Mubharakh Ho ____ hua hai was a joke format. Very popular on these Rajnikanth vs CID type of Facebook pages. We had no idea since the four of us hadn't stumbled upon those. Instantly deleted off our show.

The point you raise about making jokes about the same tropes. Arjun being 12th fail. Ranvir being promiscuous. Well, you're probably right. But from what I've heard about roasts, (have seen all of them a dozen times, have read every possible article about the CC roasts and have heard podcasts by comics on the show) this seems to be the norm at every roast (you eventually see an edited version on TV and that tends to help clean out the repetition) Check out Patrice O Niel talking about going last on the Sheen roast. He talks about how so many topics were done to death by the time he came on stage that he had to wing certain bits. A lot of times, comics going up towards the second half of the show tend to change their bits on the fly because of the very repetitive nature of the roast. Check out my set whe the video comes out. I had to do unconventional and slightly different type of jokes for Arjun, Karan, Ashish because the steretypes were so done. Also you'll notice in the final video, the repetition level also goes down, much like the CC roasts :)

And this isn't an excuse, but putting the roast together in bollywood is not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of topics that are off limit. Plus we're making fun of actors that have been around for a limited amount of time. So there's not a lot of angles to look for. We had a slightly tough time cracking these two and honestly it was a huge learning curve for us as well. Next year when we roast someone else, we'll obviously be better prepared and hopefully play it out better. :)

The last 15 minutes were a blur even to us :) I think the guys were just having fun. A large majority of the crowd seemed to be having fun. It's not everyday you get roasted. The songs weren't scripted, but they had so much fun doing it, I surely can't hold it against them. It was just fun to watch them have fun. Honestly, I give them so much credit for doing what they did. Not many would've agreed to do this show. But they did. And that's a huge step in bollywood.

I hope you come back for more of our shows! We've always tried to do new things. Due apologies if you think we faultered a bit :)


Very Well Tanmay for sharing your perspective of the roast.

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