Vir Das became the first Indian comedian to bag his solo Netflix original comedy special, putting him among the likes of Russell Peters and Jon Stewart. But it was not really a smooth sailing for the actor-comedian as he sat down to write the jokes for Abroad Understanding, which also marks the debut of an Indian original production on the video-streaming platform.
After completing the shoot of the show's first instalment in Delhi, Vir jetted off to New York for the second schedule in November 2016 in the midst of the US presidential elections. Given that comedians draw inspiration from daily developments to humour others, Vir decided to incorporate elements around the elections, and the then incoming president. Of course, like everyone assumed, it had to be Hillary Clinton. Only, it wasn't.
"When I first found out that Donald Trump had won, I was as shocked as the rest of the world," says Vir, who had scripted several jokes that spoke of Hillary's victory over Trump. "I knew I had to go back to the drawing board after the announcement. I was going to shoot my Netflix special in 48 hours, and since Trump won, I had to prepare better."
That Trump had been a subject of discussion for two years prior to his appointment, given his decision to run for the elections, Vir knew his act had to tackle the topic distinctly. "Finding a new angle is tough. I decided to put forward an Indian's take on Trump. The idea came to me almost an hour before we shot, and the Americans loved it. I am sure once it premieres here, people will love it too," he says of the show that releases on the platform on April 25.