One Mic Stand Web Review: So you wanna be a stand-up comedian?

Published: Nov 19, 2019, 08:34 IST | Krishna Padmanabhan | Mumbai

Five celebs overcome their nerves to go on stage and deliver live jokes to an unsuspecting audience

Sapan Verma, Bhuvan Bam and Zakir Khan
Sapan Verma, Bhuvan Bam and Zakir Khan

Web review
One Mic Stand
On: Amazon Prime
Cast: Bhuvan Bam, Richa Chadha, Taapsee Pannu
Rating: Rating

We all make jokes in general conversations with friends and get a good bunch of laughs out of them. While some of it could be just warmth or niceness the other person shows us, some of it would really be because the joke was genuinely funny.

But how many of us can go up on a stage and reel off joke after joke in front of scores of people who have paid good money and expect to be amused? How difficult would it be? What goes through the mind of a comedian before s/he goes through the curtains and on to the stage?

Richa Chadha
Richa Chadha

That's what the new Amazon Prime show One Mic Stand aims to explore, and while it is never intended to blow your socks off, it does redeem itself with five cute 30-minute episodes you could watch at one go.

Since it is a new attempt, most sets are 10 minutes or under. It would have been nicer, and more fun, if they had explored something slightly longer. The reason I say this is every participant — Bhuvan Bam, Richa Chadha, Taapsee Pannu, Vishal Dadlani and Shashi Tharoor — starts off tentatively and gets a bit lost in the middle. It's only towards the end of their sets that each of them gets going. Five more minutes in the same vein, and these sets would have been closer to what you may get from professionals.

Dr. Shashi Tharoor
Dr. Shashi Tharoor

Of the five, it is the youngest and oldest who hold their own — Bam with an almost stream-of-consciousness-like set on his YouTube fame, and Tharoor with well-written jokes on his known peeves. Dadlani is the weakest link (his words), but does get a conversation started on mental health. Pannu dives into her set with such gusto that, despite the not really well-written jokes, you get why she keeps winning those 'Enthusiastic' and 'Breakthrough' performance awards. Chadha is genuinely funny, off and on stage, but her dry humour may not be for everyone.

All of them, though, deserve credit for putting themselves out there and attempting something new. Though they are no strangers to the arc lights, the nervousness that is palpable in every celeb makes it easier to root for them.

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