Timely humour

Updated: Jun 01, 2020, 09:41 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

A new news-based comedy show uses nonsensical footage to speak funny

(Top left) Sriraam Padmanabhan hosts an episode of IT Cell
(Top left) Sriraam Padmanabhan hosts an episode of IT Cell

Whether it is comedy, music or theatre, artistes are in agreement that this is a good time to experiment. It is no wonder then that new formats and themes are being tried out in shows with the aid of available technology. One such show is IT Cell launched by city-based comedian Sriraam Padmanabhan that brings his passion for stand-up comedy and improv together. And at a time when everyone is glued to the news, it takes a dig at news channel debates and uses current affairs for inspiration.

The format is set; each episode begins with a debate powered by nonsensical footage, followed by cancel culture and finally, a section that requires comedians to plug a made-up brand or product. It isn't surprising that Padmanabhan has a day job in advertising and marketing. "So, I know how branding works and fundamentally despise some of its principles. As for cancel culture, I've always been against it, and wanted to use it in the show," he explains. The show takes the improv route and comedians are encouraged to respond in ways as bizarre as possible.

Launched on May 18, and two episodes down, Padmanabhan plans to upload one every week and eventually turn it into live shows. The pilot episode has signs of teething trouble with several jokes falling flat and audio glitches. The second episode sees the comedians more at ease with the format even though the technical glitches persist.

The team of comedians includes Anurag Parab, Aneesh Ayyappan, Abbas Momin, Ramya Ramapriya and Sumedh Natu, with Anuj Mehta as director, Yohan Benson as editor and Padmanabhan as host. "There is a lot of planning that went into it. Fellow comedian Kajol Srinivasan came on board at this stage," Padmanabhan says.

We suggest you give the pilot episode a miss and watch episode two. It may take some getting used to but the occasional one-liners, especially by Momin and Parab make it quite worth it.

Log on to Sriraam Padmanabhan on YouTube

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