Vir Das: Roasting is not my style
As he embarks on a journey to find what makes India laugh, with Jestination Unknown, comedian Vir Das reflects on what he doesn't find funny
An Amazon Prime offering that released on Friday, a Netflix special to his name, and several years as a successful comic behind him, Vir Das, it appears, would know enough about what makes India laugh. Yet, when we ask him what prompted his latest endeavour, Das replies, "I'm just having fun."
Having embarked on a six-city tour with artistes Shruti Seth, Ashwin Mushran and Suresh Menon for Jestination Unknown, Das says he lived off the adrenalin rush. "We had to get to the city [in time], meet folks, write jokes on the go, and set up and market the show. All I told my research team was that they should get me food and interaction with the locals."
While unearthing facts about a city—a scene in Batman was shot in Jodhpur; the Mehrangarh fort is impenetrable, and that the Patiala peg was introduced by a king who had 300 wives—implies that Das had relatable content when scripting his jokes, it also meant that the crew was often left scurrying to source costumes at the last moment. "When you're doing something on the spot, it doesn't always turn out great. It is reality TV, so, if the joke doesn't work, it doesn't work. But it's still watchable [as compared to other shows]."
On his part, Das says poking fun at his audience is not a style of comedy he enjoys. "Roasting is not my thing. I'll get nervous making fun of a front-row guy; he would be nervous too, and that's not a good interaction."
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