Actor and stand-up comedian, Vir Das, recently said that taking jabs at the government through jokes is easier in the West compared to India. Speaking to PTI News, Vir emphasized that while comedians now talk about socially relevant issues, they shouldn’t be referred to as the new Fourth Estates.
“Just let comedians be comedians. Don’t call them fourth estate, intellectualisers or prophets. If you start putting these title and pressure on comedians they are bound to disappoint you at some point. Just let them be silly people who crack jokes,” he said.
Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj’s recent performance as host at the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner in the USA, has gone viral with many applauding the way Minhaj roasted everybody present, including the media and the President.
A similar situation like this, where everybody takes it with a pinch of salt, might not be possible in India soon, said Vir.
“You might have to ask that to the government. But I don’t think anytime soon. Could we do it digitally? Yes. Could you do it live with the government in the room? I think that’s being too optimistic.”
Speaking on Minhaj’s performance, Vir said, “Hasan slayed at the White House Correspondents’ dinner, but next week, if he wants to crack a joke about his family or dog, he should be able to do that. Let him be free to do that.”
“We have over-intellectualised jokes. We read into jokes too much. What’s the meaning, was it factually correct. The essence of a comedian is to be a clown. When you over intellectualise a joke, you take away the freedom to be foolish,” he added.
Vir, who was last seen in 31st October and Shivaay last year, has Sabaash Naidu with Kamal Haasan in the pipeline. He will soon be seen in the Netflix special, Abroad Understanding, a combination of his show in New Delhi and New York, in which he talks about several issues. He recently appeared in the Conan O’Brien’s late night show, in which he poked fun at the differences between USA and India, presidents, and breakfast cereals.
Pic: DNA India