Finally, Some Hilarity

A few months ago, I did stand up comedy for the first time.  There were two other South Asian people who did so also, one of whom was also South Asian American.  It was a really exciting experience.

I noticed, however, how challenging it is to come up with a joke that plays with your concerns about ethnicity in a mainly non Asian (South Asian) audience and at the same time doesn't play into stereotypes.  I then noticed that one of my fellow South Asian comedians had no such noticing going on - at least not enough to affect the call centre and other jokes that he told.  

There's a time when I would have, but I can't really blame the guy because that's not my style anymore.  I spoke to him about it and told him I thought it was too easy.  He somewhat apologetically explained that he was trying to make it, that he didn't do those jokes in front of Asian audiences because it's too familiar and they don't laugh, but in a British non-Asian audience, he'll do it.


I mention all this by way of preface to a comedian whose work commenter bq introduced me to just now.  I haven't watched much yet, but what I've seen is hilarious not despite being smart, but because it's smart.  Again, by the standards of the art.  It's not a salvation because there's still some FOB bashing even in the critique, but after so much drama in the ABC(D), I appreciate a marked improvement - by several a couple orders of magnitude - when I see one.  If you have been awaiting or even trying to create some concrete signs that the Jhumpa Lahiri / Harold and Kumar 'just acknowledge our existence' faux revolution was over, this might be one of them.



MANOJ from Zia Mohajerjasbi on Vimeo.

By: on 4 Sep 2009