Nothing common about it: Bhuvam Bam's OTT drama 'Taaza Khabar'

YouTuber and comedian Bhuvam Bam is charting new waters with OTT drama Taaza Khabar, in which he plays a sanitation worker
YouTuber and comedian Bhuvam Bam
YouTuber and comedian Bhuvam Bam

YouTuber Bhuvan Bam is eyeing a giant career leap. As he forays into mainstream acting with OTT, he is also stepping out of his comfort zone of comedy to try his hands at drama. In his new show Taaza Khabar, which was released on Hotstar on January 6, Bam plays a sanitation worker.

Best known for his YouTube channel BB Ki Vines, which has close to 26 million followers, Bam has been an internet favourite for nearly a decade, thanks to his relatable humorous take on the everyday life of a middle-class Indian family. The 2021 comedy series Dhindora, where he played over 10 characters, became India’s most-watched show on YouTube by garnering over 400 million views in a year’s span. So, when an opportunity to do something different came, expectedly, he needed a little nudging.

“The writer of Taaza Khabar, Hussain Dalal, convinced me that those who do good comedy can also do good drama,” he says. The series also stars Shriya Pilgaonkar, Deven Bhojani, Mahesh Manjrekar, and Shilpa Shukla. Initial apprehensions aside, experimenting is not new for Bam. In bits and parts, he has consistently pushed boundaries to create fresh content, and over the years, managed to secure a multi-hyphenated prefix to his name––comedian, singer, songwriter and YouTuber. No wonder then that the 28-year-old topped the recent social media influencer list (by Hansa Research). Mumbai-based Bam attributes his success to his content’s relatability.

He creates realistic, impactful and thought-provoking content about issues concerning students ––pressure from parents towards making academic choices—as well as gender-oriented topics such as slut shaming, matrimonial ads and the discriminating norms of the Indian marriage market. “I first analyse my creations. Will I watch it as an audience?” he says. That was, in fact, what led him to take up Taaza Khabar. “The dialogues in the series are very close to home and people will feel they have said or heard them several times throughout their lives,” he adds. The seeds of Bam’s now impressive career were, however, sown in his student days. When his classmates were writing their lessons, he was “writing his dreams”.

“I used to pen down my aspirations on the last page of my book. I would draw sketches of my teachers, mimic them. I was always distracted with the things and people around me,” he says, adding, “My observation skills were always good. I take some qualities from someone I see in the metro and then someone at a traffic signal and mix and match traits to make a character.” Which is why, while comedy comes naturally to him, Bam finds playing serious or dark characters far more challenging.

“Because I am that person, it is difficult for me to play myself. I don’t want people to see that side of me. I’m a quiet person. I like spending time with myself. In comedy you wear a naqaab (veil), you become someone else. I find that easy because it is only acting,” says Bam. After YouTube and OTT, acting in movies seems like the natural progression for him, but the actor doesn’t believe in planning. “I don’t have expectations. In the pursuit of chasing big dreams, you miss out on things that are more important. My goals are short-term, not far-fetched. So, for the next two months I will try to make Taaza Khabar reach the maximum number of people,” he says.

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