The punch behind the punchline
The contestants on TLC India’s new show, Queens of Comedy, are full of spunk and fresh ideas. The show is the first in India to feature all female comedians, and in our talk with the contestants, they touch on everything from youtube commenters to using comedy as a means of release in a world full of suffering.
With differing backgrounds, four of the eight competing contestants provided Indulge with their unique perspectives on what it means to them to be a Queen of Comedy. On her background in film, Saadiya Ali said she felt that she was never enough, and said that when she started comedy she found appreciation and the freedom to be herself. Dwijal Mehta felt freed from her “excruciatingly boring” corporate job and sees comedy as a way to help people understand different perspectives.
When asked about what they felt was the worst thing about being a female comedian, many of them mentioned that they resented the label of a “female comedian.” “There’s no such thing as a ‘female doctor,’ so why should we be called ‘female comedians?’” said Surbhi Bagga.
The contestants had much to say on the commenters on Facebook and Youtube that continue to insist that “women can’t be funny,” but they took it all in good spirits. Saadyia Ali said she felt bad for them and wishes that they wouldn’t take things so seriously. Dwijal Mehta says she would find a victory in being able to change just one person’s mind.
All agreed that comedy plays an important role in changing ideas about gender and giving women an outlet to tell jokes from their perspectives. More importantly, it gives them a chance to have fun and let the world forget about their problems. For Jhansi DramaQueen, comedy ultimately represents something fun and she says she wants audience members to leave her set having had so much fun they “feel like a different person.” Especially proud of her musical sketch youtube channel she calls “Broadway to Real Life,” Jhansi hopes to bring joy but still incorporate meaning in all that she does.
To see the queens in action, watch Queens of Comedy Saturday and Sunday nights at 10pm on TLC India.