Category Archives: Stand Up Comedy

Jio Filmfare South Awards

Writing for the Filmfare Awards

Alright, let me clarify.

I wrote the script for Filmfare Awards South 2017. Not the one where Shah Rukh Khan makes fun of the rest of the industry. Nope.

This is the Filmfare South Awards, where all the four industries are brought together – a gigantic jaagran where 58 awards are given in one night. In the span of the one show, you could watch Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham thrice, complete with the Mera Naam Mukesh Hai campaign and the Vicco Vajradanti advertisements.

The Filmfare South Awards are also different because stars south of the Vindhyas are very touchy about themselves. Take for example the Telugu film industry, where the biggest stars are not followed because of their acting skills, but their CASTE (I know! It’s fuck-all). There are reports every year of fans of one actor clashing with fans of another actor. Just last year, there was a report where a fan of Pavan Kalyan was fatally stabbed by a fan of Junior NTR for a fight during …hold your breath… an organ donation drive!

Half of my jokes got self-censored when I read up on this.

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The brief from Filmfare was simple. The Awards had been a bland affair so far, and this year they were looking to make it lively and fun, which is why they wanted someone from a stand-up background to script it.

I went through last year’s script and found that it had been hosted by the same couple for the last five years. The script for last year was so interesting, I went to sleep and dreamt of having cervical cancer! So clearly, I had my work cut out.

The hosts for this year’s awards were Vijay Devarakonda, a rank outsider who shot to stardom with Pellichoopulu (coincidentally the only Telugu film I’ve reviewed), and Allu Sirish – younger brother of Allu Arjun, whose films can be found dubbed on Zee Cinema as Main Hoon Lucky the Racer, Veerta the Power, Bunny the Hero, and Natraj the Pencil. 

Surprisingly, the two hosts agreed to make fun of themselves. I was confident that Vijay would be fine with the jokes since we both studied in the same school, and he had also agreed to come for one of the stand up shows I directed, completely around offence humour.

But when Allu Sirish agreed to the jokes, which were mostly about nepotism and the lack of talent among star-kids, I thanked my stars and quickly went on to draft the rest of the script.

The show in itself is a nightmare to write for, as there are about 58 awards in all the four South languages (No, C++ is not a South Indian language, fuck off!). I am not really connected to the movies intellectually or emotionally, and it helped me have an outsider’s point of view to the proceedings. I was told not to make fun of senior actors or popular stars, which meant I could only write jokes about the hosts, which didn’t seem too bad after reading the news about fans stabbing each other!

Finally, we had a reasonably funny script, two hosts who were willing to take a joke on themselves, a video that would be played at the live event, and a couple of gags that would make people wake up from their slumber and hopefully laugh.

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Since I am not too attached intellectually or emotionally to films and their stars, I didn’t have too much work to do backstage. Apart from announcing the beginning of the show, and making sure I didn’t screw up the words ‘Please rise for the National Anthem’ in English and Telugu, I had no real work to do.

The format of the show is rather treacherous, and after a point me and Sai Santhosh (my writing buddy) nearly zoned out. It was just a haze of one actor after the other getting up on stage and thanking the Almighty, their director, their parents, their children, their neighbours, the weather, the North Pole.

That was until I noticed Rahman!

If you’ve read my blog, you’d know I am not a fan of Rahman, I am a devotee. I realised this might be the closest I’ll ever get to the man, and the moment I noticed his chair empty, I ran to the washrooms, just in case he wanted to sa re ga ma pee.

Unfortunately, Rahman was nowhere to be seen. What I got instead was a Malayalam singer looking around with his Filmfare award. Our eyes met awkwardly and I congratulated him on the award. He immediately handed me his award to hold while he went to pee!

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It was 1 AM by the time the show ended, and the two of us went back home.

It had been a fun week, hanging out with all these famous stars like I was one among them. But one cannot fight one’s true destiny. It was time to return to writing articles on the 10 Benefits of Mosquito Repellents.

One day, I'll be there for Best Story. Till then, for writing silly jokes for the hosts, I guess.

A post shared by Hriday Ranjan (@heartranjan) on

Image by veganbengaluru for infornicle.com '15 Reasons Why Once You’ve Lived In Bangalore You Will Not Like Another City'

Why Bangalore is the best city to smoke up, and a little plug-in for tonight’s show

The decision to stop posting on Facebook (which, if you have a good boss and a friendly work atmosphere, you should have read yesterday) was the best decision I could have taken.

I have come to Bangalore, and Bhavneet has brought his Kurukshetra-era laptop with him, and I decided to flip it open and start writing a blog. I feel liberated and wild – like a Marwadi teenager who goes out with friends and orders Egg Burji. It’s very nice.

I don’t have to open a note book, and then look around for Reynolds Racer Gel (Best pen in the world, must write about it sometime). I don’t have to find a note book that is unruled, with both the pages new and untouched, and then with a Red or Green pen, scribble down the first draft, and then open my Ayodhya-era laptop and type it all out again. This is better.

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This is my third visit to Bangalore in the last few months, and it has been able to impress a cynic like me.

I am not a fan of malls or pubs or other shit like UB City or whatever. I have a barometer of my own to judge a city. They involve trees, stray dogs and Mom & Pop stores. I have no solid reasoning behind it, there’s no elaborate philosophy or theory on why I chose these three aspects; but it just is.

It took me a few visits to Bangalore to discover there’s more than malls/pubs/robot-mating centres in the city. If anything, Bangalore is the best city to smoke a joint in.

Of course, you can’t smoke in public (not even a cigarette in some of the areas), but if you find a corner on a street, it’s a sensory treat. The roads are wide, trees forming a canopy, and you can still hear birds chirping (something that is a rarity in urban Hyderabad today, it’s almost like the birds left with the last Nizam).

I like to associate places with substances – Bhubaneswar for me will always be the city of Bhang, Himachal the place to worship Lakshmi-Shiva-Durga, Goa and booze.

Bangalore is the place to smoke pot. Just you and some good pot, a small joint, a pair of earphones, and a walk in the streets. It’s beautiful.

There are old men sitting outside their houses reading newspapers at 11 AM, the sun is not sunny, but a benevolent friend smiling down at you. Stray dogs are well-fed, friendly, and appear in all corners, in all shapes and sizes. Cross a main road and enter a colony, and the sounds of cars and streets are tuned out. What you have instead of honks and noises is a light buzz. Like the one in your head. Bangalore is the best city to smoke a joint in.

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Now, for the second part of the post.

Cricket has been an integral part of my life, as I’m sure it of yours.

For in India, if you like cricket, life’s good. But even if you don’t like cricket, you are surrounded by friends, parents, relatives, grocery shopkeepers who follow it like a religion.

In a way, growing up for me has been a journey that swivelled, turned and revolved around cricket. Along with a few buddies, we have written a thematic Stand Up Comedy show around Cricket. It’s called Silly Point and is India’s first cricket based stand up comedy show.

If you’re from Bangalore and free this evening at 7, please come down to Rangasthala Auditorium at the MG Road Metro Station. I can’t promise a joint after the show like I usually do in Hyderabad, because Bangalore. But it should be fun.

That’s all. Got shit to sort out for the show, and take a bath, and watch Raja Babu on TV.

Have a good day!

 

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(Featured Image: A beautiful capture by veganbengaluru for infornicle.com ’15 Reasons Why Once You’ve Lived In Bangalore You Will Not Like Another City’)

Hriday Ranjan Stand up comedy

Chinese Lizards and Oriya People

Dear Reader,

Let me admit I am not a huge fan of cross-platform promotion.

I get irritated when Shah Rukh Khan uses IPL to promote his latest films. I hate it when Salman Khan goes to jail in a baniaan and then comes out and promotes Dixcy Scott.

If I were you, I’d probably get pissed off about subscribing to a blog, and having videos coming to my inbox when I didn’t ask for them. I know that if my Guru, Sri Sri Jackie Baba got a whiff of what I’m doing here, I’d incur his wrath. I understand.

But is paapi pet ke liye yeh sab karna padta hai. Kya karein?

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So, without much ado, here’s a video of my performance at District N, Hyderabad. It’s a bar where rich people go to drink and splurge, and poor people like me try to amuse them by doing cute stuff. Like Stand Up comedy.

If you like the video, kindly do subscribe (Remember, it’s because of Sinner Stomach that I’m doing all this). If you don’t like the video, please add a comment below and inform me that you will have none of this nonsense anymore. I’ll consider it.

And upload another video next Tuesday.

Ok, brothers and sisters. Time to go now. I’ll just leave this here.

Thank you.