The local comedy scene is starting to pick up, with regular stand-up shows, but there are also some great brown comedians tickling the net – both Pakistani Comedians and Indian ones. For some reason, most of the better ones seem to be expats – based in the US, Canada or England – but they’ve still got huge followings here in Pakistan. Smart, original and wickedly funny these young desi comedians are sure to raise a laugh.
Canadian based Zaid Ali is easily the best known young Pakistani comedian on the net. With a massive 5 million likes on Facebook and a very respectable 500k subs on YouTube, chances are you’ve seen him donning a dupatta to play a girl or doing a topical skit.
Zaid’s videos occasionally reinforce gender stereotypes or play to cliches but, despite this, he is genuinely witty and smart. Although he’s based abroad, he accurately taps into the experience of young desis today.
23 year-old UK based Rucksar has been posting as BrownGirlProblems1 for just over a year. Her videos are wickedly funny with a brilliant cast of characters that she mostly plays herself – donning a dupatta to play her mum and a baseball cap to play her brother. Talking in a mix of English, Urdu and Pothwari, Rucsar has a hilarious take on the desi experience and her videos are surprisingly professional. She’s not that well known as yet with a mere 33,000 subs on YouTube but she deserves to be! (btw Rucsar if you’re reading this….free tip! Pakis back home are much more likely to see you on Facebook than YouTube so amp up that FB presence!)
BrownGirlProblems1 has done loads of great videos but this “Types of People in Ramadan” is one of my faves (also check out Types of People on Eid – it’s just as funny)
Mohammed Moiz may be a US-based doctor (talk about aunty rishta gold-dust) but he’s got a great handle on the female psyche. Moiz shot to FB fame a few short months ago with the creation of Shumaila Bhatti – a middle class girl with adorably dodgy English and a remarkably clear-sighted view of the hypocrisy and double standards faced by young women. His YouTube channel is described as offering ” Words of wisdom for the unwise, unwanted and ugly, just like myself’. Moiz created the adorable Shumaila using the cute deer filter on Snapchat and his sporadic videos as the Desi Bombshell are both hilarious and insightful, especially the “moral of the story” at the end! This video, Shumaila on friends who get rich, and want you to know that they got rich, is one of my absolute favourites.
Rahim Pardesi is one of the louder and brasher desi comedians but his wild-haired Punjabi alter-ego Nasreen is a creation of comic genius. The unkempt, unsophisticated Nasreen is a glorious blend of insecurity and brazen confidence, stereotypically ‘pendu’ yet spirited and riotously funny.
Punjabi comedian Sumier Pasricha’s Pammi Aunty is another brilliant comedic creation. Sumier is based in India and his character airs on NDTV. Pammi Aunty generally appears with her hair in rollers and a towel and with a mud-pack and colourful glasses on her face. She’s touted as a “Typical Punjabi Mother in law who would leave no stone un-turned to criticise her own daughter in law” but she holds forth on all sorts of topics from Immigration to two-faced people. She speaks Punjabi which can be challenge for those of you not used to the language but she’s hysterically funny. Here she is on becoming commercial, referencing Piers Brosnan aka James Bond doing an ad for Paan Masala.
It’s great to see Pakistani and Indian comedians putting out such great content – here’s hoping some locally based budding comedians start creating content for the net.