Off Air With a Straight Face

Don’t get me bakchod.

All India Bakchod has been my 3am friend when my other 3am friend was talking to his 3am friend at 1pm in the college canteen while hogging my lunchbox. Their satirical skit-cum-musicals address the issues of the nation and sometimes the world, and have been bang on since the group’s inception. Even when experimenting with content, leading to the comments section roasting of loyal and [insert any of 2 million adjectives] followers, they come back hysterically while simultaneously losing a few inches of their guts (and those only from Tanmay Bhat).

Censorship is not a problem with an online audience, yet On Air With AIB’s second season attempt at almost mainstream television has been a disappointment. The last time they left their live audience more annoyed was their notorious sketch with the Canadian Jus Reign – a teaser of how wrong things can go. Picking on the issues and the men and the women plaguing the country with the utmost freedom, AIB’s scripts have still been underwhelming and unimaginative, leaving it to the hosts to generate a positive response. While the first episode makes a stand over the extreme nationalist propaganda on display in the streets of India, it does so only with irritable attempts at humour. The second episode was on track to leave a similar aftertaste, save for the kaafi theatrical dig on Pahlaj Nihalani’s CBFC led by Tanmay Bhat.

Starring all four AIB members along with the goofy and bald Kanan Gill and the ever so charming Biswa Kalyan Rath (or is it the other way around?), the third episode was an “off script” special – an imaginary round table sharing of personal experiences at primary and secondary schools and university examinations – well within their comfort zone. So at-ease were they that it could have been released on YouTube had it been rejected by Hotstar, making it the best episode of OAWA ever aired.

If the special helps kick the season off again on a higher note we’ll all enjoy a smoother ride, because there is only one thing worse than watching Ashish Shakya dance, and that is watching Gursimran Khamba dance with him.