If you’ve spent any time on the Indian part of the internet recently, you’ve likely come across Anubhav Singh Bassi. The lawyer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-comedian is everywhere you look. His videos get millions of views on YouTube. He was just on The Kapil Sharma Show for its New Year extravaganza. He’s got a big Bollywood film coming and his jokes are even all over Twitter replies (you know, “koi sense hai is baat ki?”). So it’s almost a surprise that the 32-year-old from Meerut’s Amazon Prime Special Bas Kar Bassi is actually his first.
It’s been a heady time for Bassi, but his breakout success in comedy came after years of misdaventures, failures and (often drunken) tomfoolery, and those experiences form the backbone of his debut special. Bassi’s YouTube hits revolve around the tragi-comic absurdity of life at his Lucknow law college, and Bas Kar Bassi picks up that thread and takes it further in his trademark bar-side raconteur style.
He talks about being an upaid intern at a law firm and the Greek comedy that is Indian litigation. There’s anecdotes about blagging his way into a startup job where he got paid a decent chunk of money to do nothing but search the office for a spot where he could get some signal on his phone. The best bits and the meat of the special are the stories about his closest friends—a sozzled brat-pack who always leap before they look—and their ill-fated attempt to get into the restaurant business.
If you’re expecting a special that builds up to a Big Moment, where the comedian tackles the Big Issue of the day, this isn’t that. In fact, the show feels like it just comes to a sudden stop rather than a proper ending, and Bas Kar Bassi would have benefitted from more ruthless editing. But Bassi’s success is built on being your friendly neighbourhood story-teller: making you feel like you were drinking with a friend who loves to tell tall tales, often so amused at himself he can’t stop chuckling. Bas Kar Bassi proves that he can scale that feeling up to arena-sized spectacle.
Bas Kar Bassi is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.