With the Indian comedy industry still reeling from the impact of COVID-19, comics have had to find new ways to create content and deliver their jokes to an audience that desperately needs a laugh after the year we’ve had. This week, comedians Navin Noronha, Jeeya Sethi and Sriraam Padmanabhan announced that they would be crowd-funding the taping of their upcoming show Make Comedy Great Again, which they will perform live in front of an audience at the Habitat in Mumbai on 29 January. Hosted by Aditi Mittal, the show will be released free to watch on YouTube.
Noronha and his fellow comics will premiere sets they’ve written and worked on through the lockdowns, and hope that Make Comedy Great Again will give standup-starved audiences their much-needed fix. “It’s like plain standup, pure standup, for the love of standup,” Noronha told DeadAnt. “If you’re someone who enjoys [live] comedy, and the experience of being one with the comic, then you get how depressing it has been to not have been at a venue in so long. Now that we have live shows again, we want to share that joy. It’s a celebration of comedy.”
Noronha also addressed online criticism about them crowd-funding a video that will presumably be monetised on YouTube. “We want it to be a crowdsourced thing because people who love our work will understand that we are coming from a genuine place,” he said. “Obviously when we put out the video it’s going to be on YouTube and for free […] We have been working really hard in the pandemic doing zoom shows and writing jokes and now it’s time to record those jokes, that’s the only effort throughout the whole thing.”