Dead Ant

Review: Rahul Subramanian’s ‘Kal Main Udega’ Has One Of The Funniest Bits of 2018

By Ravina Rawal 26 November 2018

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Amazon Prime Special | 1 hr | Released: March 2018 

He won the 2015 YouTube Comedy Hunt and held our attention as one of the best acting talents to come of all those AIB sketches and collaborations with fellow comedian Biswa Kayan Rath a couple of years ago.

We’ve keenly watched Rahul Subramanian through his foray into standup, in which he’s already bodysurfed over smash successes with bits about monorails and kids, his breakup and MBA, and his dad vs Facebook—each of which boast of 2-5 million views on YouTube, where his fanbase lies in wait, hungry for moar.

His live acts, complete with crowd work, have you all-in too, which is why news of a one-hour special on Amazon Prime Video jumps immediately onto your watch list.

The setup is simple: dark theatre and spotlight on Subramanian dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, with a formal shirt thrown on for good measure and because balance is everything.

His social media is loaded with timely reminders that his comedy is not aimed at driving social change, and that he’s simply giving you a glimpse into his scattered mind. Whether or not you think that’s a good thing, it serves to take the pressure off, and you know what to expect. Except, do you really?

His live acts, complete with crowd work, have you all-in too, which is why news of a one-hour special on Amazon Prime Video jumps immediately onto your watch list.

He tells you about how life has changed after he started getting popular in the standup comedy circuit, with a little background about his ex-corporate life at Mahindra and Mahindra. Life now revolves around his dust-allergic maid. But when he gets out of the house, there are a bunch of things that drive him crazy. His passionate hate for Spice Jet air hostesses and DJs tops the list and is easily the highlight of the one-hour special, the rest of which pales in comparison.

Of course, this short but desperately hysterical, wheeze-inducing rant is also what got him into massive trouble a few months ago. When a bunch of DJs. Took GREAT offence. And threatened to beat him up. For defaming their profession. Here’s Subramanian’s account of what happened, shared on his Facebook page:

I cannot think of a more simultaneously confusing and delightful reaction from a more unexpected bunch of people.

Shortly after Subramanian shared the four-minute edit on YouTube to promote his special, a gaggle of DJs showed up outside a venue in Gurgaon, where he was performing, threatening all kinds of violence. Hell hath no fury like a DJ scorned, kids, write that down.

Organisers all the way over in Pune got so nervous, they cancelled a show scheduled for a little bit later at their own venue. Standing ovation. Your move, Spice Jet air hostesses.

Hell hath no fury like a DJ scorned, kids. Write that down.

Back to the special, except this is when it starts getting hard to. Subramanian is at his best when he’s so agitated that his voice lurches past the highest possible octave and breaks into an incredulous croak. “WHY DO YOU WOO?” for instance, is a line your brain will play back to you even several days after you’ve finished the special. I suspect it’s also why I like his character (a shouty, disgruntled priest) in comedian Sumukhi Suresh’s web series, Pushpavalli.

But despite some solid anecdotal bits surrounding his Tamilian wedding and marriage in general, he now struggles to hold your attention as before. There’s a disconnected segment of one-liners that feels like a bunch of jokes he couldn’t fit seamlessly enough into the main structure, but couldn’t bear to let go of either. By this point, as he says himself, “yeh show mein kabhi bhi kuchh bhi ho raha hai”. It’s true.

He picks up again with a bit on Maria Sharapova’s drug fiasco from a few years ago, and closes with a hilarious imagined scenario in which Galileo and Newton arrive at their respective theories because they’re stoned AF.

Of course you’ll watch Kal Main Udega if you’re a Rahul Subramanian loyalist as I am. But if you don’t have a whole hour to spare, here’s the bit on DJs that is essential viewing:

Dead Ant review policy: 1) We pay for shows that we review. 2) When we review live shows of any kind, we might mention subjects that are dealt with, but will avoid more detailed discussion of premises or jokes. 3) When we review or discuss YouTube videos and OTT specials, since they are already accessible across locations, we may get into more details discussions of the material. These reviews aim to foster closer conversations about comedy, and hence are for people who have already watched the videos, or don’t mind knowing details of it beforehand.

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