There comes a day in all our lives, when all the sleepless nights, headaches and heartburn we’ve powered through finally pay off. The first day of the Final Exams after weeks of all-nighters, or the Big Meeting with your MVP client on that presentation you’ve been working on for months; the day of your dance performance at a competition, or when you finally get to open for an international rock band… you get the drift.
For comedians, their day of reckoning is taping day. The day they finally bet on their material after a rigorous process, across all formats, of exploring premises, landing punchlines, bombing, re-writing, over-analysing, re-attempting (and repeat). Then come the shows, the tours, the festivals. And after months, sometimes years, a polished hour they’re proud of, and the comedy special fans have been waiting for.
You should go if:
- You’re a superfan. A comic is all nerves on taping day. Deadlines for submission are around the corner, serious money has been spent on the set, there is no room for error. (Contrary to what most people believe, there’s only so much you can salvage in the edit room later.) Your unbridled enthusiasm, moral support and generous applause breaks mean the world to them. No kidding.
- You want to be part of something truly special. Once a special is recorded and put out on the internet… well, it stays on the internet. If you’re lucky, you might even spot yourself in an audience shot in the final edit. Bragging rights.
- You want to see your favourite comic in top form. This is material that has been nurtured, cared for and tightened for months. Tags and callbacks have been added, fluff and lags have been junked. This is as close to perfection as they’ll be.
- You don’t mind more waiting time than usual, the occasional retake, navigating logistics and following house rules: don’t heckle, keep your phone out of sight (and ideally, out of mind), don’t start talking to your friends, don’t get up in the middle for anything.
- You are more than happy to laugh out loud, clap enthusiastically, and woot when it’s warranted. Not (just) because you’re a crazy person, but because comedians hate using canned laughter, and their special needs your energy levels to be way up! (This is also why they dissuade people who’ve already watched the show from showing up at the taping; you’re less likely to laugh as maniacally as the first time you heard a punchline.)
Here are the nine comics who have announced the dates for their tapings. Get your tickets before they sell out (and, trust us, they go fast).
1. Daniel Fernandes – Shadows
24 August | Mumbai | Streaming platform: TBA
Daniel Fernandes is finally recording this special after having toured with it across India and internationally for the last 18 months. A finely tuned and hilarious hour-long deep dive into his personal battle with anxiety over the last three years or so, Fernandes brings the last leg of his Shadows tour in Mumbai on 24 August with two shows. Read our full review here. Get the last few tickets here.
2. Sumukhi Suresh – Don’t Tell Amma
24 August | Bangalore | Streaming platform: Yup, that one
Can you imagine being a comic, writer, producer, actor and show creator in Mumbai without your parents in Nagpur ever catching wind of it? Well, Sumukhi Suresh has been walking that tight rope for years now. Her first special Don’t Tell Amma is Suresh’s deeply personal story, packed with punches and high on the laughs per minute. Catch her at the taping in Bangalore on 24 August. Tickets here.
3. Kaneez Surka, Prashasti Singh, Supriya Joshi & Niveditha Prakasam – Four Quarters
31 August | Mumbai | Streaming platform: No, it’s the other one
Three reality show contestants and a judge. That should be a show. Lolwhut? It is? Four comics perform their tightest 15 minutes each on an all-women lineup for a combined special that we can’t tell you anything about on a streaming service we’re not allowed to reveal yet. Just get your tickets here already.
4. Ashish Shakya – Shak Attack
28 September | Mumbai | Streaming platform: Yup, that one
Shakya’s first solo comedy special, Shak Attack is relatable and ridiculous in equal measure. From bullies, babies and Bollywood to politics, terrorism and stepmoms, it’s an hour of sharp satire you don’t want to miss. After touring nine cities across the country, Shakya will be taping his special in Mumbai on 28 September. Get your tickets here.
5. Vir Das – The Third Special
5 October | Mumbai | Streaming platform: His usual
When has Vir Das not stirred shit up (mostly for himself)? He just finished taping his last special Loved for Netflix in Mumbai like yesterday, and he’s already announced the next one. After a string of secret shows and trial shows in Mumbai, Das is all set to record his third special. We’ve watched it, but he made all of us mothersweargodpromise we wouldn’t tell anyone anything about it. All we can say is that it’s fun, and the taping is in Mumbai on 5 October. What’s it called? Where the hell is it? What time? Fill out the registration link, and you’ll get the details when he’s ready to spill the tea.
6. Rohan Joshi – Wake & Bake
5 October | Mumbai | Streaming platform: Yup, that one
Joshi’s first solo special, still on tour, is basically an hour of him being mildly horrified at the highs and lows of being 36 years old. Mostly the highs. By which we mean it’s basically a poorly disguised campaign for legalising weed. Expect hearty laughs and warm fuzzy feels, whether it comes from the jokes or your enthusiasm for certain serrated leaves. We might even suggest flying solo for this one. Taping is in Mumbai on 5 October. Tickets just went on sale here.