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'Roast me, Ashoke Pandit!' Zakka Jacob on the AIB Knockout controversy

'Roast me, Ashoke Pandit!' Zakka Jacob on the AIB Knockout controversy

CNN-IBN's Zakka Jacob writes about the AIB Knockout and all the controversy surrounding it.

  • CNN-IBN
  • Last Updated: February 4, 2015, 2:17 PM IST
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Every once in a while, in our mundane, boring lives, comes a piece of art which shakes you up so much that you're left spell bound. I watched the #AIBKnockout with Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh last weekend with a bunch of my friends, sloshed out of my wits. Yeah, you heard me right, sloshed out of my wits. Roast me, Ashoke Pandit. I can't think of a time in the recent past when I laughed out loud so much. And neither could my friends. It was so awesome I went around recommending the #AIBKnockout to all my friends. Until yesterday.

The extremely funny, and very brave men and woman at #AIB have taken off their videos from Youtube. Never mind, that the whole country and their uncles can watch it on other proxy links, defeating the very purpose of removing it off Youtube in the first place. Guys, the internet doesn't bend to the left or to the right, neither to comedians nor to censor czars. As President Obama would wisely tell you "there can be no gatekeepers between you and your favourite online sites."

The roast has long been a tradition in the US. The first official roast happened with Maurice Chevalier, the famous American comedian by the New York Friars club. But the roast really got a kick up when Comedy Central took it up in a big way. They've roasted everyone from Drew Carey to James Franco. The annual White House Correspondents' dinner too has been a roast of the President for many years. For our politicians who are mostly uptight and unfunny in their public interactions, barring a few exceptions, take at look at the White House Correspondents' dinner from 2006 when comedian Stephen Colbert took then President George W Bush's ass and how. And to give the devil his due, Bush, took it all in good spirit.

The good folks at #AIB did not invent the roast. They just 'lifted' it from the West and added our own little desi tadka to it. Four thousand people who paid 4000 rupees each for a ticket watched this event, which happened in the last week of December. None of them had a problem. The #AIBKnockout would have died a natural death, had the folks at AIB not put it up on Youtube, an entire month later. But it also gave the whole event the kind of eyeballs and attention (3 million hits in a week), that would have never happened in the pre-social media age, which incidentally, is when Ashoke Pandit made his best movies.

The way we make and consume our entertainment has changed. Our idea of comedy has changed. Everyone's fair game. There's no more reverence. No more Bacchhan sir, Rajni sir and Kamal sir. Yashraj and Karan Johar realize this. We abuse in everyday life, in daily traffic, so why be so hypocritical when someone does it on stage in front of four thousand people, all in good humour.

And finally, one little detail. About Karan Johar's favourite position, over which there seems to be a lot of moaning and groaning. A lot of Indians love sex...a number of them love sex with men. It's their choice. And if their moms don't have a problem with it, why should you Ashoke Pandit?

P.S. Hiroo Yash Johar, new found #Respect

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