All India Bakchod

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All India Bakchod (AIB)
All India Bakchod.jpg
Personal information
OriginAndheri, Mumbai
Nationality India
YouTube information
Also known asAIB
Channel
Location
Created by
  • Tanmay Bhat
  • Gursimranjeet Singh Khamba
  • Ashish Shakya
  • Rohan Joshi
Years active2012-2018
Genre
Subscribers3.48 M
(16 March 2019)
Total views387.62 M
(16 March 2019)
Network
Catchphrase(s)"Honest Indian..."
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers

All India Bakchod aka AIB was a creative agency based in Mumbai, India. Bakchod is Hindi slang for 'senseless fucker', and the name is derivative of All India Radio. Tanmay Bhat and Gursimranjeet Singh Khamba started the AIB podcast in Mumbai,[1] in 2012. Co-founders Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya soon joined, and became the four founding members of the comedy group. They started doing group comedy shows, sketches, and later became a creative agency in 2015. Apart from creating branded content they worked as comedy writers, columnists, and performed stand-up. They took inspiration from Louis C.K., Patrice O’Neal, and Chris Rock.[2]

On October 8, 2018, Khamba and Bhat were asked to leave AIB amid their involvement, and complicit behavior, in separate sexual harassment allegations.[3] Bhat was accused of ignoring complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment leveled against former AIB employee, and frequent collaborator, Utsav Chakraborty. Bhat apologized on Twitter.[4] In a separate incident an unnamed woman accused Khamba of violating her consent, and emotional abuse.[5] Khamba has denied these allegations.[6] As as result of these allegations, Khamba and Bhat were both fired from various roles across networks,[7] and Hotstar terminated AIB's news comedy show mid-season. In October, 2018, it was announced AIB would dissolve for an indefinite amount of time. Since January, 2019, Joshi and Shakya have re-entered the stand-up comedy circuit, while Bhat and Khamba have not issued any subsequent updates.

History[edit]

Pre AIB[edit]

Tanmay Bhat and Rohan Joshi were based in Mumbai, Ashish Shakya in Navi Mumbai, and Gursimranjeet Singh Khamba in New Delhi. Bhat, Joshi and Shakya all started doing stand up comedy around the same time in 2009 at 'Hamateur night,' an open-mic show created by Vir Das in Mumbai. Khamba started blogging in Delhi around the same time. The Mumbai Comedy Store opened in Lower Parel, Mumbai, in 2010[8] and was renamed Canvas Laugh Club in 2012. It served as the launchpad—along with venues such as Cafe Goa and Blue Frog in Mumbai—for their individual stand-up careers.

Tanmay Bhat[edit]

Bhat won a 'Hamateur night' open mic in 2009.[9][10] He graduated from doing 5-min filler sets at the Mumbai Comedy Store to 10 and 20 minute spots. He occasionally opened for Vir Das and worked at Weirdass ComedyDas' comedy company. He also wrote for Hindi TV. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in advertising from RD National College, Bandra, in 2010.

Rohan Joshi[edit]

Joshi began doing open-mics in 2010 while working, and eventually quitting a job at CNBC.[11][12] Joshi also worked at Weirdass Comedy—as a writer—and opened for Das occasionally. He is an ACJ graduate. In 2011, Joshi and Bhat started performing improv with a group that consisted of Vir Das, Kavi Shastri, Ashwin Mushran, and Anu Menon. They were called 'The Cardinal Bengans.'[13][14] Joshi cites Chris Rock, Louis CK, Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Hicks as inspirations.[15] He also wrote a humor column in Mid Day between April 2012 and June 2015.[16]

Ashish Shakya[edit]

Shakya was also a 'Hamateur night' open mic winner. He used to write jokes for Cyrus Broacha’s show on CNN-IBN, called The Week That Wasn't, and started writing a humor column for Hindustan Times in 2009.[17] Early reviews of Shakya's shows said his content was "community-based."[10] He has a degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering from the University of Mumbai. He was also a contributing writer for MTV India's: 'Wassup: The Voice of Youngistaan,' which was hosted by Ayushmann Khurrana.[18]

Gursimranjeet Singh Khamba[edit]

Gursimranjeet Singh Khamba gained popularity as a blogger. On May 4, 2006, while attending Delhi University, he petitioned to President APJ Abdul Kalam against increasing caste-based reservation in educational institutes and government jobs. He was part of United Students, an anti-reservation student body, along with journalist Aditya Raj Kaul.[19][20] He graduated from DU with a degree in journalism in 2006. His blogs included political commentary, comedy, and film reviews.[21] He also contributed to Faking News, and gained popularity on Twitter.[22] He soon transitioned to stand-up, and podcasting, after moving to Mumbai in 2011 to attend TISS. He graduated from TISS in 2013, and his MA dissertation was titled, 'Transformation of televisual spaces of Indian comedy.'[23]

Formation[edit]

Khamba and Bhat began the podcast in 2012,[24] on SoundCloud,[25] once Khamba moved to Mumbai. Bhat approached Khamba after watching him perform stand-up at Zenzi, a now shuttered bar in Bandra, Mumbai.[2] The content of the podcast included discussions on pop-culture, parody songs, and interviews. Joshi and Shakya joined the podcast in its third episode, and soon formed the group. They cite WTF with Marc Maron, and Nerdist, as the inspiration behind the podcast.[18]

Work[edit]

2013-2015[edit]

Sketches, and spoofs[edit]

After forming a group—and cutting ties with previous employers—they started uploading sketches on YouTube in February, 2013, as the AIB 365 series, and used mimicry[26] among other comedic devices. In April, 2013, they did a Bollywood award show spoof show called Royal Turds,[27][28] and continued performing it for over a year.[29] They gained online popularity on September 19, 2013, after making the satirical video 'Rape: It's Your Fault'. Kalki Koechlin and former Channel [V] India VJ Juhi Pande are its two lead characters. The skit drew attention to the "Indian patriarchal mindset".[30][31] During this period, comic and writer, Karunesh Talwar and former radio jockey and anchor Abish Matthew were frequent collaborators.

In December 2014, AIB copied the Comedy Central Roast, and called it All India Bakchod Knockout. It was held at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai, and was hosted by Karan Johar. Ranveer Singh, and Arjun Kapoor were roasted. The show was uploaded on YouTube, and subsequently removed from their channel because of public backlash.[32] AIB issued apologies for using insult comedy ineffectively,[33][34] and various Bollywood celebrities expressed, both, their displeasure and support regarding the roast content.[35]

Calls to action[edit]

Using a call to action directive in the skit It's Your Fault got the group its first viral moment in 2013. In 2014, after facing public backlash for poorly copying the roast, they did not upload any YouTube content between December, 2014, and April, 2015. In order to regain public goodwill, their first upload since December 2014 was a call to action urging people to fight for net-neutrality in April 2015.[36][37] Later, in February, 2017, they made a video calling on people to vote in the BMC Mumbai elections.

2015-2018[edit]

Branded content, and web series[edit]

In May 2015 they transitioned, into a creative agency, and started an advertisement division called Vigyapanti.[38] Between 2015 and 2018 they hired and contracted multiple writers to work on branded and digital content. During this time the four original members, and a writing team, created a news comedy show called On Air With AIB on Hotstar. In 2016 they started, First Draft, a film-making workshop. In October 2017, it was announced AIB was creating a political-satire fiction series on Amazon Prime titled Gormint (fka Ministry).

Tropes and collaborations[edit]

The original podcast began with parodies of Baba Sehgal,[39] (Paaji Fuck All Control - The Pro Boy Feticide Song), and John Lennon (Imagine There's No Channel).[40] Raju Srivastav,[41] Johnny Lever,[42] Andy Zaltzman,[43] Anurag Kashyap,[44] Usha Uthup,[44] and Russell Peters[45] were among their first guests. Since 2013, AIB's initial foray into YouTube consisted of short spoofs and mimicry based sketches. Their work also included parodies of popular songs, stereotypical situations, and attempted to play heavy on nostalgia. They later popularized an 'Honest Indian...' satirical trope template and replicated its application for situations like religious festivals, weddings, restaurants, travelling abroad, engineering college, and house parties.[46] Majority of their sketches were branded content for companies such as AskMe[47] SnapDeal,[48][49][50] Furlenco,[51] Swiggy,[52] Bacardi,[53] TrulyMadly,[54] Google Allo,[55][56][57] and OnePlus.[58] Some of their guests and collaborators include: Podcast—Kunal Nayyar, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Madhuri Dixit, sketch—Jus Reign, Alia Bhatt, Irrfan, Kalki Koechlin, Imran Khan, Hussain Dalal, Ashwin Mushran, Lily Singh, Vishal Dadlani, Milind Deora, Suhel Seth, Richa Chadda, Vicky Kaushal, Mallika Dua, Kangana Ranaut, workshop—Varun Grover, Ritesh Batra, Neeraj Ghaywan, Shakun Batra, Hansal Mehta, Rajat Kapoor, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, and others.[59]

Criticism[edit]

In May 2017 comedian, and writer, Sanjay Rajoura criticized AIB for making fun of Dalit's (a marginalized ethnic minority in India), and being racist.[60] Later in the year, AIB was accused of being faux-feminists by critics.[61][62] It was said AIB's work, "replicates the very models of patriarchy it seeks out to address."[63] In 2018, their contemporaries called out the group for writing female characters with no agency in any of their work.[64] Characters in their sketches, podcast hosts, and their guests skewed heavily towards being almost entirely male. The group addressed the issue, and stated to "work harder to create content that's inclusive."[65] Since 2017 they have deleted[66] material that has drawn criticism, including videos Chakraborty worked on.[67] Bhat's work was also criticized by Bishnupriya Dutt, a professor at JNU.[68]

The reality is that [Bhat’s] comedy is directed at women when comedy should question society and patriarchy. It is misogynistic.

Bishnupriya Dutt, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Allegations[edit]

Against Bhat[edit]

On 4 October 2018, stand-up comedian and YouTuber Utsav Chakraborty, a former editor at Huffington Post India,[69] former AIB employee, and frequent AIB collaborator,[70] was accused of sending sexually explicit messages and photos to women. He was accused of soliciting nudes and sending unsolicited dick pics to multiple women, including minors.[71] The allegations against Chakraborty garnered attention online when Mahima Kukreja, a poet, accused him of sending her an unsolicited dick pic.[72][73] Prior to publicly calling Chakraborty out on Twitter, Kukreja had recently told Bhat about Chakraborty's behavior. Bhat confronted Chakraborty, but took no action and Chakraborty continued to work with Bhat and AIB in a professional capacity.[74] Kukreja said she was let down by Bhat:

When I told him about Utsav, I was expecting that he [would] do something, take some action. I was let down by him.”

Mahima Kukreja, Ozy, "Dec 2018"

This moment was the genesis of the Indian #MeToo movement in 2018.[68]

Against Khamba[edit]

On 8 October 2018, Gursimran Khamba was accused of violating consent, and emotional abuse by an unknown woman. She said:[5]

(Khamba) Repeatedly to make out with me while we were hanging out. He lay down on top of me on the couch, I had to physically shove him away, turn my face or push his. He would then stop. And we would hang out, ignoring the entire thing. I continued being friends with him.

"Hindustan Times, October 8, 2018"

She added that Khamba drunk called her, threatened to ruin friendship, and emotionally blackmailed and abused her for five months. Khamba acknowledged misbehaving but rejected the notion that he violated her consent.[5]

Consequences[edit]

As a result of these allegations, Bhat and Khamba were asked to take a leave of absence[75] from all activity and were fired from their role as judges on the Amazon show Comicstaan[7]—and all other ongoing (now former) Amazon projects. Khamba was fired from being the show-runner on the yet to be released Amazon series Gormint. Their news comedy show On Air With AIB was cancelled in its third season. An AIB produced film called Chintu Ka Birthday, co-directed by regular AIB collaborators Devanshu Kumar & Satyanshu Singh, starring Vinay Pathak and Tillotama Shome, was dropped from the 2018 MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.[76][77]

Web Series[edit]

On Air With AIB[edit]

Was a web television satire show AIB created. It was distributed, and ran on Star India's digital platform Hotstar. It aired between 2015 and 2018. It was produced by OML and was cancelled in its third season. The opening-credit song, Tragedy Mein Comedy (tragedy in comedy), was written, and performed, by Mumbai based MC & producer Naezy and was produced by Delhi based production duo StunnahSezBeatz.[78]The format consisted of in-studio presentation (like Last Week Tonight), sketches (SNL) and podcasts. Guests on the show included contemporary Indian comedians.

Gormint fka Ministry[edit]

In December 2016,[79] a report stated AIB was producing Amazon Prime's first Indian original fiction show, 'Ministry', starring Irrfan Khan. In October 2017,[80] it was announced Irrfan would play the protagonist in a "political satire set in contemporary India’s corridors of power. He will play a washed up, narcissistic Bollywood actor who is unwittingly appointed as a placeholder culture minister. Despite a crippling bureaucracy, political gaffes, and a team of misfits, he yearns to be loved by the masses once again."[81] Khamba was announced as creator, and show-runner. The show was set to be released in 2018.

In August 2018, Irrfan stepped down from his role due to a health related issue.[82] It was also during this period that the show was renamed 'Gormint,' a word that gained viral fame through a video of an old lady, Qamar, a resident of, Martin Quarters, Karachi. She was interviewed by a Paksitani news channel, on which she was criticizing the 'government.'[83][84] AIB attempted to profit of her virality soon after,[85] and renamed the show. In November 2018, after allegations of sexual misconduct against Khamba were made public he was fired from his role as show-runner.[86][87] There have been no updates regarding the progress, or release of the show since.

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