All India Bakchod
All India Bakchod
|Also known as||AIB|
(17 February 2019)
|Total views||384 M|
(17 February 2019)
All India Bakchod aka 'A-I-B' is a now defunct creative agency, and one-time comedy group, that was based in Mumbai, India. It was co-founded by Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhat. Bakchod is Hindi slang for 'senseless fucker', and the name is derivative of All India Radio. Bhat and Khamba started the namesake podcast in 2012, in Mumbai. Co-founders Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya soon joined, and they became the four founding members of the 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. Their idols are Louis C.K., Patrice O’Neal, and Chris Rock.
On October 8, 2018, Khamba and Bhat were asked to leave AIB amid their involvement, and complicit behavior, in separate sexual harassment allegations. Bhat was accused of ignoring complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment leveled against former AIB employee, and frequent collaborator, Ustav Chakraborty. Bhat apologized on Twitter. In a separate incident an unnamed woman accused Khamba of violating her consent, and emotional abuse. Khamba has denied these allegations. As as result of these allegations, Khamba and Bhat were both fired from various roles across networks, and Hotstar terminated AIB's news comedy show mid-season. Since January, 2019, Joshi and Shakya restarted doing stand-up comedy, whereas Bhat and Khamba have not issued any subsequent updates.
- 1 History
- 2 Work
- 3 Allegations
- 4 Web Series
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Bhat and Joshi were based in Mumbai, Shakya in Navi Mumbai, and Khamba in New Delhi. Bhat and Shakya previously won Hamateur Night—an open-mic show created by Vir Das in Mumbai in 2009. Bhat graduated from doing 5-min sets at the Mumbai Comedy Store to 10, and 20, minute spots. Joshi began doing open-mics during the same time, while working, and eventually quitting a job at CNBC. Bhat and Joshi later worked at Weirdass Comedy—Das' comedy company—as writers and opened for Das occasionally. Shakya 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 HT in 2009. Early reviews of Shakya's show said his content was "community-based." Khamba gained popularity as a blogger. His blogs included political commentary, comedy, and film reviews. He also contributed to Faking News, and gained popularity on Twitter. He soon transitioned to stand-up, and podcasting.
Khamba and Bhat began the namesake podcast in 2012 on SoundCloud after Khamba moved to Mumbai. Bhat approached Khamba after watching him perform stand-up at Zenzi, a now shuttered bar in Bandra, Mumbai. 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.
Sketches, and spoofs
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 among other comedic devices. In April, 2013, they did a Bollywood award show spoof show called Royal Turds, and continued performing it for over a year. 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 the two main characters. The skit drew attention to the "Indian patriarchal mindset". During this period, comic and writer, Karunesh Talwar 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. AIB issued apologies for using insult comedy ineffectively, and various Bollywood celebrities expressed, both, their displeasure and support regarding the roast content.
Calls to action
Using a call to action directive in the skit It's Your Fault is what got the group its first viral moment in 2013. In 2015, after facing public backlash for poorly copying the roast, they did not upload any YouTube content between December, 2014, and April, 2015. Their comeback was a video that asked people to fight for net-neutrality, in order to regain public goodwill. Later, in February, 2017, they made a video urging people to vote in the BMC Mumbai elections.
Branded content, and web series
In May 2015, they transitioned into a creative agency, and started an advertisement division called Vigyapanti. 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
The original podcast began with parodies of Baba Sehgal, (Paaji Fuck All Control - The Pro Boy Feticide Song), and John Lennon (Imagine There's No Channel). Raju Srivastav, Johnny Lever, Andy Zaltzman, Anurag Kashyap, Usha Uthup, and Russell Peters 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 for situations such as religious festivals, weddings, restaurants, travel, college, and parties. Majority of their sketches were branded content for companies such as AskMe SnapDeal, Furlenco, Swiggy, Bacardi, TrulyMadly, Google Allo, and OnePlus. 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.
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. Later in the year, AIB was accused of being faux-feminists by critics. It was said AIB's work, "replicates the very models of patriarchy it seeks out to address." They were called out for writing female characters with no agency in any of their work. 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." Since 2017 they have deleted material that has drawn criticism, including videos Chakraborty worked on. Bhat's work was also criticized by Bishnupriya Dutt, a professor at JNU. She said, "The reality is that [Bhat’s] comedy is directed at women when comedy should question society and patriarchy. It is misogynistic."
On 4 October 2018, stand-up comedian and YouTuber Utsav Chakraborty, a former editor at Huffington Post India, former AIB employee, and frequent collaborator, 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. The allegations against Chakraborty garnered attention online when Mahima Kukreja, a poet, accused him of sending her an unsolicited dick pic. 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. Kukreja said she was let down by Bhat, because "he seemed shocked when I told him, and promised to do something about it but never followed through." This moment was the genesis of the Indian #MeToo movement in 2018.
On 8 October 2018, Gursimran Khamba was accused of violating consent, and emotional abuse by an unknown woman. She said Khamba tried “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.” 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.
As a result of these allegations, AIB effectively ceased to operate. Bhat, and Khamba were asked to take a leave of absence from all activity and were fired from their role as judges on the Amazon show Comicstaan—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. And 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.
On Air With AIB
Was a news-comedy 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.
Gormint fka Ministry
In December 2016, a report stated AIB was producing Amazon Prime's first Indian original fiction show, 'Ministry', starring Irrfan Khan. In October 2017, 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." 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. 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.' AIB attempted to profit of her virality soon after, and renamed the show. In November 2018, after allegations against Khamba surfaced he was fired from his role as show-runner. There have been no updates regarding the progress, or release of the show since.
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