The funniest comics in the industry, according to Aditi Mittal


The funniest comics in the industry, according to Aditi Mittal

Comics who make the comic laugh

By Salva Mubarak  June 30th, 2017

Aditi Mittal doesn’t wait a second before answering “Kapil Sharma in drag” when I ask her about who should play her in her yet-to-be-made biopic. Amidst discussing the blatant sexism she faces every time she gets on stage to the reasons why she decided to be a comic, I wanted to know who (or what) made Aditi Mittal laugh?

While, like the rest of humanity, serious situations reduce Aditi into a hopeless, giggly mess, it’s noted comedian Johnny Lever who, according to her, is God. “I think he is our Chris Rock plus Louis CK. I don’t think there’s any comic in India who will disagree with me if I say Johnny Lever is God.”

After firmly establishing just how much she reveres him (and making me promise that I would check out all the comics she’s mentioned) she rattles off a list of comedians that have an assured place at the list of her comedy idols, including Maria Bamford (“You have to watch her special Old Baby”), Bridget Christie (“She is fucking amazing”) and Rajnish Kapoor (“Too funny, this guy”).

Aditi Mittal’s comedy idols

Johnny Lever

“This man is a class act. He’s managed to be funny in Bollywood and even on stage (as a stand-up comic). I remember once (my family and I) went to watch his show and, because we’re Sindhi, we bought tickets that were right at the back. That man is 56 years old and he was on stage for 2 hours and then he end with this full ode to Sachin Tendulkar in Marathi, while dancing and singing. The audience at the back was losing their shit. I was deaf after the show because people around me were screaming so loudly throughout the show. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.

In the middle of the show, he started dropping truth bombs about his struggle with drinking, and you would think that people would not like to hear about that with their families present. But everyone there was roaring with laughter. I had already been doing stand-up for about a year and a half by then, but that day I realized that this kind of affection and intimacy only comedy can give you.”

Ali Wong

“She is fucking fantastic. There’s one routine called ‘Baby Cobra’, and the opening line is (and she is pregnant as fuck) ‘Let’s get this over and done with, because I have to pee in 10 minutes’ and I knew that I loved this woman.”

Varun Grover

“His personality is so unintimidating and usually in comedy you’re told that you need to have an alpha personality to command a room. Varun shows you how it’s done without all that shit. He is a brilliant man who I absolutely unafraid. Also, he eats a lot of ghee but never gains weight. I don’t know if that’s related to anything but I am genuinely envious of this."

Vir Das

“I have to give a shout out to Vir Das. Vir has shown us what can be done. His was one of the only few platforms that offered people the opportunity to do stand-up. I remember writing my first two minutes specifically for his open mic night. Even today, you hear so many comics have picked up their cadence from Vir Das. He showed us the fucking way.”