Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor in the first ever Indian roast
The good: This has been said already — several times by the AIB team on stage — but seriously, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor took this public drubbing like champs. So did Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt and Anurag Kashyap in the audience, who got hit by the shrapnel flying on stage. But the most entertaining person at the mic was roastmaster Karan Johar. Johar gave as good as he got — and what he got was a ceaseless barrage of gay jokes. Bollywood may live in its own little bubble of privilege but he’s still the citizen of a country where homosexuality is a crime. This made KJo the gutsiest bitch on stage.
The not-so-much: A lot of the material was creative ways to say the following things: Karan Johar is gay, Tanmay Bhat is fat, Ashish Shakya is dark, Ranveer Singh sleeps around and Arjun Kapoor flunked 12th class. But this is the nature of a roast. A roast-er operates a little like a playground bully, picking on one supposed flaw at random and then repeatedly hitting that nerve — so, for example, a Donald Trump roast will be about 70 per cent hair jokes. This gets old.
So why do stars subject themselves to roasts? One, it makes them look cool. Everyone loves the guy who can take a joke. Two, it takes the sting out the nasty things that people say about them anyway. For example, that AIB video was the Alia Bhatt joke to end all Alia Bhatt jokes. Three, they may be ripped to shreds but it’s clear who the paying public has come to see. And it’s not the funny guys.