He came, he joked and he conquered the hearts of comedy lovers in Dubai with his standout light-hearted gags. So engaging and impactful was Abish Mathew’s hour-long act that before you could catch your breath (considering the barrage of non-stop jokes), he had left the stage leaving the nearly full house at DUCTAC in high spirits and applauding incessantly!
Abish’s act on Saturday brought the curtains down on the popular Laugh-A-Ton, a series of stand-ups shows that featured well-known names from the Indian comedy circuits such as Biswa Kalyan Rath, Kenny Sebastian, Kanan Gill and Zakir Khan (who closed the show after Abish).
Considered one of India’s ace urban comedians, Abish is known for his keen observations of daily life. He kicked-off his act at the season finale with his take on how first names come into being in Kerala (especially in the Christian community). It’s usually a combination of two syllables from names of either siblings or other family members, he explained.
For instance, he said, if the father’s name is Joseph and the mother’s is Bina. “What would you expect the kid’s name to be? Jobin of course,” he quipped as he picked up a member of the audience (who happened to be a Keralalite and also a DJ) to explain his point further.
“Your name is Jeftin. Right. Let me guess, it’s an amalgamation of Jeffrey and probably a name of a pet.”
This also gave Abish an opportunity to take a jab at DJing – all of course in his inimitable, comic style, much to the delight of the audience. “Let me tell you a DJ’s job is not during a gig, it’s before a gig. During a live gig a DJ has three concepts. The first one is called ‘coochy coo’. Then there’s the ‘pungi’ and .. I too have a DJ console, it’s called a VLC player,” Abish joked.
His minute observations of the IPL cricket matches had the audience in splits. “All of us here have seen cricket right?” he asked.
“We’ve all know about the slo-mo technology, right?” He then went on to enact Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni in slow motion, making gestures with his hands and mouthing some words cricketers generally use on the pitch – some good and some bad ones (specially when sledging).
His observation was so precise that you’d feel as though you were actually watching a slo-mo clip live. It was hilarious! Some of the other sensitive and ‘under-the belt’ topics Abish touched upon were scenes in a public toilet (something we can’t write about though), husband and wife encounters, pets, and a parody on Indian rapper Honey Singh’s first album (can’t print this one too).
The opening act too was no less funny than the maestro himself. Even Abish was in awe of Rushdi Rafeek’s talent and applauded his act. Rushdi, a Dubai born and raised comedian, and Sri Lankan expat, narrated his daily encounters with other Asian expats like Indians, Pakistanis and other communities. His short but thoroughly amusing stint had the audience roaring.
The night ended with Zakir Khan, one of India’s rising stand-up performers who has become a much sought-after name in the comedy circuit. He is most popular for his take on issues plaguing society.
Some die-hard stand-up fans were heartbroken to see the Laugh-A-Thon season come to an end. Said Rajiv an 18-year-old Dubai student. “I am a huge fan of stand-ups. I’m really going to miss these sessions. I have been attending the shows since the series started in February. I prefer going to a comedy show than spending time in front of the TV. There’s so much interaction in these shows. They really make you feel part of the act.”
We do hope Abish and his ilk come back to our shores for another round of Laugh-A-Thon.