Stand-up comedy in recent years has exploded in India as a form of entertainment. Some of the most popular Indian comics include Zakir Khan, Harsh Gujral, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Abish Mathew, and many more. These comedians have gained millions of followers on social media platforms like Instagram and Youtube. Some of these also made a debut in movies.

Indian stand-up comics have a huge following with most of their shows being sold out not just in India but in many other parts of the world. This stardom has already made them into a celebrity which is why they have become a desired choice for movies. Here, we will talk about 5 Indian stand-up comics who have made it to the silver screen in significant roles.

Anubhav Singh Bassi

The latest to join the club is Anubhav Singh Bassi who is lovingly called Bassi. He made his Bollywood debut with Luv Ranjan’s Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar released in 2023. Bassi played the role of Manu Dabbas, Ranbir’s chuddy-buddy, business partner and partner-in-crime, quite literally. 

Bassi’s comic timing is impeccable in the movie and he will leave you laughing out loud. He has done thorough justice to his role and you can easily buy the argument that he is Manu Dabbas and not Anubhav Singh Bassi. Going by growing popularity, we hoped his comedy wouldn’t disappoint and to be honest, he overshadowed many big names in Bollywood with his debut performance.

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Kanan Gill

Kanan Gill rose to fame with his Pretentious Movie Review along with Biswa Kalyan Rath. Before we go any further, can we please re-acknowledge the fact that Pretentious Movie Reviews is a laughter riot and the biggest blessing of humankind. Requesting Kanan and Biswa to start Pretentious Movies Reviews 2.0.

Kanan Gill- Comics in movies

Now that this is out of our way, let’s get back to business. Kanan is a super successful stand-up comic who makes hilarious observations about Indian households. His fame landed him a role in Noor which also starred Sonakshi Sinha. Kanan plays the role of Saad Sehgal, who is Noor’s best friend and later they develop romantic feelings for each other. For starters, Kanan Gill did a very good job at acting.

Vir Das

Vir Das needs no introduction. His reputation precedes his name or should I say his controversies precede his name. (JK.) Vir is one of the wittiest comics in the Indian stand-up scene who makes jokes about the social and political situation of the country. He has many Netflix specials to his name. Getting a ticket to his show is like winning the lottery. The chances are slim but the happiness is the same. 

Vir Das- Comics in movies | Stand Up Comics

Vir Das moved to Hindi Cinema and was seen in movies like Badmash Company, Delhi Belly, Mastizaade and Go Goa Gone. Though he often makes fun of his acting, we think he did a good job as an actor. However, we are not complaining as we love to see him “act” in his specials too. Our boy’s talent is no secret and the Americans have kidnapped him for their Television series Whiskey Cavalier.

Can we also know which magic potion Vir consumes that he does not look his age at all?!

Biswa Kalyan Rath

The other half of the famous comedy stint, Pretentious Movie Reviews, Biswa Kalyan Rath is a darling of the Indian comedy scene. His laid-back posture and his funny accent are enough to get you laughing but once the jokes start rolling, there is no stopping him. Biswa has many shows in his kitty but our personal favourite is Biswa Mast Aadmi and never a performance justifies its name to this extent.

Biswa- Comics In Movies | Stand Up Comics

Biswa first appeared in a Sex Comedy named Brahman Naman where he portrayed the role of Illash, a supporting character. The movie was shown at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Biswa was later seen on the web series Lakhon Mein Ek, which aired on Amazon Prime. It was created and written by Biswa himself. The show did very well and was an instant favourite. 

Varun Grover

Like the popular ‘Khulja Sim Sim’ opens the jackpot door, similarly the path to being a millennial is, if and when you have watched Varun Grover’s Aisi Taisi Democracy. Apart from being proof of smart writing, Aisi Taisi Democracy is a political satire that is loved deeply. Varun Grover is a man with immense talent. He is a comedian, writer, poet, lyricist and filmmaker. He has won the Best Lyricist at the National Film Award and his first Feature film All India Rank was the closing film at IFFR. So he is not Jack but the Master of all trades. 

Apart from the long list of talents, Varun Grover is also an actor who made his debut in the film industry with Bombay Velvet. Even though the film did not do well, Grover’s character was highly appreciated. Recently, he was seen in the chilling tale of Qala where he played the character of Majrooh, who draws a stark resemblance with Varun himself.

Though the Indian stand-up scene unfolded only in the 2000s, comedy has been a part of the culture for a long time, with traditional forms like “Nautanki” incorporating humour into performances. Seeing these stand-up comics do so well for themselves, really pushes aspiring comics to work harder and make it big.