When we speak of the world of entertainment, award ceremonies are the epitome of glitz and glamour, often headlined by A-list stars and the latest trends. Comedians have slowly made their way into the entertainment world by earning note-worthy roles in movies. They are also owning the OTT space with their specials. However, the comedic void at the helm of these grand awards shows raises an essential question: why do Indian award shows favour star power over the wit and humour comedians bring to the stage? 

Comedic void at Indian Award shows

The Hollywood Reporter

The Background Against The Big Question

Vir Das, an ace comedian from India, stirred this conversation with his Instagram post after the announcement of Jimmy Kimmel as the host for the upcoming Oscars. Jimmy Kimmel has been a recurrent host at the Oscars highlighting the impact a seasoned comedian can have on an international stage. Kimmel’s adept handling of the ceremony after the 2022 Oscars incident illustrated the balance required to navigate sensitive situations while infusing wit and charm into the event.

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Comedians’ Unscripted Impact

Indian comedians, including Vir Das, have played pivotal roles in scripting entertainment scenes, yet they remain conspicuously absent from the hosting stage. The role of comedians lies in humanising the celebrated stars, as well as offering a refreshing and relatable perspective that resonates with the audience. Their unscripted wit has the power to bridge the gap between the ivory towers of the stars and the viewers at home.

The Existence of Power Dynamics

Vir Das hints at a critical imbalance in power dynamics, which to an extent seems true. Stars live in a world of scripted stability and these established stars often resist the playful banter or satire that comedians effortlessly weave into their hosting roles. This resistance dilutes the comedic essence, making the event more of a showcase than an engaging, entertaining affair for the audience.

The Humour Equation

Humour thrives when the host wields less power, fostering a candid and relatable exchange. However, when renowned stars take the stage, this equilibrium falters, affecting the overall entertainment value for viewers. The hesitance of Indian comedians to host stems from this inherent imbalance and the industry’s inclination towards star power over nuanced wit.

Comedic void prevalent at Indian award shows

A Call for Change

While reasons for Indian comedians’ absence from hosting are multifaceted, Vir Das’s insights urge a crucial dialogue about the absence of comedians in high-profile events. It’s time for the Indian entertainment industry to recognise the invaluable contribution comedians can make in elevating the entertainment quotient of award ceremonies, creating a more engaging and enjoyable experience for attendees and viewers worldwide. Not having these comic geniuses is definitely a missed opportunity to infuse laughter and authenticity into award ceremonies.