Out of all the genres to exist, comedy is surely the toughest to crack. The Indian comedy scene has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, evolving from traditional stand-up acts to a diverse and dynamic landscape of humour spread across various platforms. Comedians today are pushing boundaries and addressing a wide array of topics with wit, satire, and social commentary.
With a thriving presence on digital platforms and an expanding live performance circuit, the Indian comedy scene has truly come into its own, offering laughter as a unifying force. DeadAnt is a community that truly believes in uplifting the comedy scene in India. The platform aims to keep you up to date on what’s up in the comedic world – from news, reviews and interviews; the big fish and the small fry; your favourite comedians right now, to who you’re going to be obsessed with next, and where you can watch everyone live.
DeadAnt is here to ensure you don’t miss out on any action in this part of the world. They have a beautiful way of appreciating the old, existing and new talent through the DeadAnt Annual Comedy Awards called #DACA. They’re like the Oscars, but the kind Indian standup deserves. Four years in the running, this edition of the awards celebrates and highlights the best of Indian standup work done between 1 January 2022 – 31 December 2022. DACA 2022 was long overdue but like all good things take time, this one just took a bit more.
The winners of the DeadAnt Annual Comedy Awards have been chosen through a public voting system. Know which of your favourite comedy creators bagged the DACA for 2022:
Best Online Comedy Special
This award was rightfully bagged by Zakir Khan for his special Tathastu. What a wonderful piece of art. Tathastu really tugged at people’s heartstrings, it made them laugh and cry at the same time. Khan has been at the top of his game for the last couple of years and this is one more addition to his list of accolades.
Best TV Series, Web Stories Or Format Show By A Comedian
After establishing themselves on streaming platforms, Indian comedians are now making inroads into TV. And Jitendra Kumar is that one name that has been around since the early days of YouTube, who is now regularly seen on OTT services. His flawless acting has brought to life some of the most memorable characters like Abhishek on TVF’s ‘Panchayat‘. It’s Jitu Bhaiyya for the win!
India’s Favourite International Comedy Special
When it comes to international comedy, no one is as loved as Hasan Minhaj. People thoroughly enjoyed his Netflix special ‘The King’s Jester,’ granting him a landslide victory in this category.
Best Podcast By A Comedian
With their third consecutive win in this category, Aadar Malik , Kautuk Srivastava , Neville Shah and Varun Thakur have arguably become every Indian comedy fans’ favourite podcast called “The Internet Said So.”
Best Social Media Game
Most Exciting Voice
Many artists found their voice and really made us sit up and pay attention in 2022. But Gurleen Pannu‘s voice rang out the loudest. After coming in at second place on Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Comicstaan‘, the comedian took her hour-long special ‘Pannu, Yaar‘ on tour across the country, leaving everyone in splits.
Funniest Person On The Indian Internet
This one’s for the trend-setters, the algorithm all-stars, the opinionated hot-takers. They’ve mastered the format and made themselves a permanent fixture in your digital lives. And queen Kusha Kapila is the crème de la crème of this breed of entertainers. She is hands down the funniest comedy creator to exist on the internet right now. Period.
Best Live Show
From performing live to over 10,000 people in one day to delivering his hour “Bas Kar Bassi” on Amazon Prime Video, Anubhav Singh Bassi has been hard at work.
Best Regional Show
India’s growing regional standup comedy scene is only good news! And leading that charge is Manpreet Singh.
Best Comedy Format Show
This one is not just a fan-favourite, but our favourite show too. It is none other than Raunaq Rajani ‘s ‘Relationsh*t Advice’ in which he sits down with a group of friends and gives unhelpful relationship advice. Their guidance might not be the best but the jokes are top-notch which will leave you in splits!
Best YouTube Channel + Critic’s Choice Always On Award
Here’s to one of the most prolific comedians on the platform and the most OP creator, Tanmay Bhat. It takes a lot to build a career on YouTube, let alone two. Persistence is key. From live streams and vlogs to reaction videos, podcasts, and finance advice, Bhat has been supremely consistent. All hail the Bot Army Commander and his troops!
The winners of the DeadAnt Peer Picks awards were decided by a panel of 12 accomplished comedians from across the country.
Next Big Thing
Jose Covaco a.k.a. hoezaay has been one of the funniest people on the Indian internet for many years but what’s most impressive is how he’s also been able to seamlessly transition between formats and platforms. Wherever he goes, the laughs follow (and so do we!)
These are the comedians that the rest of the crew looks up to. Vir Das and Kanan Gill ticked off one milestone after another in the past year. They’re dreamers who are extremely passionate about their craft and aren’t afraid to put in the grunt work. A true inspiration, these two.
Sure, you can make an audience laugh, but how often can you make a fellow comedian go “I wish I’d thought of that?” All the green-room chatter in 2022 was about Abhishek Upmanyu and Anirban Dasgupta, with the comedians earning praise for their expert timing and compelling storytelling. This one’s for their mastery of the craft.
Every comedian’s second home, it’s Indie Habitat! From the staff to the atmosphere to the nuts and bolts that hold it all together, this venue is just perfect to spend an evening filled with laughter.
Chalta Hai Comedy secures the W for pushing the standup comedy envelope and maintaining the highest standards when putting together a show. A well-deserved ‘thank you’ is in order from comedians and comedy fans alike.
The winners of the DA Critics Choice Awards were decided by a renowned panel of critics, culture commentators and comedy producers.
With great stage time comes great responsibility. And Sumukhi Suresh has used her spot in the limelight for all the right reasons, finding fresh ways to make us LOL and paving the way for upcoming female writers and comedians with her company Motormouth. She is the moment!
Best Online Special (Landing) + Master Blaster Award
In a year when comedy left the Zoom rooms and got back on stage, Vir Das really stuck the ‘Landing’. One of the pioneers of Indian comedy, Das’ Netflix special really showcased the growth and evolution of his craft over the years. An all-rounder with an excellent work ethic, the comedian was everywhere you looked in 2022. On stage, on our Netflix screens, and even in Hollywood!
Comedy For Change
Few things are more powerful than an art form that can engage people on urgent issues. Navin Noronha‘s Queer Rated Comedy and the all-Dalit lineup Blue Material—featuring comedians Manaal Patil, Mayur Kamble, Ankur Tangade and Manjeet Sarkar—are a testament to that belief. In a world where the media and advocacy fall short, these comedians are striving to bring about positive change all while making us laugh.
Standup might be a predominantly solo art form but every artist gets by with a little help from their friends. Chirayu Mistry, Manan Desai and Vidya Desai‘s Comedy Factory has been pivotal in making the journey to success a little easier for plenty of comedians. They’ve been the community champions that Indian comedy needed and deserved.
In a country where comedy is becoming harder to perform by the day, it takes some real guts to crack jokes about those in power. Punit Pania has always come out all guns blazing, delivering hard-hitting comedy and making the audience think about life’s tough questions.
And that’s a wrap! Our country definitely boasts of the best comedic talent in recent times and the community is only growing bigger and stronger. Cheers to all the winners!