They’re Just Not Funny!

Have you noticed the lack of funny Asians lately?  Before you whip up the comments about the fabulous Goodness Gracious Me, may I remind you that it was written in 1996.  Nineteen ninety-six!  Asian stand-ups are uninspiring, I haven’t heard of anyone funny in ages.

I haven’t seen new comedy duo Asian Provocateurs yet (I’m hoping to catch them at the Edinburgh Festival now that I’m home) but I saw Paul Sinha at the Festival a couple of years ago and he was dull dull dull.  For how long is he going to open with “I used to be a GP” and “it’s tough being Asian and gay”.  His show quickly dealt with my surprise that I was able to buy tickets on the day of his performance.  Shazia Mirza is not funny.  Hardeep Singh Kohli does make great Radio 4 programmes but he doesn’t quite have me rolling around with laughter.

Do we have to go over the Atlantic to find a decent comic now?  Russell Peters was funny, granted, but even his mild racist comments against everyone are getting dreary the 90s style humour of “have you noticed that we do this and white people do that” is uncreative.  Vidur Kapur is a gay New Yorker and I am reliably informed that he is funny, but all of his gags on youtube seem to involve him acting extremely camp and, yawn, tell us that “it’s tough being Asian and gay”.  I’ve also heard of Rajiv Satyal, but to me, he looks a boring nerdy version of Russell Peters “hey have you noticed that Hispanics can’t say certain words”.  Anyway, none of these comics are home grown.

Are British Asians just not funny anymore?


4 Comments to “They’re Just Not Funny!”

  1. Paul Chowdhry? He’s from Edgware and has been compared to Russel Peters. I think he’s better. I’ve seen him live before and he’s funny. I’ve heard mixed reviews about some of his performances though but when I saw him live, I was in stiches. He has a natural ability to haggle with the crowd – black or white. He was also on tour with the Young Gods of Comedy which is an urban comedy show televised on MTV. Youtube him and see what you think. His older stuff is not so funny though so don’t be put off by that.

  2. Thanks I’ll check him out!

    Looking forward to seeing the Asian Provocateurs at the Edinburgh Festival, I will report back on whether I recommend them or not…


  3. I agree with your article Bubbly! That whole Seinfeld style of comedy ie “have you noticed this or that…” is so dated now! And poking fun at race differences again had its place but Richard pryor was doing it in the 70s – haven’t we moved on?

    I was recently watching a book show that Meera Syal was on and she said that they didn’t stop writing Goodness Gracious Me because they thought they’d had enough, it was just that their term had ended and the Beeb didnt renew and she said we should write and request its return!

  4. I saw Paul Chawdry but it must have been on an off night as I found him quite boring. It was the same old stuff which was starting to sound stale.
    I haven’t seen Asian Provocateurs as I missed them recently at Hamsptead. Please let us know what they are like as I am keen to see them.

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