There are some funny comedians whose jokes you can’t remember in any detail. They leave you with a series of stories and laughs instead of a bunch of punch lines. Vir Das is one of them.
I don’t remember a single joke of his, but I watch his specials and laugh my guts out each time. Vir Das and Kunal Kamra, my favourite Indian comedian, seem to share the same views on a variety of political and social issues, and yet, they process and present the same issues in such contrasting styles. Both lovely, both funny, both endearing.
The musical equivalent of Vir Das, and others of his ilk, is Shakti, especially their Natural Elements album. I know that the Shakti analogy is far fetched from a sheer talent perspective, but I am referring to the experience more than the talent here. Bear with me.
I marvel at their music when it is playing but I can’t hum a single tune of theirs. There is such complexity in their music that all you are left with is that feeling that you heard some amazing music.
Since I have started the music metaphor, I shall finish. Kunal Kamra is Kishore Kumar. You can hum his tunes, play them on the guitar, entertain others with your interpretation of his work and exchange notes with your friends about his genius.
Very few comedians have both the Shakti and Kishore Kumar elements going for them simultaneously. George Carlin and Eddie Izzard come to mind.