Boman Irani Live in Dubai ! It was too good to resist and I landed at the Palladium to learn about using humor from a beloved and accomplished artiste !
Refreshing !Not a string of one liners but a delightful tale peppered with personal anecdotes ! Humor was well knit in the script and not imposed.
Humorists say you should be able to get your audience to smile, giggle or guffaw in the first 90 secs with a good opener ! Not that Boman needed an opener anyway ! His mere presence sent the audience into a tizzy and the mood was such that even if Boman had recited his laundry list, we would have lapped it up eagerly !
Still, he had a powerful opener which set the tone for the evening’s fare. After the customary pleasantries, he said, ‘as soon as I was born, my mother whispered in my ears –‘ beta, remember always to thank the sponsors !” and he named each sponsor of the program thanking them profusely ! And he started cozying up to the front rows with a gag “let me take care of the expensive seats first !”. When there was a tepid response, he tickled us with ‘Indians are known for their polite clapping !” We got the hint and responded with a roar !
Next, his preparation and audience analysis !- ” I know you guys in Dubai have your priorities cut out ! You have a media CITY, an internet CITY and a knowledge VILLAGE !” It took some time for the audience to settle down !!
The next one was again aimed at Dubaiites ” I hear you have a vending machine dispensing gold in Dubai. You insert 1000 dirhams and you get a gold coin, 10000 dirhams, a gold biscuit, a million dirhams and Bappi Lahiri pops out !
Throughout the evening Boman used self deprecating humor, the most difficult and highest form of humor (in my opinion). He took potshots at himself, his family and of course Parsees ! Although there were many barbs directed at his charming wife Zenobia (who was graciously smiling at all his antics), not once did he demean her in any way ! Many times, we see spouses being the butt of crass humor !
The Parsee baiting was done in a way that only a Parsee can do. “Everybody says Save Tigers.I say Save Parsees!”. “We have a wafer shop in Mumbai and an old uncle managing it.. so old… just two years younger than God ! He did not forget to remind the audience about the stellar contribution the Parsees have made to this nation.
His next question was “Who’s is India’s No 1 Porn star and he pointed out to Kunal Vijaykar of FOODIE fame seated in the audience.“This man doesn’t love food but he lusts after it ! If you hear the swooning and moaning when he sees a butter chicken, it is more like watching a porn movie ! And Kunal wants to get arrested It seems they serve great Biriyani in Dubai jails!” And all the the cameras were focusing on a gleeful Kunal enjoying every bit of it !
He teamed up with Shankar Mahadevan to present a song “We are the world ” !
Ultimately,I was bowled over by his sincerity and humility. There was not a hint of arrogance but an honest attempt to spread cheer. He had rehearsed hard with a group of school children singing “Give me some sunshine” from the movie “3 Idiots” whose director Raju Hirani was there in the audience rooting for his friend ! We could not see them perform live but a video was beamed.
Thank you Boman for a lovely evening ! Here’s wishing your son Danesh all the best in his business venture !