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Houston Goes Bonkers at Varun Thakur’s Stand-up Comedy Show!

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Photos: SMB Films & Images

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

HOUSTON: Laughter is one of the only things in our existence that can soothe the feeling of emptiness- the darkness feeling and the pain of reality. In recent times stand-up comedy has become a serious business. Varun Thakur is a standout amongst the most noticeable faces in the high-quality comic drama of this serious business. Varun is known for his observational humor about life in India and he excites groups of onlookers with his clever and beguiling comic style, bringing a new point of view to general situations. A jack of many trades, Varun has co-founded Schitzengiggles Comedy, a play on the phrase ‘Shit and Giggles’, acted in a couple of films like Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Shaitaan Haveli, Vicky this side-Varun that side and he loves being a YouTuber.

Varun Thakur (left ) with Sunny Moza & Arif Memon

Varun Thakur (left ) with Sunny Moza & Arif Memon

Houston experienced his out rightly crazy performance last Friday, April 27, at the India House. The humorous evening was presented by Dembi Productions and India House Houston, and organized by Arif Memon of DMMS Events. The Houston based DMSS Events has been successfully organizing concerts over the last three decades, assisting with quality sound equipment, lights, LED panels, HD projectors with wide screens.

They also specialize in Event Management, thanks to the championship of Arif, who wears multiple hats, just like Varun. Other than being a successful businessman, Arif is also an actor, a sound director, holds an immense knowledge of music & films. He is loved for his sheer passion to whatever he does and therefore he is fondly known as RJ Arif. 

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From left: Arif Memon, Candidates Sri Kulkarni, Juli Mathew, and K P George.

The much-anticipated show was one of the best events that have happened in Houston in this year. After all, who doesn’t want to laugh? And, unlike some stand-up comedians, Varun likes to roast himself rather than roasting the audience. This house-full show was a part of Varun’s first trip to the USA, where he has a line up of around 15 shows over a period of 1.5 months.

Being a thorough professional, he was at the venue hours before the show started, kicked about starting the show on time. The show began by the Executive Director of India House, Col. Vipin Kumar and Arif Memon welcoming everyone and introducing candidates running for political offices like Sri Kulkarni, K P George and, Juli Mathew. The first comedian to come up on stage was Sunny Moza, an Emcee/Host, actor and a RJ from California, who did a quick warm up session of jokes. And then it was the moment of sheer joy as Varun walked up the stage.

With a good mix of personal stories, impersonations and bio writing skills his act was something Houston couldn’t have missed. He was simply mind-blowing. He took on with the habits of Punjabis and Gujaratis on one-hand and Mumbaikars and Delhiites on the other, and his lines were so apt that the audience seemed to be nodding in agreement, as they cheered him and laughed their hearts out.  

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His bizarre and overtly loud comedy was so unique and none of the jokes seemed to be have heard of in the past. The audience went in splits as he joked about America being the only place that has T-shirts in XXX that say, “I am sexy”. Taking on the topic of racism and referring to North & South Indians, he mentioned that we don’t need whites to be racist.

Varun is one of those talented comedians who can crack you up almost on anything- and he didn’t shy away from sharing funny episodes about his parents and his love life, or for that matter the sex life of a Mumbai cop. Joking about Indians he said, we are all across the world, if he did a show in South Pole, his audience will include 3 polar bears and 2 Indians with the difference that polar bears will pay for their ticket.

This bindaas Varun touched upon some sensitive zones but presented them in a way not to hurt any sentiments, and at the same time having the audience roar with laughter. 1.5 hours was not enough for the 300+ strong audience who had come to de-stress & unwind. The audience rolled up in the aisles to Varuns’ jokes and gave him a thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

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In a short conversation with the down-to-earth Varun, he shared a little bit about himself, “A true Mumbaikar, my father is Maharashtrian and mother is Sindhi. I was always the funny guy; anything I would say would make my friends laugh. I loved watching comedy but I never intended to be a comedian. We have always had comedy in India, but it has only been Hindi or regional. Now Indian guys are doing comedy in English, and it is encouraging to see that many people are open to the idea.

My kind of comedy is very personal, I want people to feel that I am having a conversation with them”. Sharing his experience about the reaction of audiences in the USA, he mentioned that it was overwhelming and amazing to see people relate so well with his jokes and that gives him more reason to believe that he is on the right path. He was very excited talking about his recent horror comedy that released on Amazon Prime, Shaitaan Haveli or one of a kind stand up special Vicky This Side Varun That Side, a sure treat to watch.

Arif Memon managed the format of the show so very well. Arif stated, “I do not have words to thank god for the Dhamaal show. It was a 90-minute laughter riot. I want to thank Puroo Kaul, Col. Vipin Kumar at India House and the India House staff, my sponsors Omar Saeed Khan from Northwestern Mutual and Parvez Jasani of CellPay, Alings Chinese Cuisine for their support, Darshak Thacker for sound equipment, Media partners HUMFM and Indo-American News, Event caterers Halal 5, SMB Films & Images for photography, and my family and friends who helped me and came over to the show”. A good laugh heals a lot of hurts and this evening was an instant vacation for the audience.

For further details and information about upcoming shows call Arif Memon at 832-287-8786. Follow Varun Thakur at Instagram: varunthakur, Facebook / Snapchat: @varoonthakoor

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