Zakir Khan Cracks Up Houstonians


Photos: Biyani Photography

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

STAFFORD: The Khan of comedy, Zakir Khan had Houstonians in splits with his first ever Live Comedy Show in the USA on Friday, June 22 at Stafford Civic Center. The show was presented by Paani Poori Productions. Paani Poori Productions started the stand up comedy trend in Houston last year when it hosted its first Live Show by Humorist and Stand up comedian Amit Tandon. Envisioning this year’s show also to be a mega hit at the hand of Zakir’s fame, this show was also declared sold out, a day before the show.

Zakir Khan also known for his punchline Sakht Launda is one of the brightest Indian stand-up comedian, writer and presenter. His relatable jokes and simple style of speaking is splendid. Some of the most renowned comedians too are all praises for Zakir. AIB founder Tanmay Bhat describes Zakir’s show as “The biggest stand-up comedy act in India. Period”. Zakir is known for his hard-to-resist mega hit shows which make him one of the most popular Stand-up comedians in India . He attained visibility when he won India’s Best Stand Up Comedian competition organized by Comedy Central in 2012. Zakir’s Amazon Prime special show Haq Se Single, is arguably one of the best stand up specials so far. A pioneer of storytelling in Indian comedy, Zakir can engage all genres of audiences – be it family members, a corporate crowd or a room full of men.


Zakir comes from a humble yet strong musical and cultural background. His grandfather Ustad Moinuddin Khan, a PadmaShri awardee, was a notable vocalist and performer of classical music under the Jaipur Gharana. He credits his father Ismail Khan, also an eminent musician, with being supportive of his talent. Besides being passionate about Comedy, Zakir also has a fondness towards reciting Urdu and Hindi poetry.

The overly zealous audiences snickered at the opening performance by Vinod Chhaproo, a New York based clean stand-up comic and writer. Vinod, a runner-up at America’s Stand-up Championship 2017,  is one of the most sought after comedians in tri-state area. Some of his witty and silly jokes on Sindhis, married vs. bachelors were much lauded.


Then walked in the star of the night, Zakir and the audiences were gung ho about his much awaited act. The overjoyed audience kept clapping and imitating his previous acts, such that he jokingly interrupted saying, “Tumhe hi karna tha to mujhe kyu bulaya” (if you had to do then why invite me here).  As soon as his number commenced, he connected well with the audiences through his abusive jokes, humorous real life experiences while growing up, with his family, his Facebook stalking experiences with girls and his college life. Wanting to have more of him, people tried making videos which he wisecracked saying “For a change I am outside your phone so be happy seeing me face to face and not on a video on phone”. He was so buoyed up by Houston audience, that he extended his performance by 30 mins.

Zakir’s commitment and love for his fans made sure he could reach Houston well in time for the show. Having his passport with the Canadian embassy for Visa stamping made it difficult for him to fly into Houston. But with the assistance of the national promoter, Karl Kalra, Zakir reached Houston 4 hours before the showtime.


The show ended with a humble expression of gratitude by Harpreet Chawla-Suji of Paani Poori Productions as she thanked sponsors and supporters. She said, “We are very happy and grateful to the Houston community for the response and to all our Sponsors and partners for their support in making this show such a grand success. We had people who traveled from as far as Louisiana and Austin for the show. Our special thanks to Karl Kalra for his efforts in getting Zakir to Houston and to our team of volunteers who helped make sure that check-in and seating went smoothly.”

The grand show was sponsored by Amir Dodhiya of New York Life (Presenting sponsor) ;  Powered by Discount Power (Malik Jamal), driven by Sterling McCall Toyota (Shahid Usmani) and Smile Profile Family Dental (Dr. Khallon and Dr. Langha). Bronze sponsors : Cell Pay, DeveshPathak CPA, Sameeta Beauty Lounge, Nirmanz Food Boutique, and Media Partners: Radio Dabang, Indo-American News, Dil Ki Baat and Masala Radio. Delicious food sales by Nirmanz Food Boutique added more spice to the event.

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