Thursday, December 15, 2005


So the local english news-magazine, THE HERALD, just published its December issue. Contained within, near the back, is a two-page article titled "THE KINGS OF COMEDY."

It's basically a review of my solo show and Saad and Davids COMEDIANS ROCK show.

It is the single most Jekyll/Hyde review I have ever read.

Starts off nice enough. Details the growth of Stand-up in Karachi. Then it goes on to review my show for a bit. After that it revews Saad & David. It says some nice things. Some kind things.

And then it smashes us to pieces.

Odd criticisms like me "dumbing down" my humour, being "incoherent" and "rushing one-liners". Saad and David don't get away either. The reviewer quotes a punchline to one of Saads longer bits, thus ruining his chances of ever using that joke again.

Worst of all, it carries the most painful theme of "good for Pakistan" which we so desperately wanted to avoid. I finally did something on a level that I feel could be called professional/international in terms of quality. And no props given.

*sigh* What more do I have to do?

Anyway. Between being called "Blasphemous" by crack-addicted Faizan and "incoherent" by HERALD, my ego is severely bruised. Thank God for delusions of grandeur.

Performed at the latest Open-Mic yesterday. Everyone turned in a solid performance as usual. Saad did some freaking brillint cutting-edge-of-comedy stuff, blending music and one-liners to fantastic effect. Even his songs have gotten better. Not quite sure how he does it.

I tried my hand at a comedy song the other day. No clue how to start, even. Does the song-choice come first? The topic? AAAGH!

Anyway, did some stuff I jotted down the night before and during lunch at work. It's alot mroe adult than my usual material. Just trying out something new. You might not be able to tell but it also has a different tempo and structure to my usual jokes. Experimentation is fun.


Men & Porn

Why do men collect porn?

What is this hunter-gatherer ethic when it comes to pornography?

Every man does it. It's usually hidden somewhere in the bowels of his hard disk. Given some innocuous name, like System-Temp-Config-Root. This is the modern-day hi-tech equivalent of the space under your mattress. Then it made sense to store porn though. When I was 14 it was hard to find porn. Usually whatever your friends handed gave you or what you managed to steal from the local video shop. Watching the same movie for months on end. By the end of the year you know every grunt and squeal by heart.

But in this day and age, with the internet being the informational wonder that it is, why are we still storing porn? It’s not like it will run out. What is the reasoning for this? I know guys who have gigabytes of porn. Just storing it up. Maybe in case the worlds entire porn collection gets wiped out, everything deleted. Governments on the verge of chaos, countries tipping over the brink of disaster. Teenage boys just losing their minds. And then the mist clears and a single figure steps onto a rooftop. Silhouetted against the night sky. Lightening streaks by. He is a source of calm in the center of chaos. Raises his hands, a laptop glowing in his grip. And in the center of the screen, for all to see and cry in relief over, it says System-Temp-Config-Root.

Just saving up their porn. All the time. Maybe they are preparing for that day in the future when porn will be the new currency. All money has lost its value and everything is bought and sold by porn. Finally I can become a millionaire. Go to buy a car, “That’ll be two Bang Bus’, a Captain Stabbin’ and 15 seconds of Paris Hilton.” I pay him, and he hands me back some loose change, “Here’s your Pashto films.” And because I’m generous I don’t pocket them. Instead I put them into the small Citizens Foundation donation box on the counter. Just the kind of guy I am.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Richord Pryor Dead...


Tuesday, December 06, 2005


So apparently I am blasphemous.

A friend recently called and told me about this. You all know Faizan Ul-Haq? The balding bass-heavy VJ on Indus Music? He has a talk show now. Apparently last week he decided to critique my show on-air. An unsolicited review but what they heck, it's his forum and perogative. He went on to bash it apparently, which is also his right to do so. And then he called it "Blasphemous." Repeatedly.

That I take issue with.

To start with, the bit in my performance he was so upset about was not insulting to God or his messengers in any way. It was a bit sensitive, yes, but not blasphemous. So he basically didn't get the joke. Which is cool. If you've done as much cocaine as he has there is alot that will dissolve into the cesspit that was once your grey-matter.

But dont fucking call me blasphemous on TV. This is Pakistan. Not the safest place to level such a criticism. Especially on air. There has been no response and I attribute it to the fact that his current audience-base of 2 aren't religiously inclined. I take issue with him making a dangerous claim like that, thus endangering me and those around me. I also take issue with his right to call me so, given that I've seen him staggeringly drunk and high on several occasions.


Some friends have been after me to take it up with IM. Apparently he called Noor Jehan a prostitute on-air in the past and got into trouble over it. But industry insiders tell me that Ghazanfar, his boss, will probably just think of it as a means of attracting attention and controversy to an otherwise crap show. So not much chance of getting Faizan reprimanded.

Gonna let it go. Making a big deal out of it will just give him attention unnecessarily. Don't want to fluff up his sense of self-importance.

Still sticks in my craw though. Alot. Might take it up with him if I see him around somewhere.

Fucking irresponsible moron. I wish he'd at least look the word up in a dictionary before throwing it around like that.

Has anyone seen the show? Any other witnesses to his fantastic ignorance?

*sorry about this...just needed to vent*

Sunday, December 04, 2005


A fantastic interview with comedian Patton Oswalt. A must-read for anyone interested in learning about the craft of comedy.


It's 2 in the morning and I'm sipping a can of brain-juice (Red Bull for the uninitiated). Dire Straits piping through the laptop speakers and everyone in the house is asleep.

As good a time as any to revive the old blogging habit.

Havn't updated this thing in a while. No excuse, other than life got in the way.

Things have been fun since the show. Got tons of great feedback. TONS. People really loved it.

I got the DVD finally. Got it done at LaRaib. But it needs some editing as the intro is missing and one joke in the middle is a bit lost. Plus some color-correction stuff. Will run it through some video-editing stuff later. Then...not sure really. Been thinking of havin it uploaded to the Worldcall server for free downloads but some stuff has happened recently which makes me unsure. More on that in a bit.

Havn't written much Stand-up in a while. Brain just said fuck-off and took a vacation. But it is the nice kind of exhaustion. For the first time in, well...forever, I feel like I have done something worth being proud of. No harm in relaxing a bit. In the meantime, I quit my day-job and took some time off before starting the new job I've signed up for. Same mind-numbing soul-crushing industry, just a shit-load more money and privileges. It's easier to sell out when the sale-price is high.

Some good news: In talks with a sponsor (the only one I respect in the media landscape) that is offering to take my solo show to Lahore and Islamabad to perform in colleges there. Looking at a March/April timeline. Tentatively considering LUMS and LSE in Lahore. More as it develops. Excited becaused it gives me a slightly wider audience base and I get to go through the material again.

Comedians in New York and L.A. and even England have it good. They can write 20 minutes of material and perform it to a new audience almost every night for a year if they want. In Karachi it is the same 250 people that will come to every comedy/theatre performance. One show and you are done. No re-runs. So the Lahore-Islamabad gigs could be good to get some more mileage out of the material. More details as they come.

Finally wrote something new. Quite like it. Came out of my head tonight after ages. Nothing fantastic but it is good to write some new comedy. Saving it for Saad's next Open-Mic.

It's cold for a Karachi night. Chill air making the room alot smaller. The Red Bull is kicking in and I feel sleep cursing me as it is shoved away.

Time to start writing again.