Weirdass Pajama Festival Hits The Road This Week
Comedian Vir Das kicks off the three-day Weirdass Pajama Festival in Mumbai
On the opening night of comedian Vir Das’s tour at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010, he opened to a crowd of nine people. This was after Das had already started performing to large crowds in India, but one of the world’s well-known comedy festival didn’t take to him immediately. Says Das, “It was a two-week run and I closed my tour with 500 people in my audience. You’ve got to build that.” Das wants performers to learn the ropes the same way, conceptualizing a three-day comedy festival, Weirdass Pajama, across multiple venues in Mumbai from January 10th to 12th.
Das teams up with Mumbai-based event company Only Much Louder, who, after bringing Canadian-Indian comedian Russell Peters to India in October 2013, are now organizing a comedy festival. More than 60 comedians perform at Weirdass Pajama, including Papa CJ, Anuvab Pal, Sorabh Pant, Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, Aditi Mittal and Abish Mathews, among others. Das adds that it’s not just about stand-up comedy at the festival. “It’s about comedy, comedy performance and comedy education. You’re going to see theater, puppetry, art, workshops, writing workshops,” says Das.
Apart from Das taking to stage with his latest production, Battle of the Sexes, and hosting a celebrity roast on actors/comedians Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey [“We’ve prayed and convinced them,” says Das] on the final day, the comedian will also perform with his comedy rock band, Alien Chutney. Says Das, “We’ve got a huge cool factor behind us. We write stupid songs and add good music behind it.” Alien Chutney drummer Sidd Coutto, Australian comedy music duo Smart Casual and comedy rock band Workshop are also part of the music programming at Weirdass Pajama.
With that many hats [or pants] to wear for Das at Weirdass Pajama, his main aim is to bring about a sense of community in the comedy scene and bring performers to the audience. Taking a cue from Edinburgh Fringe, Weirdass Pajama will host its events in small [The Briefs], mid-sized [The Boxers] and auditorium venues [The Grand Pajama] across Mumbai. Says Das, “No matter where you live in Bombay, you’ll be able to find comedy near you.”
The Weirdass Pajama Festival takes place between January 10th and 12th at various venues across Mumbai. Tickets range from Rs 600 to 1,500. More details here.