Multilingualism and Subversion: Articulating Plural Identities in Stand-up Comedy in India


  • Sriyanka Basak M. Phil. Research Scholar Dept. of Comparative Literature Jadavpur University


Culture, Tradition, History, Comedy, Multilingual, Multiculturalism


Laughter has become a serious business in India now. Over the last decade, the growth of stand-up comedy has been phenomenal in India. From having late-night comedy shows on televisions that employed the same stream of jokes repetitively, the comedy scene in India has evolved into an entire industry of stand-up comedians performing in pubs, clubs, auditoriums, and digital platforms like YouTube channels and other streaming platforms. The huge popularity of stand-up comedy hints at the license given to the stand-up comedians by the audience to discuss the current socio-political issues of the country. The audience’s laughter in response to the comedian’s joke might suggest a collective agreement to the stand-up comedian’s opinionated jokes. Therefore, an understanding of the relevance of stand-up comedy in contemporary culture becomes pertinent. Since stand-up comedians use the medium of language to connect with the audience to convey their jokes, it becomes important to take into cognizance the role language plays in the performance especially in a multilingual country, like India. This research paper is thus an aim to analyze the role of multilingualism in stand-up comedy in articulating issues pertinent to India to locate the contemporary pluralistic culture of India.


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How to Cite

Sriyanka Basak. (2020). Multilingualism and Subversion: Articulating Plural Identities in Stand-up Comedy in India. The Creative Launcher, 5(4), 72–78. Retrieved from