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  • Writer's pictureMajid Alhusseini

Comedic Sensation Yash Bhardwaj is Taking Over The Middle East

Yash Bhardwaj, a Dubai-based Indian comedian, has perfected the art of laughter, a universal language that transcends boundaries. His quick wit and relatable humor have made him a standout in the local comedy scene, leaving audiences in stitches. In this interview, Yash talks about his beginnings in comedy, his first-hour special, and The comedy scene in Dubai.

-At what point did you go from being a fan of comedy to performing it on stage and what made you want to do that?  

I have always been into comedy writing before stand-up comedy - I used to write/direct comedy and satire theatre plays. I have done a lot of street and proscenium theatre, so as a stage artist, when I stopped doing theatre after moving to UAE - stand-up comedy was a great transition for me. Still on stage, still making people laugh.

-Growing up, were there any comedians that inspired you? 

I actually started watching stand-up comedy really late. I am a big fan of some of the Indian stand-up comedians like Biswa Kalyan Rath, Abhishek Upmanyu, and some stalwarts of the global comedy scene like Bill Burr.

-Describe to us your first time telling jokes on stage, what was that like?

Horrible haha. My first real stand-up comedy gig was one to forget, it's like the time operates differently when you are bombing on stage. Suddenly it's like you are in that movie - Inception. 

-What was your favorite show so far and why?

Two I would say, number one was my Adelaide Fringe debut show in Australia, I packed my first run. This was the first time I was doing 1 hour of comedy outside of Dubai and it exceeded all my expectations. The second one was my comedy special recently, I was overwhelmed to see the sea of people that showed up to watch ME ( and just me haha ).

-Being that you run events that act as a platform for up-and-comers to test out their comedic skills on stage, what are your thoughts on the comedy scene in Dubai? Does it have the potential to rival major comedy hubs in the world?

Absolutely. Some of the up-and-coming comedians and the seasoned comedians I would say are at par if not better, compared to what I have seen in other developed comedy markets so far. If we continue doing what we are doing, I am pretty sure Dubai will be a global comedy powerhouse very soon. The comedy scene in Dubai is so diverse, with so many expats, and so many unique voices - if you come and watch a line-up comedy show of ours, you will be stunned by the kind of talent and diversity we have here.

-Being that “cancel culture” has become prevalent in today's society, shunning away anything that is deemed as offensive, from your point of view, how does comedy fit in this space and can real comedy exist with cancel culture?

A joke that crosses the line and is not even funny at the same time, is definitely offensive. If you want to play with fire, at least make it funny. That is what I always say. We don't really have any cancel culture in Dubai YET, but if a comedian is getting canceled in Dubai for saying something he/she shouldn't have said - I would be really happy because that would mean the comedy scene in Dubai has finally reached to the masses haha

-Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

Loads of comedy tours, festivals, etc. Hoping to make it one of the streaming platform giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. Most importantly - funnier ( fingers crossed )

-What can you tell us about your first-hour special “Expat of Arabia”?

Expats of Arabia will be going on the road to Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain, etc, and possibly to some of the fringe festivals across the globe. I am in love with the show name and I am quite bullish about Expat of Arabia doing as well as it did in Dubai wherever I take it.

-From the beginning of your journey until today, what are the 3 most important things you’ve learned?

Learn to be thick-skinned. Show Up. Be relentless

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