Picture a scene in the average Indian family’s living room at dinnertime: A family glued to the television from which emanate cachinnating sounds now and then, with a talk show going on. Times have changed and so have attitudes, means of entertainment and even dinner-time shows. Indian netizens have loved contemporary comedians, whether in the form of stand-up acts or in the form of web-series, and of late, it has presented itself in a new avatar: a web-based talk show hosted by renowned comedian, Abish Mathew. This show aptly called “Son of Abish”, a thinly veiled reference to the swear word meaning offspring of a canine.
Son of Abish’s novelty lies in its format, which appears like a crossover form involving a stand-up comedy show and a talk show itself, although recent seasons have had a tendency to deviate from the same. Being a web-show has its own advantages here, without the usual shackles of censorship that are evident for shows aired on TV. The show begins with a segment called In other news, which brings humor in the form of bizarre events from across the world which Mathew then subjects to his own analysis in his own humorous style. Following this segment, the guests are introduced, which is usually a mismatched pair from two different backgrounds, like a comedian/YouTuber paired with an actor/singer. The show then meanders through hilarious questions shuttling back and forth, not without the prompt and witty responses from the host, and finally ending in a cleverly designed game involving yet another personality.
Unlike most reality shows, there is also some minor level of interaction with the audience and notably, there are no fake laugh tracks being played. However, one of the most unique characteristics of the show has been the unmistakable style in which Mathew brings up self-deprecating jokes: both on himself and on the show, with one episode actually ending in a line of comedians cracking jokes at the expense of the show.
There have already been four successful seasons of Son of Abish, since 2014, and a fifth one is going on right now, with the guests for the first episode being Arshad Warsi and Kubbra Sait, and Prajakta Koli (MostlySane) and Jassie Gill for the second. As of now, a few welcome changes have been made in the format as well and there will be more episodes (and hopefully
more seasons too?) to tickle your funny bones.