I had gone into 'The Bhuriman Show', comedian Bipro's very own feature at Naveed's Comedy Club, with high expectations. The show's brief had been relatable, the journey of a man's struggles with being fat and living in a conservative household with differing opinions.
The show started off with flying colours, host Sami Doha's opening set was hilarious. It had gotten the audience comfortable, eagerly awaiting his next joke. It was everything one could ask from an opening set. As it turned out, however, the main act left Doha hanging.
It is not easy to follow up a strong opening and continue along that trajectory as 'Bhuriman' Bipro soon found out.
The struggle that Bipro couldn't quite overcome was connecting with the audience. It was more of a recitation of stale jokes he had no doubt told a thousand times before. Jokes that probably felt fresh a year back but were clearly suffering from the wear and tear of time. There was no thought behind landing a delivery, not when he had to squeeze in each plot point of his life into an hour.
It became painfully obvious as time went by that Bipro had watched too many comedy specials on Netflix and was trying to conform to the structure of those shows. Trouble is, you need to have enough substance in your stories if you want to connect with your audience.
In the end, all the aspects of his journey that was promised came up dreadfully short.
It's not a surprise that the funnier moments of the show came when he left his material for a moment to interact with the audience. Bipro is much better at having an organic off-the-cuff interaction. That is when the spark of the comedian that was promised came to life. Those few moments of humour certainly made the harder parts of the show easier to digest.
Setting aside what I hope is constructive criticism, it was still a genuinely entertaining time. In a city with nothing to do but eat in overpriced restaurants, watching 'The Bhuriman Show' at Naveed's Comedy Club for a mere Tk 200 was a welcome reprieve. It's important for the audience to support the comedian so they too can sustain this rare profession.
The hope is to not only help the comedian get better but help the comedy scene, in general, grow in a city that hungers for a good laugh.