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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



Amazon Prime Video shows trailer of Comicstaan Season 3 to select audience, and the joke is on you!

Amazon Prime Video shows trailer of Comicstaan Season 3 to select audience, and the joke is on you!

At the Mahi Banquet Hall of J.W. Marriott Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai, the makers of Comicstaan Season 3 promised that it will bring three times the fun, and will be bigger and grander, with a new co-host and new format.

Comicstaan Season 3 will see Zakir Khan, Neeti Palta, Kenny Sebastian and Sumukhi Suresh take the judge’s seats, while Rahul Subramanian (I thought I heard his name being announced as Joshi, not Subramaniam), Sapam Verma, Rohan Joshi, Prashasti Singh, Kannan Gill, Aadar Malik and Anu Menon are the new mentors.

Created by Only Much Louder (OML), Comicstaan Season 3 will be available in India and across 240 countries and territories worldwide, starting July 15.

Amazon Prime offers an incredible value with unlimited streaming of the latest and exclusive movies, TV shows, stand-up comedy, Amazon Originals, ad-free music listening through Amazon Prime Music, free fast delivery on India’s largest selection of products, early access to top deals, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, and mobile gaming content with Prime Gaming, all available for an annual membership of Rs. 1499. Customers can also watch Comicstaan Season 3 by subscribing to Prime Video Mobile Edition. Prime Video Mobile Edition is a single-user, mobile-only plan, currently available for Airtel Prepaid customers.

Comicstaan has acquired a cult comedy status, and the series re-returns with eight episodes. The hunt for India’s next best stand-up comedian will comprise a new format with host Kusha Kapila joining the series regular, Abish Mathew.

According to the new format, the eight contestants will be trained in a different genres of comedy, by seven different mentors, each week. The contestants will then deliver their funniest punchlines as they tackle various formats, including anecdotal comedy, topical comedy, improv(isation) and an all new roast comedy, among others.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about the new season of Comicstaan and it feels great to get back on the judge’s seat,” said Zakir Khan. “There is a certain rawness in each of the eight contestants we have this time. I must say that I’m really impressed with their growth during the course of this season, as they tested themselves on various genres of comedy. I have been associated with Amazon Prime Video in more ways than one, and this feels like home for me.” Answering a question from this writer, he stated that there is no such thing as originality in comedy or poetry. When asked about mimicry, he agreed that mere mimicry would not classify as comedy, and that the comic would have to add his or her own punches to the item.

"After two super-entertaining seasons, I'm excited about the new surprises in Comicstaan Season 3,” said Kenny Sebastian. “This show is extremely important to the stand-up comedy scene in India. It’s a place for comedians to get a massive leg up in the business. The best part is that the quality of writing and performance has gone a notch higher in the third season. I thoroughly enjoyed judging their performances, and I cannot wait for the audiences to enjoy it too."

"Comicstaan is my happy place, and I'm extremely delighted to be a part of it again. With a great panel of judges, mentors, and contestants, it's a fun-loving experience,” said Neeti Palta. “Comedy cannot be taught, but there's so much to learn from the talents around. It's going to be all the more exciting this time with new mentors and an incredibly diverse format. So, I'm looking forward to it."

“I’ve gone from being a host to judge across all three seasons and I am massively excited about the 3rd season,” said Sumukhi Suresh. “Even though I am a judge, I learn so much from the contesting comedians. They remind you of the hustle of writing every day or the openness of learning a new skill (improv and sketch). I wish Comicstaan was around when I started. It’s a crash course of all the skills that help you become a better comic and writer. OML has truly shown they are the best in the business of comedy by creating this concept. Amazon Prime Video is probably the only Indian OTT medium that understands, respects and champions comedy. I can’t wait for people to watch Season 3 and love it as much as we do”.

(OML is an artiste management, event management company and a content production house that was co-founded by Vijay Nair and Girish "Bobby" Talwar and Arjun S Ravi in Mumbai. It informally began, in 2002, as an independent artist management venture by Nair and was officially incorporated in 2006 by Talwar and Nair. The company produces live events—music, comedy—alongside digital and TV content. It manages a roster of artists which include comedians and musicians. OML also ran a ticketing and technology platform,, which was acquired by PayTm in 2017).

In an innovation of sorts, two persons from the audience were invited to perform. First to come up was Hrishi K., a very senior and popular Radio Jockey, who launched a diatribe against auto-rickshaw drivers. Then it was the turn of Pooja Nawathe. Nothing is known about her. She talked about the iconic places of Mumbai. Both performers were anything but funny. If the standard of Comicstaan 3 is anywhere near what these two scapegoats had to offer, one can fear the worst. The event was ably, and bubbly, compered by R.J. Rohini, whose looks belie her age, and who can be motor-mouth and yet remain comprehensible, an enviable quality-duality. She uses several title cards and must have rehearsed her takes a dozen times. But that does not matter. Add to that the gift of repartee, and you have a good Emcee (Master of Ceremonies) on the job.

Handing out freebies is standard procedure at such occasions, but all the turnout got at the end of the official proceedings was a fake siren, announcing that there is an emergency, a fire has broken out, and the audience should vacate the premises immediately, in an orderly manner. Lunch was on the menu, at 2.30 pm, and thank God for small mercies. Considering they started the proceedings 75 minutes late, if you happened to be in the audience, the joke was on you. And it wasn’t funny at all.


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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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