Ashish Shakya | The Spool

Many of you in comedy are engineers, is there a secret course?

Umm… the secret course is frustration probably. Engineering has acquired such a cult status, I don’t know why, probably because it is such a mainstream thing, which is opposite of cult. There’s frustration and you need a sense of humour to get through it and once you do, if you dislike it, you just end up in some form of creative arts. You don’t need an instrument to write. If it lands, it feels good and then you just chase that validation throughout.

Lets talk about the roast, success or failure?

Oh! Complete success!

Nobody talks about how eleven million people watched it and had a good time and gave zero fucks, but one guy files a FIR and it’s the only news.

Why would you regret it, it was such good fun. I love Bollywood, I’m a Bollywood whore. I’ve been a Bollywood whore since I was a child.

We had a blast doing it. We raised money for charity. We sort of, without sounding too pompous, contributed to some form of cultural shift. Even before that with Yash Raj and Alia (Bhatt) it went from, oh Bollywood is this distant thing to people now realising that stars, especially the younger crop, have grown up on the same pop culture you and I have and they are chill about things.

It’s the biggest industry in India, biggest cultural touchstone, so why would you not want to have fun with it? Suddenly aap baithe ho Sanjay Kapoor ka mazaak bana rahe ho, main 5th standard mein ‘aati nahi’ ke joke pe hasta tha (You’re sitting and joking about Sanjay Kapoor, the joke we used to laugh about in class 5) and now this! When Karan Johar’s name was announced and the crowd exploded, that’s when I was like, fuck this will work. This is new, there is nobody who’s ever introduced Johar or anybody in Bollywood like that in public!

Has this made dating a bit easier?

Matlab, it’s nicer now ‘cause you are not a complete stranger. It’s happened where one girl told me she wasn’t afraid of me on Tinder or something. When you’re meeting somebody for the first time it’s strange and creepy, I could be a killer. You’ve seen that Louis CK bit on dating and how scary it is? I don’t understand how women do it. But she actually said to me, ‘I was okay because I know you won’t fuck around ‘cause if it gets out then it will be a problem for you. You won’t be creepy ‘cause you have a public persona and reputation and all that’, I was like, ‘chalo fair enough’. [Editor’s note: This conversation was before the Arunabh Kumar of TVF incident]

So again this is a part about being old, after a long day or on a weekend you have one day to yourself, you can either sit in your chaddis, eating junk food, watching Netflix, hanging with people that you are not trying to fuck and it’s great. Or you can be like, I will put on pants and go out on a date and be like, ‘hey so what do you do and umm… I do this … oh that is interesting… here is a story that I have told before but I will tell again, oh that is so funny‘. Its nice that people recognise you and that sometimes women will come up to you and say, ‘hey, big fan’.

I’ll really miss it when it’s gone, the little fame that I have. I will really miss it.


First thing you do when you wake up?

Groan at existence

The most innovative way you’ve cancelled a plan?

Innovation ki zaroorat nahi hai. If it’s just friends I can tell them, mereko nahi mood ho raha (I’m not in the mood). Because who is going to believe an outlandish excuse?

Now that you’re famous – are your parents still pressurizing you to get married?

Haan, that is a function of age. They are not pressurising me, I think they are a little sad that I am not married.

Talking about marriage – what’s your going rate now? Is it more now?

GOING RATE! No, are you mad, which parent in India would want their kid to get married to that guy from that anti national company jo kabhi babla bolta hai, kabhi paad bolta hai, kabhi Karan Johar ke saath kuch ashleel karta hai, kabhi apne video mein aise aise naachta hai, matlab who (someone who says boobs, fart, does funny things with Karan Johar, sometime dances funny in his videos). It’s not a selling point, it’s a deterrent.

If I meet a parent who’s like “oh you bakchod marry my daughter”, I would be like, “noo, what is wrong with you are you ok do you hate your daughter, what is it?”