(To read the review of Dr Shashi Tharoor’s One Mic Stand episode, click here)
In the third episode of Amazon Prime Video’s new show One Mic Stand, actor Richa Chadha takes the stage to perform stand up comedy for the very first time in front of a crowd of 160 people. Her mentor is writer and comedian Ashish Shakya, who was also part of the famed comedy collective All India Bakchod. During her first meeting with Ashish, Richa makes a startling discovery! Apparently, she’s been reading Ashish’s blog ‘Stupidus Maximus’ without realising that it’s written by him.
Her ‘fangirl’ moment begins henceforth! When Sapan Verma, creator of the show, asks her why she wants to do stand up comedy, she claims to be a masochist! She then makes an appeal to everyone to come and watch her show. “Proceeds from all ticket sales are going towards ending nepotism in Bollywood,” she jokes.
During her writing sessions with Sapan Verma and Ashish Shakya, the latter tells her to talk about anything that she finds particularly interesting, bizarre, funny or even annoying. Richa then goes on to talk about her encounter with a very rude Casting Director in Bollywood, from before she made it big, who let her play the role of a young and ditzy girl for 5 minutes before asking her to exit the auditions and never come back again.
When Sapan asks her if she can modulate her voice to suit different characters, she does a hilarious bit imitating a sleazy movie producer that she recently worked with and her driver who can’t stop singing the praises of his home state Uttar Pradesh.
Just two hours before the show, she sits in her vanity van and admits to being very nervous. “It’s going to be a live audience and I am very nervous. I don’t know how it will go,” she admits.
After this little peek into her preparation, we finally get to watch her stand up bit which begins with a round of applause from the audience.
Sitting in the audience is also Richa’s actor boyfriend Ali Fazal who looks quite happy and hopeful.
Richa then says in an ironic yet sarcastic tone, “I started my career with Dibakar Banerjee and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and today I am here with Ashish Shakya and Sapan Verma. Next thing for me would be Bigg Boss.”
Her fun and carefree personality adds to her comic style as she takes on everyone, one after the other. She also roasts the host, Sapan Verma, telling him that he insults Bollywood and then comes back to Bollywood actors when his shows don’t sell.
She also makes a few jokes about her Punjabi aunt who, even with her hit films and awards, always asks Richa’s dad about her wedding plans, “kudi da vyaah kab hona?” (When will the girl get married?), she says. But when the relative gets to know that Richa Chadha is dating actor Ali Fazal (who’s a Muslim), the relative changes gears and asks her to focus on her career instead because “work is worship.”
The episode ends when Richa Chadha says, “If you didn’t like this set, this is Swara Bhaskar signing off!” What follows is a thunderous applause from the audience. After the show, Sapan, Ashish, Ali Fazal and Richa assemble backstage and discuss the set. Ali Fazal says “This is the first time I’ve seen her up on a stage and she really pulled through!” and I think we can all agree with him on that.