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     Volume 4 Issue 60 |August 26, 2005 |

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All hail the Kings of Comedy from Bangladesh!

Half Hazard Lxxvii

Sometimes I marvel at how fortunate we Bangladeshis are. For one thing, we are never short of high quality amusement, at least - surprisingly enough - the political leaders of our country are ensuring that we never get bored of life.

Every day our politicians appear on various television channels and come up with such witty comments that they really put Rowan Atkinson (star of Mr. Bean) to shame. These talented comedians never run out of means to entertain. Be it their ludicrous attempts at being logical, or the risible accent, or their mere appearance--they never stop entertaining us.

The most marvellous thing about our politicians' sense of humour is their ability to throw the wackiest of jokes in the most serious of environments. Why, just the other day I was watching the ntv news where they were reporting about the government's plans of computerising all the data of the prisons of Bangladesh. Now that was a very interesting plan and the interviewer, who was quite understandably excited about this prospect, went up to a rather well-known minister (who never forgets to gel his hair and always sports a funny moustache), and asked him, "What are the major advantages of computerising these data?"

For a moment we thought the weather got very cloudy, because the minister's face became significantly dark. We started speculating about the cause for this pause, what had caused the minister to look so sinister. Was it some important meeting that he had suddenly remembered? Did somebody get shot behind the camera? Did he stealthily break wind? Well, moments later we realised that he was just faking the grave look. Mister minister's face turned bright once again and he said smiling,

"Actually there are so many major advantages of this that I really can't explain it in words."

While we roared with laughter at the honourable minister's Johnny English-like aptitude, and concluded that it was his last seven words that were true, we also recalled a similar incident a few years ago when the same person had commented: "WE ARE LOOKING FOR SHOTRUZ!"

That comment, which was made two years ago, was said to be The Best Remark of the Year 2003 by the satire magazine Al-Pin. Satire magazines of this sort have never stopped giving our comedians the credit that they deserve (no matter how sarcastically). Al-Pin continued presenting this honourable award the following year as well, when the winner was a minister who had said: "Allahr maal Allah-e nissay" (Allah has taken back Allah's goods). What an awe-inspiring example of black humour. This award has already been presented this year to none other than our finance minister, who made our day last month by saying: "Biman is also a bebshaa". What an amazing display of Bhanglishitty (Attempted Bangla + Sylheti Touch + Punjabi English).

Despite the fact that these same people entertain us all year long, they make sure that we never get tired of them, by keeping their ideas fresh. They come up with new thoughts all the time and I must say that I am truly overwhelmed by their innovation. Why, just the other day one of them had said that the media is the country's biggest enemy. Now who could have predicted a national leader to say that? We all know that without media there would be no publicity, and without publicity nobody can become a politician. But that's the main point, isn't it? Being unexpected-shocking people. I think even Marilyn Manson would have been impressed with cannonball statements like that.

Our beloved comedians have been performing so well that international TV channels have to invest more money to outperform our politicians. Guess what - they are failing! Boys won't watch Poorman's Bikini Beach on AXN at midnight anymore. Housewives are growing tired of the TV soaps, which seem to have been going on since television was invented. Nobody wants reality shows like Potuakhali Idol or Sneer Factor. The Kings of Comedy from Bangladesh are taking over! All hail our politicians who have done such an extraordinary job!

If you think life is getting drab and that you could do with some mirthful moments, just turn on any Bangladeshi news programme and our celebrities are there to entertain you. Witness them giving a deeper meaning to the word 'ridicule', watch them play around with the country, watch them say the most nonsensical things and reap the fun from it. Let's not take a more sensible look at things, for it is bound to make us miserable.


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