(Top) Varun Thakur, Aadar Malik and Brij Bhakta (Bottom) Karan Talwar, Neville Shah and Kautuk Srivastava
You know them as ‘those guys who did those viral videos ‘Bollywood vs Reality’ and ‘Are you a Ch*t*ya?’ and countless other hilarious ones; they make you guilty of binge-watching their content many times. With over one crore views on their channel (1,67,88,006 views as of April 22) and upto two lakh five thousand subscribers, SnG Comedy needs no introduction on the Indian web entertainment arena.
After staying true to sketches, standup, improv and musical comedy SnG is set to premiere their debut web series, ‘What If’. They are also coming out with a video podcast series, ‘The Big Question’. Comedian and part of the core team, Neville Shah dishes details on the channel and upcoming attractions.
Tell us about the upcoming web series. ‘What If’ is going to premiere in the beginning of May. It’s part of Laughter Games on YouTube. It’s our web series under which we let our imagination fly about anything- from cricket to everyday life, and create hilarious sketches out of these musings.
'The Big Question' is a video podcast series, which will premiere on April 26, where we sit together every week and answer one deep philosophical question -who are we? What happens after we die? – Of course, in a hilarious and honest take. These are going to be the most intimate and personal SnG Comedy videos yet.
Having said that, fans need not fret that we’ll stop doing sketches. We really enjoy doing that and will continue uploading those videos as well. SnG is one of the oldest comedy collective in the country. The team is an interesting mix of talents with quite a good experience in the industry. Let's rewind to how it all started. How did you all bump into each other?
It started really early when Karan and Varun decided to start a collective. The idea wasn't a collective. It was more an avenue for people to perform comedy. Every comedian has performed at an SnG (erstwhile Schitzengiggles) gig. Then Brij joined in and then Aadar, Neville and Kautuk. We got really popular with FilmFail, Gandu Nights and Improv.
Shows on a regular basis started getting us traction, till we officially launched our channel in 2014. Everyone pitches in to make it better and then we shoot it. We all bring in our skills to every sketch. And with different POVs and perspectives, there are a LOT of fights, but they only help the quality of the sketch.
You have worked in TV before. Obviously, web allows more freedom in terms of content. How do you see web as a medium of artiste expression?
Content is content. One always has had to work with restrictions of a medium. TV is fun. It's more mass.
You reach out to more people, so how you say something is all that changes. What you say, your opinion is always the same. It's how you editorialise. Of course, the web is a lot more relaxed in that way, but compared to stage, even the web has restrictions. Stuff that you can do on stage won't make it to some web sketches.
What kind of restrictions?
On the web, there are still things you can't touch. You can't get to opinionated about politics or religion. You can't even appear to hurt sentiments. Because our country can't distinguish between jokes and facts.
How has the production of your videos change after you stopped working with an MCN? Is it more rewarding to 'do it yourself'?
Working with an MCN when we started off helped us get a base and with resources. But, things changed once we moved out. We now have OML to help us with production. It’s good when people trust content creator and we ourselves try to be smart about production. With time, you learn to be efficient and frugal.