Sabareesh Narayanan, aka Standup Sabari, is a comedian from Kochi, Kerala, who worked hard to make a name for himself. He didn’t have it easy, but he never gave up. He had to be audacious, witty, and persistent to make it in the world of standup comedy, especially in Kerala. Sabari made Malayalam standup comedy history when he decided to produce his own comedy special – Truly Malayali- after all the OTT platforms rejected him. It was a huge move that surprised and inspired everyone.
For many standup comedians, an OTT platform debut often feels like the ultimate goal. It guarantees exposure to a massive audience and could be the turning point in their career. However, the Indian OTT industry has been reluctant to explore the potential of Malayalam content, which has understandably caused frustration among creators. The lack of confidence in the viability of Malayalam content on their platforms has led to a situation where even hosting a stand-up comedy special becomes a questionable proposition. Sabari, after tirelessly pitching his comedy special “Truly Malayali” to various OTT giants, faced rejection. He believes that the untapped potential of Malayalam content leaves a wealth of unexplored narratives and talents waiting to be discovered, and it’s high time for OTT platforms to recognise the hidden potential that Malayalam and other regional languages hold.
Kerala has a pool of exceptionally talented comedians, yet the region lacks a strong stand-up comedy scene. The absence of a shared platform for showcasing their work is a major roadblock. The lack of suitable venues and reliable production teams leaves comedians struggling to make a mark in the industry. While cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore have dedicated spaces for promoting stand-up comedy, Kerala lags behind in terms of support, infrastructure, resources, and cultural acceptance. However, with the right resources and support, Kerala can easily become a hub for stand-up comedy and provide an excellent platform for aspiring comedians to launch their careers.
Despite the many rejections, Sabari was not one to give up so easily.
Sabari took matters into his own hands and invested his own money, time, and creative energy into producing a standup comedy special that would be the first in the history of Malayalam standup comedy. It was a bold move, but he was confident in his abilities and determined to make it a success. Without hesitation, he used his savings to fund the entire project – from finding the perfect location to shooting the entire special. And mind you, it didn’t come cheap.
Here’s the good news!
Truly Malayali is all set to make its grand debut on Sabari’s YouTube channel on Kerala Piravi Day, November 1st. Sabari, being a trailblazer, is introducing an innovative payment model for the very first time – a “watch and pay whatever you feel like” approach. With this, he aims to create a strong sense of community and camaraderie among his fans. It is a great opportunity for viewers to appreciate the art of stand-up comedy and support Sabari on his journey.
In the meantime, why don’t you watch the trailer of Truly Malayali and gear up for its debut?
Check it out: Stand-up Sets By Malayalis You Must Check Out