With commentary veiled by comedy, this actor, writer, comedian and long-time YouTube sensation chronicles the mundane, with honesty and humour as his two pillars of support. HELLO! catches up with the ultimate one-man cast of supremely popular online shows, Bhuvan Bam.
HELLO!: You recently worked with SRK on an advertisement. How was the experience?
Bhuvan Bam: “It’s a learning experience. When you meet people like Shah Rukh sir, it changes your perspective and the way you think. You begin to explore a different horizon, a different pedestal, altogether. It’s altered my life and given me a lot of exposure.”
H!: Why did you choose humour as your preferred medium of expression? And what kind of humour appeals to you?
BB: “Most of the stories I want to share are best communicated via comedy. Through humour, not only is the message conveyed to the viewer, but it also really sticks with them. I think comedy, or even satire, is one such medium that’s always related to the masses. Humour connects people… When it comes to writing, slapstick and dry humour appeal to me the most. These days, I often find humour in the darker side of things!”
H!: What did your family and friends have to say about your unconventional choice of career?
BB: “My family had different ambitions for me. They wanted me to do the usual — sit for banking and government exams and get a “stable” job. Back then, choosing such an unconventional career would have given any parent a heart attack! But I told them I wanted two years to figure myself out and decide what I wanted to do. They were relatively unbothered by it all! I think it’s important to trust your children, and as children, it’s important to reassure your parents. Faith is not a one-way street. It’s your responsibility to explain the situation, instead of simply complaining about how they don’t understand, especially career paths that you don’t fully comprehend yourself!”
H!: You’re credited with running a one-man show, BB Ki Vines, for most of your career. How different was it to work with a structured team and script?
BB: “It’s very different! You share the screen with co-actors. There’s a proper supporting cast on the set, along with a DoP and a director to guide you. It’s a far tougher medium than I had initially imagined, when I did my first short film, along with Dhindora, Taaza Khabar and Rafta Rafta, of course. There’s a certain comfort in shooting alone, and when you work with co-actors, it’s imperative that your energy matches theirs to get the best results.”
H!: Why did you choose to enter the YouTube space, especially in 2015, when it was seemingly more of a Western concept?
BB: “Frankly, I didn’t know I was going to make a career out of this. I was just doing it for fun. I was in college, and I performed at a restaurant so I could sustain myself and not depend on my parents anymore. But I wondered if there was a way to make it bigger... It was great to sing at the restaurant, but when would I write my own songs? And if I did write and produce my songs, where would I release them? So I decided to start a YouTube channel. Then one day, when a joke came to mind, I uploaded it on my channel, and people started following me. I don’t know how or why, but I think it was destined to happen.”
H!: Besides comedy, what other avenues would you like to explore?
BB: “My music gigs were getting on pretty well. I regularly performed at restaurants and played night shows. But even if I got into that, I would have started my YouTube channel by now! I would have circled back to this somehow.”
H!: Your show Taaza Khabar ranked #1 as the most streamed OTT Original in India. Did you expect such success, or did it catch you by surprise?
BB: “Everything that happened with Taaza Khabar was surprising. I didn’t expect it at all. My audience is used to watching my content for free on YouTube, so this was a personal win because they paid to watch it! I’m forever grateful to them. I remember making a video right before the trailer was released, asking them to watch it, share it with their friends and show the same kind of confidence in this Delhi boy today that they did seven years ago. It was pretty well received.”
H!: Is the experience of working with Bollywood celebrities like Shraddha Kapoor different from collaborating with international ones like Amanda Cerny?
BB: “The process is more or less the same. The main goal is to ensure that our message is well-received by the audience. The only difference with international celebrities is that there’s a language barrier.”
H!: What’s next for you?
BB: “I’m currently working on writing the sequels to older projects like Dhindora and Taaza Khabar. There are a few others in talks. Taaza Khabar was a big step for me, so I’d like to explore it a little more. But as and when stories come to me, I wouldn’t mind doing something new either.”
This has been adapted for the web from a story originally published in the July 2023 issue of HELLO! India. Get our copy of the latest issue right here!