He is India’s top YouTube star. But there is nothing star-like about Tanmay Bhat, cofounder of All India Bakchod (AIB). An oversized body, a wicked grin, an unfussed look and naughty eyes make for a man who could be easily confused for the big bully in school.
The Mumbai boy figured out his comedic talent early on and since 2009 has been playing the circuit. He was part of Weirdass Comedy founded by Vir Das, was one of the comedians at The Comedy Store and has performed at many stand-up comedy shows besides doing cameos in movies like Ragini MMS2. The thrust was mostly on live gigs.
For Bhuvan Bam, the YouTube journey started serendipitously. Last May, while watching a news channel’s coverage of the Kashmir floods, the anchor chose to ask a mother who had lost her child some insensitive questions: A livid Bam felt he had to do something (“khiili udana hoga”). He uploaded a video on Facebook that lampooned the anchor.
Overnight, his video went viral. Waking up to the power of his videos, he debuted on YouTube in June 2015. He hasn’t looked back since. Today, Bam is among the fastest growing YouTube stars in India. His target audience is above 18 years.