AIB row: Comedy group claims ‘roast’ form of comedy existed since 1949

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All India B****** (AIB)’s controversy mired AIB knockout of Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh aired January 28th, 2015. An FIR had been filed against the actors and the AIB comedians, who were forced to take down the show after public outcry.

In a petition filed in the Bombay High Court against the comedy group, they said the “roast” format of comedy was new in India but it had been in existence since 1949, with the first ever roast taking place in New York.

A roast is an event in which a guest, mostly a celebrity, is subjected to jokes, insults and mockery. The event created for television in the US, comes from the word ‘toast’, originating as a comedic art from New York in 1949. It’s not exactly insults all the way, but is also littered with sporadic praise of the celebrities being roasted. During the hearing AIB was quoted saying, “AIB did not intend to insult the modesty of any woman. Further, none of the women on whom the jokes were made raised any grievance about the same. In light of the aforesaid, the ingredients of Section 509 (insult to modesty of women) of the Indian Penal Code are also not attracted.”

The group went on to elaborate on the style of comedy and nuances of the performance. The high court on Tuesday restrained the police from arresting the members on the basis of the FIR filed in Mumbai.