Anubhav Singh Bassi: From candid tales to comedy gold

Hailing from India, Bassi shares his journey in stand-up that propelled him to global recognition.

Dubai Comedy Festival is once again gearing up to host some of the biggest names in comedy, and amongst them is Anubhav Singh Bassi — affectionately and popularly known as Bassi. From humble beginnings in India to gracing stages worldwide with his wit and humour, Bassi’s journey has been as fascinating as his punchlines.

Bassi was born in a small town named Parikshitgarh near Meerut in India into a family that greatly values the power of education. Like his sisters, he found himself navigating the path of academics, eventually earning a law degree. 

Initially, it seemed like Bassi was destined to be a lawyer. But after dabbling in law for a while, he realised that his true calling lay elsewhere. His foray into the world of comedy wasn’t a planned career move. “It was an accident,” Bassi quips. “Nothing was going on in life so I thought of turning all the tragedies of life into comedy.” Initially dismissing it as a passing phase, his family soon came to terms with his career choice.

Leaving behind the world of courtrooms and legal jargon, it wasn’t long before Bassi’s star was on the rise. From rocking open mics across India to landing his own special on Amazon Prime Video titled Bas Kar Bassi (That’s Enough Bassi), he’s now bringing his world tour, Kisi Ko Batana Mat (Don’t Tell Anyone), to Dubai Comedy Festival.

Bassi has only seven videos on YouTube, but his first video on the platform—from four years ago—has racked up a whopping 85 million views and counting. On Instagram and TikTok, clips from his stand-up shows are going viral. With his content grounded in relatability, his set recalling his experience of visiting Dubai has amassed over 50 million views on Instagram.

Offering a glimpse into his creative process, Bassi shares, “Everything in my comedic material comes from my own life experiences — my struggles, my fears and vulnerabilities, or something that I have observed very closely.” 

Bassi’s stories and experiences resonate with audiences from all walks of life. When asked how he tailors these anecdotes to suit diverse audiences, he is quick to dismiss any differences. “The audiences we perform for in cities aren’t solely city dwellers,” he explains. “Even in Dubai, a melting pot of cultures, many people share similar backgrounds, which is why they find the content relatable. I believe my comedy may evoke memories or incidents that people once experienced but may have forgotten.”

Balancing anecdotal comedy with a dash of observation flair while trying to stay fresh and relatable and still delivering that element of surprise can be challenging. But Bassi’s ability to tap into the universal quirks of human nature is what sets him apart. “I often find that the things I perceive as odd or unusual might be the same things that others find strange as well,” he shares.

As for situations where he needs to unpack some jokes for the audience, Bassi sees it as an opportunity rather than a challenge. “Explaining them sometimes adds more depth to the set,” he grins. “It brings another layer of humour and enhances the overall experience.”

But make no mistake because not every joke lands as expected. “At open mics, we realise what part of our content works and what doesn’t work, and we drop whatever is not working or improve it,” he explains, shedding light on the behind-the-scenes work that goes into crafting comedy gold. “The final product that audiences see has always gone through a rigorous process.”

Exploring relationships is a staple in comedy, and in South Asia, friendships are often the subject of comedic gold. Inside jokes and epigrams — referred to as jugtain in Hindi or Urdu — are a common occurrence, delivered expressionless but packed with humour. And these impromptu conversations with friends — filled with jabs and playful banter — influence Bassi’s set.

“In many parts of the world, people tend to respond to a question with humour rather than a straightforward answer. They’ll often reply in a way that playfully teases or pokes fun, even if there’s no real purpose behind it,” he explains. “It’s not about being rude to each other, it’s just how interactions unfold and the beauty of it is that everyone in the conversation, including those around, joins in on the laughter. It’s all part of the natural flow of conversation, which is what I strive to capture in my comedy – that relatable, everyday banter.”

Bassi’s comedy goes beyond mere laughs. “I want to share whatever I have felt — be it good or bad — in a humorous way,” he explains. “If even five people out of a crowd of 50 can take away more from my show than just laughs, it’s a win. But even if they don’t, it doesn’t matter. People can perceive it as they want. Ultimately, my job is to make them happy.”

As Bassi brings his comedy to Dubai, he notices a warmth in the audience that sets it apart. “In India, I perform after every few days, but in Dubai, there’s anticipation for artists to grace their city,” he observes. “Plus, in Dubai, people from other countries come to my shows as well — probably who are watching me perform for the very first time so the overall blend in the audience is very beautiful.”

Closing on whether he’ll have more anecdotes to share from Dubai once he goes back after his upcoming performance, Bassi concluded, “Last time, I explored Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, but this time I plan to venture further. Perhaps I’ll have more stories to share afterwards, but for now, I can’t make any promises.”

Bassi will perform two shows at the Dubai Opera on 20 April as part of the Dubai Comedy Festival. Tickets for the 8pm show are already sold out, and only a few remain for the 4pm slot.

GO: Visit for tickets and more information.

What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure
Shaheera Anwar - Staff Writer
From a beautiful childhood in Riyadh to a calm and collected life in Dubai. When she's not busy penning her latest masterpiece, you can catch Shaheera lounging with her family or binging on the latest movies. And as a millennial, she's got her sights set on TikTok - hoping to go viral someday (fingers crossed).

You may also like

More in:Dubai

0 %