Guardian: Standup Comedy Show Gives Iranians a Reason to Laugh

Guardian: Standup Comedy Show Gives Iranians a Reason to Laugh
Tue Oct 6, 2015 17:21:49

Khandavaneh, an uplifting entertainment program on national state television, is successfully introducing standup to TV viewers in Iran.

Iranians enjoy making a joke out of pretty much anything and sharing it on their smartphones, a habit some indulge in on a daily basis.


Now, standup comedy is being brought into Iranian homes through a new show on state TV. Khandavaneh, which translates as ‘laughmelon’ (a combination of laugh and watermelon), broadcast on the Nasim comedy channel on a number of evenings each week, has proved a huge hit. The program is hosted by Rambod Javan, a well-known satirist popular with young people, who invites other Iranian comedians to perform standup and compete with each other on the show.

Rambod Javan is the host of Khandavaneh, which is being broadcast on national state television.

Although a number of Iranians have previously dabbled in standup, the genre is only being introduced properly with Khandavaneh. Many of those performing are established satirists but the program is giving them a platform for standup.

Javan performs in front of a selected audience of young men and women. Comedians often sing and the mixed audience clap.

Javan forms a double act with a Muppet-like puppet called Jenabkhan, who has a southern Iranian accent. During the programme, the puppet sings folklore songs from different parts of Iran in what many see as an attempt by the programmers to reach out across the country. Javan also introduces new books, plays and gallery exhibitions as part of his show.