Mr Family Man Review: Praveen Kumar is here to ease your lockdown woes
A simple, yet extremely enjoyable stand-up comedy show
With OTT platforms pumping out new specials every month, there is absolutely no shortage for comedy content. But do they all succeed in making us laugh? Unfortunately, only a handful do. During a conversation with me, actor Soori once said, "A comedian can no longer present a joke he read from a book to the audience and hope them to laugh. The audiences are clever and we have to outdo their gadgets to even make them smile." When I was almost convinced that one has to come up with a revolutionary, out-of-the-box idea to even get the audience to smile, I stumbled upon Praveen Kumar's simple, yet beautiful show called Mr Family Man on Prime Video.
Performer: Praveen Kumar
Streaming on: Prime Video
Like most standup shows, this one too is heavily auto-biographical and we are taken on a journey through his life starting from second grade till the present where he is the father of a nine-year-old (little Sanjana also makes a special appearance at the beginning). What may sound like a cliched template gets transformed into a fun ride thanks to Praveen's impeccable timing and infusion of harmless pattimandram style, self-deprecating humour. He reminded me of my favourites like Solomon Pappayya and Raja. Though I was initially sceptical about the wife and daughter jokes I saw in the promos, I was delightfully proven wrong.
I don't have my roots in Mylapore, don't use Machan in every sentence, and most-importantly, am not a big fan of filter coffee. So I've found it hard to relate to or enjoy most Tamil standup comedy. Luckily, Praveen is from elsewhere and he makes relatable jokes that are actually funny. The show also proves honest to its title and is extremely clean and family-friendly.
I laughed heartily during the segments where Praveen let loose his inner Crazy Mohan with wordplays like, "Veede kanna pinna nu oru 'mess' ah irundhuchu... aana sapadu konjam kuda illa." I also liked how he enjoys his own jokes and takes a moment to laugh at them, without spoiling the momentum. A happy person making people happy is quite a sight to watch indeed!
Though the show isn't entirely free from the inevitable mokka jokes, you can't keep a serious face when Praveen turns self-aware and says, "Fast ah mudichidalam, konjam poruthukonga," every time he hears a distant slow clap.
Getting married, having a child, handling finances, in short, turning a family man — these are nightmares that constantly haunt people in their late 20s. If only life could be half as fun and enjoyable as this show, I guess nobody would think twice before taking the leap.