Bhubaneswar: He is one of the biggest sensations on the digital platform of this decade. His show on YouTube has generated millions of hits, sometimes eclipsing the ‘just released’ Bollywood trailers. He is serious, suave, unassuming and behind the veneer, he is a creative genius. He is a star in his own right. He is one of Odisha’s best exports to the entertainment industry.
No guesses for the name. We are talking about Biswapati Sarkar, better known for his parody on journalist Arnab Goswami. His apolitical barbs targetted at celebrities on his shows have earned him the sobriquet of ‘an IITian-turned comedian’. He pans Bollywood celebrities in quintessential Arnab style, the USP of his show. The best part is that stars don’t find it intimidating.
The poster boy of online comedy from Rourkela, Biswapati is a writer/director and Creative Head at The Viral Fever (TVF). He essay’s the character of “Arnub” and his online talk-show series ‘Barely Speaking With Arnub’ has received more than 7.5 million YouTube views. It has featured celebrities and politicians like Shahrukh Khan, Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra, Ali Zafar, Sunny Leone, Arvind Kejriwal and Chetan Bhagat.
“I am the third biggest superstar from Odisha. There is Sona Mohapatra, Biswa Kalyan Rath and there is me,” he said candidly with a broad grin at an interview sometime back, an interaction which itself has generated record hits.
So how did this IITian end up becoming an entertainer?
“When I graduated from IIT Kharagpur and first told my Mom about my wish, she said “yeh to nahi hoga”. There was a point of time when I was actually thrown out of the house. I had to stay at a friend’s place but then I guess the rowdy sketch and its success convinced my parents about my creative instincts,” said Sarkar.
And how did Barely Speaking With Arnub happen?
Sarkar said he was not the first choice to host the show but when the director asked him to fill in for the person who was supposed to anchor it, he took it up. “And it went massively viral”.
— Biswapati Sarkar (@ChhotaThalaiva) January 17, 2017
In 2017, he decided to bid adieu to singlehood and tied the knot with his batchmate from IIT Kharagpur and IP analyst, Kalpana Garg.