Taking a page from American storytelling comedians, Bollywood star and comedian Vir Das said he is hoping to introduce Western audiences to his home country: India.
He told Cheddar that in his third Netflix comedy special, 'For India,' "wants to take you to India and just explain my culture to American people, or to people in the world," Vir Das told Cheddar.
The comedian watched American comics not just standing on stage telling jokes but spinning their jokes into stories.
"It's not like travel log India. It's basically four things in every category." Das said. "So if you were coming to India, here's four books to read, here's four things you should eat, here's four movies to watch, here's four dark days from our history," he continued.
Das is the first Indian comedian to have a multi-year deal with Netflix, something very few comedians, regardless of race or ethnicity, have been able to land with the streaming giant.
"When we were doing this, Netflix was like, 'There are seven comedians, maybe, in the world who have three specials with us.' And if I was in the room with any one of those seven I would 'fan-boy' like you wouldn't believe," Das said.
He filmed his special in Mumbai where he currently lives and said Indian audiences can be a hard crowd to win over. "Indian audiences just have a tougher first three minutes," he explained. "So, your opening act is very very important in India."
'For India' was released on January 26 or Republic Day, celebrating the establishment of India's constitution. Das said he had been nervous about releasing it on such a big holiday for the country, but the special immediately gained popularity.
"It was a conscious decision that Netflix made that I was very paranoid about because Republic Day is a big day," he said. "We were trending on Republic Day. The only things that trend on Republic Day are like a missile or a new tank."