Bhuvan Bam is very much your everyday neighbourhood comedian. His jokes are based on real-life characters that you would find in your surroundings – angry masterji (teacher), babluji (middle-class father) or titu mama (goon-like uncle). It is this observational humour that makes his videos extremely relatable, which has also garnered him fans, making him a bona fide YouTube star.
However, Bhuvan’s stardom goes beyond his two billion views. The New Delhi-based artiste recently debuted at the 2020 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting prestigious conference in Switzerland. Others in the list included Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone and young climate activist Greta Thunberg. Bhuvan, however, was one of the eight YouTube content creators who were invited in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to bring youth perspectives to its discussions. “It was a golden opportunity for a creator like me to learn about the forum personally and watch global leaders speak. I’ll be vlogging my experience so my audience can learn from what I saw and heard,” he says.
About five years ago, Bhuvan was a regular college kid who spent his evenings performing at restaurants in New Delhi. His dream was to be a singer and YouTube was never on the cards. However, things changed when he came across a news video covering the floods in Kashmir. “There was a video of a journalist asking a mother (who lost her child in the floods), how she was feeling. What kind of question is that? So I made a satirical video on it,” he recollects. The 15-second satire video (now deleted) was supposed to be a one-off. But once the video went viral, he decided to post a few more, and that led to the launch of BB Ki Vines.
The 26-year-old built all of it solely from doing comedy skits and videos in front of his camera – in the comfort of his bedroom. What started off with 15 views, has now grown to become a platform that youngsters relate to, calling themselves the BBKV army. The channel chronicles the life of an Indian teenager and his middle-class family through quirky characters portrayed by Bhuvan himself. Most of his content is inspired by awkward and funny everyday situations including familial occasions, breakup and exams. “It’s obviously inspired from people I meet, watch and is a few times, fictional. But these are all characters who exist I’m sure, that’s why people find them relatable,” he shares.
Four and a half years since its launch, BB Ki Vines now has over 16 million subscribers, which is more than one of the most popular YouTube channels, Lilly Singh (14.9 million subscribers). This year started off on a great note for him with WEF debut and Bhuvan’s never been busier and happier. “I feel gratitude for all the love and acceptance I’ve received. I feel a sense of pride in who I’m becoming and what I stand for,” he shares.
Despite having a busy schedule and juggling multiple things – comedy, music and endorsements, Bhuvan always makes time to interact with his audience. “No interaction is too much for me. I love talking to people and that’s the beauty of social media, there’s no wall in between.”