If the Taliban produced a soap opera, Pakistani comedy writer Younis Butt pondered one day, what would it be like?
The love triangles would be impossible to understand, he thought, because all the women would be hidden behind burkas and no one would know which character was engaged in a heated tiff with another.
An Islamic variety show would be equally absurd, he decided. With singing and dancing frowned upon, women covered from head-to-toe could only sit in a spotlight with their backs turned to the camera.
For the creator of Pakistan’s most popular satirical television show, the prospect was too tempting and the spoof Taliban ‘T Channel’ episode was born, airing in June this year and becoming a major hit.
Segments are punctuated with Kalashnikov fire, as manic-eyed actors sporting black turbans hand out household tips on weapons maintenance…
‘America is not happy with me, the Taliban is not happy with me, everybody is not happy – that is why I am happy,’ Butt says with a grin.
A great deal of the best humor has always been political, topical, dissent from conformity. Judged a danger by reactionaries and fools alike.