Rookie comedy writer Anish Bhalla wins Just for Laughs TV pitch competition


Poster for the animated sitcom Bhalla which won Just For Laughs ComedyPRO Stand Up and Pitch

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Anish Bhalla introduces TV executives to Just for Laughs

bhalla india basketball cartoon comedy sitcom canada toronto hip hop just for laughs competition television

Anish Bhalla plays basketball in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, August 3, 2022 / — Anish Bhalla and his partners at Kavalry Productions entered the Just For Laughs ComedyPRO Stand Up and Pitch competition finals in hopes of making an impact with their animated sitcom series BHALLA. Instead, Anish did his best Michael Jordan impression and won the TV pitch contest with an MVP performance. It was an experience he will never forget.

“It’s hard to sum up my feelings after attending the JFL for the first time,” said series co-creator Anish. “I felt validated just by being in the building and meeting some of my favorite comedians. I felt energized.

Anish turned that energy into a Vince Carter-style dunk that caught the attention of executives from Warner Brothers, ABC, Paramount and BET+ who collectively voted BHALLA the winner of their live pitch session.

“We felt like we had a chance because we had been working on this show for years,” said series co-creator Matt Kelly. “The reaction from leaders and the public has been a real confidence booster.”

BHALLA is an animated coming-of-age sitcom inspired by Anish’s teenage years as an Indian-Canadian playing basketball in the 1990s. It features a wide cast of relatable and fun characters.

Series co-creator Kyle Radke has been on Just for Laughs for more than a decade, first as a comedian and now as a writer and producer. While he was confident the team could claim victory, he was also amazed at the competition.

“This year was my third time as a Stand Up And Pitch finalist and by far the best,” Kyle said. “There was also a level of support and camaraderie among all the creators that I hadn’t seen in previous years.”

Anish thinks it’s the perfect time to tell the story of a family you don’t often see on TV.

“I attended Jo Koy’s movie cast panel on Easter Sunday at JFL,” Anish said. “I was moved after watching four Asian protagonists talk about proudly representing their cultures. Then I was able to stand in front of industry leaders and tell my story. As a young writer, it gave me so much confidence.

Stand Up and Pitch winners will be invited back to JFL ComedyPRO 2023 where Anish, Matt and Kyle hope to show off the progress they’ve made with BHALLA.

“Hopefully around this time next year we’re talking about BHALLA debuting on streaming platforms around the world,” Matt said. “This show will appeal to a wide audience and we want everyone to experience it.”

Only time will tell if BHALLA will earn the chance to appear on TV screens around the world. For now, Anish and his teammates will take the win and keep hustling.

For interviews, contact:
Kyle Radke at Kavalry Productions Inc. 647-274-9820 [email protected]

Additional photos here:

Kyle Radke
Kavalry Productions Inc.
+1 647-274-9820
[email protected]
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