'It is creatively stifling'

'It is creatively stifling'

Original Act

'It is creatively stifling'

Jokes apart, comedy alone may not fetch you your next meal. But it earns you more than that — plenty of good laughs. But when Cyrus Broacha talks about the economics of stand-up comedy, it isn’t laughing matter.

And no, he doesn’t mince any words. “I am just an out-of-work actor trying to make a livelihood from stand-up comedy. And now that my hair is turning grey, I am thinking of going back to pursue law,” he is candid.

“I come from a lawyers’ family and enjoyed studying law. There was no question of taking up comedy as a profession,” he says. But fate had other plans. And soon he was doing theatre, radio-jockeying and films.

 “When I was in law college, a 44-year-old major in the army returned to college to study law again. At the time, I thought how ridiculous it was. But now, I understand,” Cyrus says.

He now finds the weather conducive enough to get back into the legal arena. In the interim, he entertains as a theatre artiste, stand-up comedian, TV personality, columnist and author.

“I don’t consider stand-up comedy as a profession. There are plenty of comics around and I am upset there is a lot of competition,” he jokes.

During the MTV Bakra days, Cyrus was synonymous with practical jokes.

“When we started, we did not know we had such a following and it grew. Ordinary people loved to be on the show. They liked to see themselves on TV,” he remembers.

Soon, the reality show bug too bit Cyrus. But he has an explanation. “There is good money in television and radio,” he adds.

It’s hard to deny that he had stirred some hornets’ nests with his jibes. But mocking the powerful is no laughing matter, especially in India. “Sometimes, it is creatively stifling. There are too many holy cows here unlike in the West. We are now more careful with the scripts,” he says.

He had also turned author with Karl, Aaj aur Kal followed by ‘The Average Indian Male’. The author in him does not subscribe to a strict timetable.

 “You have to be disciplined. It’s like sitting in a class and writing at a specific time. You also have other jobs to do to survive —  theatre, stand-up and TV. So I had to rush to complete the book. But there are writers who are more disciplined. I am writing about Indian politics now. Hopefully, before the 2014 elections, it will come out,” he adds.

The debate whether Indians have a sense of humour or not has been on for a long time.

Cyrus has his theory. “The market is very diverse. The audience in Delhi and Mumbai are different from that in Bangalore. Bangaloreans are able to catch the lines in between. They are an intelligent crowd,” he says.

And so he is looking forward to performing at the ‘Cyrus Broacha Comedy Night’ at The Lalit Ashok on June 30.
Elsewhere, on varied stages, the applause for him is only getting stronger.