'A good comedian should be a good listener'

'A good comedian should be a good listener'

Dwayne Perkins, a comedian from Brooklyn, loved stand-up comedy as a kid. This artiste, who can make most people laugh at the drop of the hat, talks to Metrolife about his passion and his impressions about India.

“When I was in college, I realised I could do this. When I started doing comedy, I realised that I could be a professional at it,” narrates Dwayne. He is inspired by Eddie Murphy, whom he feels had an impact on his generation.

Dwayne worked as an IT professional while moonlighting with comedy about 18 years back. He chose to be a full-time comedian 12 years back.

He’s been on shows by Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno and says, “It’s all fun and good times. It’s where most stand-up comedians want to be. It might not be the pinnacle of comedy, but it is one of the big points this type of comedy can be taken to.”

Dwayne says that comedy goes through different phases and different things become fashionable over time. “Being universally relatable never goes out of fashion. There are certain niche markets now and there are artistes who have a lot of fans because they’ve a deeper appeal, rather than a broader one. A lot of artistes take a particular angle, but I like to have a global appeal. That’s why I’m in India right now,” he elaborates.

Talking about what triggered his passion to comedy, he details, “I think it’s the power of making people laugh. It’s my relationship with the truth — the ability to express myself, make my points and like every comic, use the art as a defence mechanism.”

Recollecting some of his most popular lines, Dwayne says, “I wrote a joke about alcohol and how if people wouldn’t force me to have milk if I was lactose intolerant, they should stop asking me to drink as it doesn’t run in my family. A lot of non-drinkers have contacted me and told me that they liked that bit. I’ve another joke about what it feels like pretending to be platonic friends with a girl, despite wanting more — especially when you’re the perfect guy. It’s almost like going to a job interview and being told that you have the perfect job profile, but you still won’t be hired.”

Commenting about Indian comedians, he says that he’s just learning about them. “But I do know Indian comic artistes back home like Sugar Sammy and Russel Peters etc,” he says.

“A good comedian should be a good listener,” shares Dwayne about the requisites of a comic artiste . Recollecting one of the best compliments he ever received, Dwayne says that once a girl at a performance in Hong Kong said that he didn’t look desperate at all. “There are others who told me that I’ve inspired them to do something they’ve always wanted to do,” he adds.

Dwayne’s impression of the City has changed from his initial reactions on his blog.
 “India is rich in culture. It’s amazing in aspects of architecture. One has to come to India and see it as your first impression will not be your last. It’s a place where as you stay, your impression changes,” he wraps up.

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