'I will purposely invade your comfort zone and poke you'

Stand-up comedian Sahil Shah is definitely true to his profession as he has a pun ready for every situation. Shah, who co-founded the ‘East India Comedy’ group along with Sorabh Pant, has been doing stand-up from his college days. “I was always that funny guy who would make people laugh.” Shah tells Metrolife.

Shah, who also posts viral videos like Bollywood songs for everyday situations and True and False, says, “I was born with a mike.”  Coming from a family of doctors, Shah is happy that no one in his family ever told him to become a doctor.

Very early in life, Shah had a clear direction about what he wanted from his life. “I have never done a job in my life and I started performing from my college days. I did it for fun,” adds Shah, who recently performed in Delhi.

“My parents were actually happy that their son was doing a good job by making people laugh” adds Shah. He feels that if parents allow their children to take up their preferred career path then the world would be a much better place.

However, stand-up comedy does not offer financial stability. “Our shows are seasonal and we have to survive by selling our jokes,” he tells Metrolife.

When asked about the government falling back on a culture of bans he says, “For the Indian government, everything is objectionable because their standard reply to everything is a no. The only thing the Indian government would approve of is your name.” he says laughing.

Comedy for Shah is all about doing what people object to. “Comedy is about crossing the line. It’s like the game of kabbadi where I will purposely invade your comfort zone and poke you,”, adds Shah. Though comedy can sometimes be a medium of giving a message, Shah claims in jest that his comic acts have no messages. “It depends entirely on the person what he/she want to take as a message. Some people find messages out of nothing too.”

Comedy in India is still in its initial phase as there are only a handful of female stand-up comedians as compared to men.

“If I talk about sex  people will laugh and call me a dude but if a female makes a joke on sex people will call her all kind of names”, Shah says.

Shah feels that the audience across India is much varied. Mumbai and Pune are more open to jokes than Delhi. “Delhi is a no place for political jokes.” he says. “Here people will threaten you with their political affiliations if you make a joke at their expense.” Shah explains.

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