A rib-tickling affair

A rib-tickling affair

New show

A rib-tickling affair

When standup artiste Naveen Richard initially set out on the funny journey, it was the ‘one vanilla ice cream’ joke that stayed put with people. He recalls, “It was a joke about how Bengaluru was this great big city to hang out in; with all its swanky restaurants and pubs. It was a contrast to the place where I grew up, Coimbatore. Back there, people would hang out at an ice cream parlour, wait for girls and order a vanilla or a strawberry ice cream and sometimes a blueberry fusion to be cool. Apparently, it was so funny that it was the only joke which stood out. I got frustrated and I stopped doing that joke after a while but it was the crowning moment of my comedy career.”

And as a tribute to that sweet incident which led to a 5-year-long journey, Naveen will be performing a one hour special set comprising some of his best material, signature jokes which happen to be his fans’ favourites and personal narratives which he describes as “silly stories”. And just like ‘one vanilla ice cream’, he wishes that the show leaves a lasting impression in the audience.

He says, “My comedy has evolved a lot in 5 years. I’m not very proud of the jokes I used to write in the beginning. This is a very special set for me as well. In the past, 50 minutes is the longest I have ever done so I am looking forward to this show.” It’s not a challenge for him to add an element of humour into personal incidents. He says that when something funny happens to him, he likes to detach himself from reality and smile “like an idiot at the situation.” “There is always a gut feeling that something hilarious in life can turn out to be great material. Even the smallest incident can be funny. The challenge while writing is to figure out what joke works and which will resonate with the audience. I usually list out 20 funny incidents and try them out in an open mic. They will automatically reduce to 15. Then, I try to make the material much tighter and so on.”

 Although he decided to take up stand-up comedy as a career only towards the final year of his college, Naveen has been funny as long as he can remember. His long bio-data can give anyone a run for their money. From being a law graduate and a  theatre artiste with ‘Evam Entertainment’, Naveen has had an illustrious career at comedy; with 300 standup performances, 2 TV shows and several viral YouTube videos. “More comedians are refining their writing and comedy sense will surely improve quality in the scene.

There will also be more variety. Right now, the scene is filled with people talking about Bollywood jokes 80% of the time and jokes from observation in the rest of the set. I wish it turns around the other way. Awkward, offbeat comedy should also become popular. The audience should also take standup comedy seriously and must be ready to come for paid shows.”

Naveen Richard will perform on April 30, 7.30 pm, at Alliance Francaise, Vasanthnagar.

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