Stand up for comedy

Stand up for comedy

For a country that seems to be losing its sense of humour and the ability to laugh at itself, the standup comedy scene is booming; especially in Bengaluru. With around 4-5 open mics being held everyday and a full house at most of them, Bengaluru is the place to be for aspiring standup comedians.

Although people still tend to relate standup comedy to mimicry or worse, to a bunch of men dressing up as women for a late night television show, names like Kenny Sebastian, Daniel Fernandes  and Biswa Kalyan Rath have slowly managed to change the popular perception about this field. These comics have also lead the way for many young comedians who are now willing to test the waters.

Harman Singh, who recently started standup comedy, recalls "I was introduced to standup through videos of Russell Peters. I used to watch them for hours when  I was in school. Also I was an emcee in college for a long time and did quite a few corporate shows even before  I entered the comedy circuit."

Aamer Peeran says, " I've always liked being on stage. I was a part of a band for a year and a half, but after that was over, I  started  looking for a way to get back on stage. Standup looked like the perfect platform since I could do it alone and didn't need to be a part of a group."

Gautam Purohit says "I was introduced to standup comedy as an art form through YouTube when I was in school. I had no plans of pursuing it as a career until I moved to Bengaluru in 2016. One fine day, I ended up at an open mic at Urban Solace and gave it a shot. I liked the fact that people listened to me and I now have the power to transform my evil thoughts into ideologies."

When asked if they would recommend standup comedy as a career, Aamer says, "Sure, why not? If you have the calling for it then go ahead. But only part time though, full time in the beginning is impossible."

Gaurav says, "Yes, I would definitely ask people to join standup;  it's a splendid art form though  a tough one at that. I would ask the entrants to perform at an open mic and fail miserably at least once and then go back, write better jokes and fail a little less the next time. This is what comedy is all about."

Asked about the comedy scene in Bengaluru, Harman says, "It's brutally honest. It is a small and family kind of scene where you get to see the growth of each comedian with constant support from the experienced ones. You're going to see the best comics coming out of this city in the future." Aamer says, "The comedy scene here is very rich at the moment. There are lot of comics presenting original comedy. Last week on a particular day, there were 7 open mics in the city; that should be enough to tell one about the scene here."

Gaurav goes on to add, " I have been to different cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, but I believe Bengaluru is going to witness the next boom in comedy. Every comedian here has their own style, everyone is unique and that's what the audience wants. In about 10 years,  this city will have the best comedy scene in India."

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