Stand-up comedy in India

Mastering the art


October 16, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

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 India is a seeing rise in stand up comedians

India is seeing number of youngsters taking up stand-up as a profession

The comedians, armed with creativity are in no mood to leave you with that look on the face.

Stand-up comedy has gained popularity in India and the rage doesn’t seem to end any sooner. If you know the trick to tickle the funny bones, then this is the job for you.

With social media being utilized to its fullest, it gets pretty difficult for people to avoid cracking up once or twice in a day. The social media helps artists to maintain their connection with the audience on a daily basis.

While, on one hand, the Orlando based comedian, Naresh Adurty, who also goes by the name the Indian Bob, believes that multitude of changes in the Indian society created a perfect storm to propagate this new art form, on the other hand, Bengaluru based stand-up comedian, Sanjay Manktala is of the opinion that the major push behind this unrealistic fame of stand-up comedy came in as late as in 2010. YouTube exploded around 2014 and the Hinglish stand up came about with it, it was at this time that comedy as a profession gained momentum.

According to Naresh, “Financial freedom and the new TV outlets were the catalysts for the growth of standup comedy. Now, we have an audience who can support a new art form encouraging a new generation of artists who can make a living in this field. Also, In the 90s number of channels on TV exploded giving more airtime to this new art form.”

Sanjay added, “In 2010 the Comedy Store UK opened up in Mumbai.  In Bangalore, I started the present day scene with Sundeep Rao and Praveen Kumar.  In Delhi, folks like Amit Tandon, Zakir Khan, Papa CJ, Raghav Mandava and Rajneesh Kapoor and others pushed the comedy scene there.”

Currently, stand-up comedy is believed to be the most successful form of comedy in the industry. The Bengaluru based stand up comedian, said, “In India, I think if you look at online views, stand up is definitely taking the first place, with sketches and variety/talk shows following it.  Web series are also making big waves. In terms of live comedy, first stand-up, then maybe improvisations, and then the sketch shows. We grew up watching Mimicry, but it isn’t really a big thing now.”

The Internet has proven to be revolutionary in the evolution of this profession. It has provided comedians with a platform, which knows no boundaries and has helped them to reach a wider set of an audience located across the globe.

“Without social media, very few of us would have a living. Generally, if you can release a stand-up clip and get a million organic views, you will sell 500 seat auditoriums and probably make a lakh or two a show for a few months, until your next video does well,” said Sanjay.

In the view of comedians, humour has proven to be a way through which people can be made aware of some issues, without the fear of getting trolled. Sanjay explained, “as Indian’s we tend to follow the crowds, so if you see a clip of a comedian trying to make a point or talk politics and the audience reacts laughingly, it gets a lot harder to troll that comedian on the internet.”

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