On June 28 (a convenient Saturday for most of us), the Vivanta by Taj-Gurgaon will play host to two of the country's most eclectic stand-up comedians.
Meet Sorabh Pant and Aadar Malik, who promise to make you burst from the seams with laughter over a great couple of hours of wining and dining. Armed with a curious little list of questions, BT More caught up with the two comedians - only to be counter-attacked by a bunch of hilarious responses. Read on, then book a seat at the Tease, Vivanta by Taj-Gurgaon, to make the most of the weekend ahead. Enjoy!
Q. When did you first decide to become a stand-up comedian?
A. I did my first show in 2008 in Delhi. I never actually decided to become a comedian. I didn't even know it was an option. I thought I'd permanently be an unknown author who was kind of funny. It just sort of happened.
Q. What do you usually talk about in your comedy shows? Do you satirize about social issues?
A. I talk about anything and everything. I write a lot. I write two hours every day to ensure that the material does not get stale, which is why we do different specials with different themes like Men Are From Bars (Relationship Special), Travelling Pants (Travel Special), Pant on Fire (Indian Communities special), The Ghanta Awards (Bollywood special) and my new show, India Vs. The World which is a political and historical special. I think you'd have to be really sleepy to not talk social issues in India. Especially, politics and corruption etc. are a chunk of material. Plus, we're doing a new show on NDTV Profit/Prime called The Bottom Line which is all about news and issues.
Q. How did you happen to meet Vir Das? How much do you attribute your success as a stand-up comedian to Das?
A. Vir was my first comedy mentor. Learned a lot from him. We worked on a bunch of TV shows, lots of events, wrote Filmfare Awards and even a film and books and all sorts of stuff. He's a good guy. Also, a great kisser - let that be your lead story!!
Q. You have opened for Wayne Brady and Rob Schneider. Have you met them, and how would you describe their style of comedy?
A. Wayne Brady is just one of the most multi-talented comedic folks on the planet. He's ensured to give any comedian a complex. Probably the most versatile Improviser on the planet. And, he's built like a horse - which I saw in a gym once. Ha ha ha.
Rob Schneider was wonderful. We hung out a little bit and he was very gregarious and friendly. His comedy style is much more anecdotal.
Q. Would you say that you have a raunchy sense of humour? Also, do you think stereotyping is necessary in stand-up comedy?
A. My sense of humour varies depending on the crowd. I can be raunchy, I can be clean. I can be whatever the organisers and crowd demand of me. I don't think you can be one specific kind of comedian. Stereotyping is fine as long as it's not derogatory toward someone. The cardinal rule of making such jokes is simple: Talk about what people do NOT how they are. If you tell someone about the silly stuff they do - that's not racial, that's observation. But, if you say you hate them because of XYZ reason - that's racist.
Q. How much do you think you have you succeeded as an author? Has The Wednesday Soul become a hit with readers?
A. The Wednesday Soul was a very niche novel. I mean seriously - it was a comedy fantasy! Those two have about 3 people in India interested. Still the book did quite well. We sold over 3,000 copies - which wasn't bad. I'm more excited about the second novel which is releasing in under a month. It's called Under Delhi, and it's about a woman going after criminals in Delhi - it's very angry and funny. It was a very cathartic novel to write especially with the kind of rubbish that Indian women have to go through every day.
A. I have always been an actor. I think of the stand-up comic as a character I really, really enjoy playing.
Q. Do you think stand-up comedy has changed a lot over the ages? Who are your main inspirations on the international as well as national scene?
A. Of course it has. It's a performance art, always evolving. It draw from comics like Lewis CK, Lewis Black, Tim Minchin, Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, even Raju Shrivastav.
Q. I have heard that you mix music with your comedy. Which instruments do you use for that?
A. I usually use the guitar for its convenience and effect on women. But I plan to have a keyboard, harmonica, etc soon.
Q. What would you pick if you had to choose between two worlds, one without music and the other without humour?
A. I'd kill myself either way.
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