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Updated: June 20, 2013 19:18 IST

Comedy is serious business

RANJANI RAJENDRA
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Nitin will be performing in Hyderabad on Saturday
The Hindu
Nitin will be performing in Hyderabad on Saturday

Engineer-turned-comedian believes in using his shows as a platform to tell the truth. He tells us why

What do most IITians do after graduation? Study further either in India or abroad, take up a corporate job or set up a business. But not Nitin Gupta.

This chemical engineer from IIT Bombay, went on to establish himself as a popular stand up comedian and set up Entertainment Engineers, a company that focuses on providing entertainment to audiences through plays, stand up acts and soon through advertisements as well.

For this stand up comedian, who always succeeds in leaving his audience in splits, comedy is serious business.

Through his shows he highlights social and political issues, hoping to draw more attention to topics that matter. “I’d always been enamoured by some of the top politicians, but when in 2010 a slew of scams came to light, that mirage was shattered.

I felt that these topics need to be addressed. But then again incorporating political topics in my acts is not an easy task. Simply because a lot of people are either not aware of current affairs or because when I perform at places like bars the people there are not interested in heavy-duty stuff; they are looking for pure entertainment. So the topics I choose for my acts depend on the venue setting and the awareness of my audience,” says Nitin, who is also known as Rivaldo.

“That’s a nickname a friend gave me in college and it has stuck ever since,” he explains.

However, despite his best preparations ahead of a show, Nitin says there have been times when it’s all flown out of the window because the audience turns out to be very different from what he’d earlier believed. “Depending on the audience I tweak the topics right then and there. Some of these shows have been the best I’ve performed,” says Nitin, who will be performing in the city on Saturday.

The otherwise shy Nitin’s tryst with stand up comedy began when he was in the final year of college when he performed at a couple of college fests and the interest then grew. Quiz him on how he managed to bridge the gap between his engineering studies and stand up comedy and he says, “Actually both are quite similar. Engineering has a science background, which requires exercise and logic. Stand up comedy too requires the same exercise and logic when it comes to understanding human nature.”

Incidentally, Nitin had also been offered Laughter Challenge, which he later turned down.

“It just so happened that the kind of comedy that TV requires is very different from stand up. This is primarily due to the age group we are catering to in the two mediums. They wanted to change my content accordingly, which I didn’t want to do”.

“Also my kind of humour might not find a place on TV, since a lot of the content there is tailored according to the advertisers,” he says. For now though, he is content with his stand up shows and also venture into advertising with his company.

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