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Last man laughing

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO
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chat Vikram Sathaye is seriously funny but never gets personal

Joke master Vikram Sathaye Photo: Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
Joke master Vikram Sathaye Photo: Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

“W oody Allen once said that for every hundred jokes he writes, one he can use. I am better. I can use five,” grins Vikram Sathaye. The stand-up comedian is on a roll.

He says that humour on cricket and Bollywood always works as an ice breaker. He devours everything from regional to national newspapers and magazines to get his quota of news. “Everyone observes. As a comic, how you interpret that observation matters,” he says.

At times his close friends become his ‘victims' but he sticks to cricket, movies and current affairs. “India is a beautiful country. If not Yeddyurappa, there's Laloo. I can always find ‘characters'. I first started testing the humour on world affairs with my friends,” he says.

He is a hit with the IT crowd. “My seven years of corporate experience in marketing helped me understand how an Infy person thinks and how a financial person would react to a situation,” he says. Looking back, he says, “I did the mandatory middle class thing of studying MBA. I did marketing for MTV and a film company. After a while, I wanted to do nothing with Excel sheets and Powerpoint presentations. I decided not to stick to a corporate job come what may. I was apprehensive to let go of a regular salary in the beginning. I thought if I didn't click as a stand-up comedian, I can always take up film marketing.”

Since then, he has gone with the flow and grown from strength to strength. His funny take on cricket became his biggest calling card. “I played for the under-19 team. My love for cricket came in handy. In 2006, I performed for the CEAT awards in front of the Indian cricket team. The cricketers appreciated my humour. I thought I must be doing something right if these big boys like it,” he says. Before he knew, Vikram was invited by the Sri Lankan cricket board to perform in front of India, Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan teams as well.

“I was nervous. What if they hated me and confined me in Lanka forever? Luckily, the Sri Lankan and Pakistani cricketers were cheering me. I pick on people's idiosyncrasies but never hit below the belt,” he adds. Vikram is happy that about the growing popularity of stand-up comedies in India but doesn't have a long-term plan for himself. “In the corporate sector, they take about five-year plans. I cannot think on those lines,” he smiles.

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

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