“Want to make people laugh as long as I can”

“The tragedy in India is that people here are fans of comedians and not comedy. Mumbai is slightly receptive but other cities need to catch up,” says stand-up comedian Nishant Suri.

After winning the first season of Amazon Prime’s Comicstaan in August, Suri is on a roll. The nine-episode series saw him unveiling the power of humour in refreshing layers and won him fans across the country.

“Comicstaan has been a game-changer. If it was not for this show, I would not be here giving this interview,” confesses this engineer-turned-investment banker-turned wedding photographer-turned stand-up comedian.

Mr. Suri, along with Rohit Dua, the first runner-up of Comicstaan, was in the city for a show. Though he has been doing comedy since 2014, it took four years for dame luck to smile at him. “In this field, you need to be famous, the name sells,” he says indicating the cut-throat competition among the mushrooming breed of young men and women shunning corporate careers and taking to the business of making people laugh.

While working as an engineer, he realised that there must be some truth in people’s observation that he was very funny. He started performing at open mics to begin with, learning the ropes of the trade in trial and error mode. “There have been bad experiences but then they teach you what not to repeat. A few corporate shows have gone like that. You realise when there is a disconnect between you and the audience,” he admits.

Ask him about heckling, he brushes it aside as ‘part of the game’ in the initial stages. “Fortunately, unlike in other countries, we don’t see comedians being heckled here in India.”

A shining example of how a robust sense of humour can take a person places, Mr. Suri has been going around multiple cities to regale his audience by bringing into play myriad forms of his talent like self-deprecating humour, by talking about ‘bad memories’ of college performances that are better forgotten and of course, about his ‘desi’ swag.

Like others of his ilk, he has never regretted his decision to be a stand-up comedian. “I love my job. Its way better than a 9-to-5 work; it allows me to sleep a lot and wake up late, makes me feel relaxed and chilled out,” he says.

“Comedy is a serious business,” he avers, explaining how it takes one month to develop a five-minute-long piece. Ideas, he says, cane be picked up from anywhere. “There is no specific recipe for it. It could happen anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes when I am driving, I see something very interesting. I stop and write it down and try to integrate it in my next work,” he says, adding that designing ‘solo shows’ is what his mind is planning at the moment.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 1:36:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/want-to-make-people-laugh-as-long-as-i-can/article26869414.ece

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