Society

Anirban Dasgupta on what drives his brand of humour

The artiste will be performing in the city over the weekend at SoCo comedy club

Anirban Dasgupta used to visit Sankara Nethralaya here in Chennai, as a child. “I was kind of blind when I was a child! So I have only seen Chennai with one eye,” he says, breaking into a quick laugh. Most often, this is the Kolkata-born, Mumbai-based stand-up comic’s ice breaker for a Chennai audience. Needless to say, it works every single time. Having performed in the city many times before, Anirban is now familiar with the Chennai crowd — “I hardly ever change my set, when I am here. These are the audience who already know what they are signing up for.” The artiste will be performing in the city over the weekend, at SoCo, in Hotel Savera.

Continuing this train of thought, Anirban recalls, “In fact, the previous Chennai shows which I had in 2017 and 2018, were very Calcutta-centric. Still, I realised that with the right amount of context, it always works.” Right now, with the Internet seeping into every aspect of our lives, all of us have similar levels of understanding, says the comic. To that end, with the surge of streaming platforms which are easily accessible, has it become easier to put content out? “What YouTube has done for comedians is huge. It has given us the power to upload anything and build a channel without any external involvement. At the same time, it also leads to pressure — four years back, when I started out, only one or two stand-up videos would be out in a week. Now, it is 10 or so, in a day. So, you can imagine the pressure that new comics face,” he says, adding that every pro has a con and how one handles it, is what matters.

In a set from his Amazon special, Take It Easy, Anirban explains how stand-up cannot be selective and does a humorous take on Freedom of Speech. He refers to the Constitution as a “fictional book”. To that end, would he call himself overtly political? He jokes, “Actually, the hate that I got for my political content is what ultimately led to a special (referring to Take It Easy).” The comic used to do a set on Subhas Chandra Bose, which received flak in the form of comments. “But since I was doing political content for the past few years, I am slowly getting tired of it. As a comic and writer, I want to explore other areas. So the show I am doing now is completely apolitical.”

Anirban Dasgupta will perform at SoCo, Hotel Savera, Mylapore on October 12 and 13 at 7 pm. Book tickets at www.socolive.in and bit.ly/AnirbanAtSOCO

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 2:54:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/anirban-dasgupta-on-what-drives-his-brand-of-humour-ahead-of-his-show-in-chennai/article29641650.ece

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