MMExclusive: A Quick Chit-Chat With The Future Stand-Up Comedians Of India

Atmaj Vyas , 30 Jul 2018
Stand-Up Comedy | Image Source:
Stand-Up Comedy | Image Source:

With the launch of the new show, Comicstaan, we’ve been introduced to a whole new bunch of aspiring stand-up comedians. While the panel of judges had some of the best comedians that India has to offer, the contestants weren’t slouches either. Each one of them had a unique style and were a complete laughter riot. We decided to catch up with a few of our favourites contestants and learn more about them. Here’s what went down.

1. Sejal Bhat

An analyst at an investment bank, ex-editor at a publishing magazine, to now being a stand-up comedian, tell us a little about that journey and what was the thought process behind it?

I mostly just drifted from career to career looking for something I could really get behind. Stand-up was something I watched on the side and really wanted to do but I had huge stage fright issues. So the first few months was just showing up and chickening out.

Tell us a little about the organization you are a co-founder of, Anderooni.

Anderooni is an initiative to create virtual and physical spaces for women – for performing arts and expression. The idea is to have a cosy community of women who support each other in their journeys, so to speak. We do open mics around Bangalore and Chennai with an all-women audience and line-up. And we have a mango orchard near Auroville where you can just come to relax and unwind for longer periods.

What do you think makes you stand out from the rest of the contestants? What is your signature style?

Haha, I don’t think I have a signature style. I’m still working on developing my voice.

What is your take about people who say women can’t do comedy?

Pay no attention to them. *Cue Taylor Swift Shake It Off*

What is your ultimate dream and do you have any words of wisdom to share?

The ultimate dream is intergalactic space travel! But, comedy-wise I’d be happy to able to write a series someday. In regards to the words of wisdom, I haven’t really covered much to be able to hand out advice.

2. Aishwarya Mohanraj

From a well-paying job as an analyst to being a stand-up comedian, what made you decide that this was your calling?

I never thought of comedy as my calling. I quit my job because Comicstaan was a great opportunity and I stay with my parents, so rent wasn’t an issue. I considered comedy to be a viable career, only after quitting my job.

What is it like working for Abish Matthew? Any secrets you’d like to spill?

Working with Abhish is absolutely amazing! I’ll recommend 10/10. Best boss, best mentor, best human. A secret about Abish is that he thinks I’m the best employee and everyone should hire me! Sorry Abish, for telling everyone the secret. Hah!

What was the whole experience on Comicstaan like? How do you think this has shaped your stand-up career?

Comicstaan was a great learning experience for me. Considering that I was just 3 months into comedy when I joined the show, for me everything anybody said about joke writing was pure gold. The learnings from each mentor have definitely honed my skill.

What is your take about people who say women can’t do comedy?

To everyone who says women can’t do comedy, all I want to say is; Abbe jaa na. Comedy is not specific to gender, pregnancy, on the other hand, is.

Any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share with others who have a similar dream?

If you want to do comedy, just get on stage, write jokes, hit open mics and stop asking people if you’re funny.

3. Prashasti Singh

What is it that got you started on the path of comedy?

Well, boredom mostly. Post my MBA, I was working a full-time corporate job. I initially started doing comedy only to break the routine. Soon, I got addicted to the stage and there has been no looking back since.

From a small city to the big city, what do you think was the one thing you struggled with the most?

Being my honest self. For the larger part of my life, I have been trying to move away from my roots and be more like my city peers. Even today in most of my social interactions I am awkward and artificial. It’s only on the stage where I suddenly find the confidence to be my honest unapologetic unsophisticated self.

Where do you derive your comedy from and what is that one thing that inspires you?

Most of my material is derived from personal anecdotes in different phases of my life. Most of it is self-deprecating humour. The beauty of growing up is that you can always look back and appreciate what a dumb f**k you used to be. In regards to inspiration, it is excellence that inspires me. That’s the beauty of Mumbai, you come across such people every day who are constantly setting and chasing new personal benchmarks for themselves.

What is your take about people who say women can’t do comedy?

Please try yoga. It opens up your mind!

What has your journey so far taught you and what is something you’d like to tell others who have the same dream?

We underestimate our privilege. If you have the resources to try something just go for it.

These amazing comedians are definitely going to be killing the stand-up scene in the near future. So, we highly advise you keep a track of their trajectory! Don’t forget to check these guys out on Comicstaan, which is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Don’t forget to follow us at @missmalinilifestyle to never miss a beat!

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