Everyone enjoys an evening filled with laughter. Especially when the city is opening up to the concept of stand up comedy, there can only be a bright side for this genre in the land of Nizams. Adding to this is the visit of world renowned stand up comedian, Papa CJ. The 38-year-old stage artist is a known as the face of stand up comedy in India.
About the stand up comedy of the city, he said,“So far the stand-up scene has been like the odd even rule – in a trial phase. But I’m confident it will grow like the hopes of Leonardo Di Caprio every time the Oscars come around.”
Tagged as one of the most influential comedians in the world by Toastmasters International, Papa CJ has done more than 1000 shows across the globe. The Delhi-based humorist, who has been in the industry for more than fifteen years now, will be in the city on January 24.
Meanwhile, when the city is preparing to greet Papa CJ, we dig out a few stand up comedians in Hyderabad, who are keeping the atmosphere funny.
Saikiran Rayaprolu, 34
The beginning: In a stand up contest in January in 2014
About being a comic: It’s scary, but the sheer exhilaration you get as a comedian when a joke works is unmatchable.
Current scenario: A research consultant who quit his job for dedicating his full time towards stand up comedy, he says, “Hyderabad is growing fast with at least two open mics happening per week and other shows by comics and comedy groups like Funny Side Up, The Unglis and Hyderabadass Comedy.”
Role model: South Indian comic Praveen Kumar
What needs to change: Every stand up comedian should start at an open mic where everyone gets a five-minute spot.
The beginning: In 2013, after he won the Punchline Comics Hyderabad Stand Up Contest.
About being a comic: I was always a bits-and-pieces sort of a guy. I sing a bit, and play the guitar, and write humour. All of this adds to my on-stage persona.
Current scenario: An MPhil student at the University of Hyderabad, Hriday says, “Better than ever. We get requests from pubs, hotels and other spaces on a weekly basis.”
Role model: Louis CK, Brian Regan, Raju Srivastav.
What needs to change: The locals need to be encouraged.
The beginning: 2014
About being a comic: The very thought of someone talking while the others just laugh their lungs out seemed very intriguing.
Current scenario: This freelance content writer says the city is where Bengaluru was five years back. “It has picked up significantly in the last two months.”
Role model: Biswa Kalyan Rath
What needs to change: We‘ve had too many of changes and it is time to settle down.
Avinash Agarwal, 27
The beginning: 2011 with an open mic at The Comedy Store, Mumbai.
About being a comic: Once you get over the initial fear of being on stage and pressure to‚ crack jokes‘, it’s addictive. You get hooked.
Current scenario: This creative consultant and copywriter currently in Mumbai says, “Just a couple of years back we used to hunt for venues in Hyderabad to perform. In the last six months, there‘s literally been an explosion and now we have more venues than we can handle. There are 4-5 shows and open mics happening every week in this city. Comedians like Papa CJ, AIB, TVF and Vir Das have really pushed the national scene past tipping point.”
Role model: Tanmay Bhatt, Karunesh Talwar, Vipul Goyal and Atul Khatri in India and. Brian Regan, Louis CK, Mitch Hedberg and George Carlin abroad.
What needs to change: Stop asking comedians to perform for free.
The beginning: August 2015
Being a comic: The only female stand up comedian in the city who was spotted by celebrated comic Kaneez Surka says, “I used to write small snippets, but never thought of getting on stage and performing. Kaneez Surka saw something in me and asked me to write for comedy. It is because of her that I took the stage.”
Current scenario: A techie by profession who performs after office hours and during weekends in the city, she says, “Initially where we used to perform in front of 10 people for free, now we have dozens of audience who are ready to pay for it.”
Role model: Kaneez Surka
What needs to change: The crowd takes offense which should reduce. We need to understand that Hyderabad is reaching the state of a cosmopolitan.
(Text: Nishad Neelambaran)