Home Chennai Culture The LOL parade

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    In the city this weekend, four stand-up comedians are out to make us laugh


    Kenny Sebastin

    AT THIS rate, they’ll soon be calling Chennai ‘Comedy Central’. After having hosted an evening with Russell Peters, stand-up comedy regulars like Cyrus Broacha and Vir Das have increasingly found more patrons inviting them to the city. And to top it off, Evam’s regular round of Stand Up Tamasha for amateur comics has spurred several new organisers to organise LOL shows in the city this year. Like comedian-turned-comedy event organiser, Rajesh Hinduja, 55, who’s coming here this weekend. Having started his company Just Kidding last year, Hinduja seems upbeat about his show. “I’m really looking forward to doing a show in Chennai,” smiles the Bangalorean, before adding, “All my friends from school are here because this is where I grew up.’’

    Not just talk
    Incidentally, it was one of these buddies who suggested that Hinduja give an open mic night a shot. And we’re glad he didn’t laugh at the idea, because if he had, we wouldn’t have had such a fun line-up of comedians like Praveen Kumar, Kannan Gill, Kenneth Sebastian and, of course, Hinduja himself, coming to the city. One of the pioneers in Indian stand-up comedy, Kumar was rated one of the top 10 comedians in the country in 2011 and has performed for audiences in over 400 shows across 15 cities. But it isn’t going to be just talk. Gill and Sebastian are known to whip up a mean tune on their guitars (most often inspired on the spot by the audience). According to Sebastian, “Musical comedy is pretty uncommon if you watch stand-up comedy.” So expect everything from tripping on popular musicians to Bollywood and Hollywood references in their show.

    Sing along
    Watch out for Sebastian’s Random Word Song. “I tell the audience to yell out any word they want,” he explains. “Then it comes together in a song.” If you can’t imagine what that is like – try connecting rainbows, piranha and crack-heads on the same lyrical thread. This guy did it and the video on Youtube has gone viral ever since.Finally there’s Hinduja, who juggles his furniture manufacturing business with his passion for stand-up. And he tells us that his material can fluctuate from anything between a run-in with his school principal from back in the day, to toilet humour and a liberal dose of post-marital cribbing. So will his wife be in the audience too? “Hopefully not,” Hinduja responds. “If she is, I’ll never be able to go back home!”

    At T N Rajarathinam Kalai Arangam, tomorrow, from 6.45 pm onwards. Tickets at Rs300. Details: 9444019728

    Sonali Shenoy


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