Zakir Khan on what to expect as he makes his city debut.
Be it his witty video reviewing Tip Tip Barsa Pani from Mohra (1994) or his electric stand-up shows across the country, comic Zakir Khan sure knows how to get the laughs.
Recovering from a cold, the 29-year old’s excitement is evident between bouts of cough. At his first solo show at Dubai yesterday, Khan said, “I have gotten a lot of love from people who follow my work from Chennai, so I hope the city enjoys it.”
Presenting his skit in Hindi and English with Evam Standup Tamasha, the Indore boy will speak about relationships and matters of privacy.
Insisting that he draws from personal experience, he quips, “For the first decade and a half of our lives, we fight so vehemently for privacy, which we ultimately surrender voluntarily to the people we like. I will focus on how that works for boys and girls, in my show.”
Boy next door
Known for his relatable material and great comic timing, the Mumbai-based artiste’s self-deprecating humour has earned him over 2,00,000 subscribers on YouTube and several more offline.
“Moving from small towns to big cities, a dormant inferiority complex and trying to bite more than I can chew—these are some themes I base my content on. It works because somehow people relate to this at some point in their lives.”
Khan’s fascination with storytelling has been a longstanding affair, with experience in radio and writing before he found his calling in stand-up comedy. “Parents are all right with your passion as long as they see it paying well,” he smirks, as I ask him about his family’s reaction to his choice of work.
Pushing the limits
From entertainment to politics to the maladies of everyday life, Khan insists that the stand-up community is the most tolerant and accepting of the lot in the country. He does, however, point out that it’s getting hard to make intellectual comedy possible thanks to polarised opinions among the audience.
“We once had Facebook activists, now we have WhatsApp scholars. People have taken sides. So it’s not the right time to joke because it’s almost never taken well,” he rues.
However, on a more positive note, he lauds the Internet for the independence it has brought to comics like him. “Earlier, one had to associate with an association to do shows and that brought limits to what you could include in your piece. The Internet has eliminated that need and that’s extremely liberating.”
Khan heads to Mumbai before his show in the city and will then proceed to Delhi and Jodhpur.
On December 11 at the Museum Theatre, Egmore. Rs 500 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
— Lavanya Lakshminarayanan