ARUNESH Talwar got interested in standup comedy at a very young age, when his father brought home cassette tapes and VHS videos, “of which there happened to be one standup comedy show,” he shares. He was 10 years old then. Now, at 24, after winning open mic competitions, writing sketches for AIB and opening for Vir Das, the Mumbai-based standup is bringing his show, Paka Mat Na Mote, to the city this weekend.
A fan of comedians like Norm Macdonald, Paula Poundstone and Stewart Lee, Talwar explains the difference between two broad categories of comics in the US and the UK. “There’s the mainstream jumping around, screaming, yelling side and then there is just the writing and talking side,” he says. Talwar, whose show will be a mixture of both Hindi and English, belongs to the latter category. “It’s just going to be me sitting in a chair and talking, with some music at the end of it,” he says about the act, which will see him sharing his opinions on life and “things that matter to me”.
Talwar feels that the comedy scene in the country, especially in Mumbai, lacks effort, “because the city is the hub of media and everyone there wants to become a star”. All aspiring comedians are concerned about is “putting up their content on YouTube in eight months”. According to him, giving precedence to popularity over content is never good for a comedian. On the topic of the intolerance debate and comedians facing flak for their material, he says, “Nothing bad has ever come out of a joke,” adding, “In comedy, if you censor one thing, you have censored everything.”
Have you tried your hand at the Pokemon Go game?
No, I haven’t because there’s no way to make physical exercise entertaining enough for someone as lazy as me to try it.
What adjectives best describe Trump?
I think the best adjective is wrong.
Kabali releasing, any concerns about the turnout?
I hope zero people don’t show up.
At Raintree Anna Salai. On July 23, from 8 pm onwards.
At Rs 500. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
— Simar Bhasin