Easy-going guy

Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 13 April 2018

Talking to comedian Anirban Dasgupta about his all new stand-up special Take It Easy, the rapidly growing comedy industry, and more

If you’ve seen Anirban Dasgupta’s videos on YouTube, you know the easy-going kind of guy he is. He likes to laugh at the corporate life, now that he’s given it up for the life of a freelancer. Apart from football and politics, his interests include noticing the way people behave in a marriage, on social media, and how they make ridiculous headlines.

The Bengali comedian is out with a new special titled Take It Easy, which he will be performing in the city today. But before that, we catch up with the engineer-turned-corporate salesman-turned-married man for a quick chat.

Tell us about Take It Easy.
Take It Easy is a show mainly about things like the outrage on the internet, and sometimes offline too, and why everyone should just take it easy. Most of the set is about things that happened with me in the last year or so.

In your experience as a stand-up comedian performing in different cities across the country, how much do you think the sensibilities of the Indian audiences have evolved?
Comedy audiences are continuously evolving, sometimes even quicker than comedians. A lot of people are now exposed to top comedy from across the world, so their understanding has become better over time.

You’ve said that there are no formal rules in stand-up comedy. But sometimes one comedian’s content can be similar to another’s. How would you deal with a situation like this?
It depends on a case-to-case basis really. It depends on the merits of that particular situation, and even if people have the exact observation, their jokes can be very different.

Apart from performing live, comedians are also tying up with various on-demand video services and making specials. Are you working or planning to work on a special of your own?
Yes, I have been touring with my special for the last few months and it should be available online in a few months. Sustaining someone’s attention for an hour on a small screen is a new challenge as up until now, audiences have only seen my set either live or on YouTube for a max duration of 7-8 mins.

What is the comedy scene in Kolkata like presently? Do they have sufficient venues for comedy performances? Are there any upcoming comedians from Kolkata that have piqued your interest?
It’s very slow. Venue owners in Kolkata are pretty unaware about comedy as an art form so it’s very difficult. I enjoy watching Rivu Ganguly and Raj Bagaria from the Kolkata scene.

What is your advice to upcoming comedians? 
Everyone should do comedy for the right reasons and do many open mics as possible. And patience helps.

Let’s imagine that you get a chance to write a script for a politician, since they say the funniest things these days, who would you write it for?
Not sure about writing scripts, but what I really want to do is take control of some politicians’ Twitter handle and troll and troll.

ST Reader Service
Anirban Dasgupta will be perfoming at Hard Rock Cafe, on April 15, 6.30 pm

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