After the phenomenal success of his first stand up special Madrasi da, Chennai-based comedian has made a fan base that spans across India, and beyond as well. Celebrities like national award winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, South Indian classical singer Sanjay Subrahmanyan, South star Siddharth and many others have expressed their appreciation for his work on social media too.
The Chennai boy took the stage at the first day of the Pune Comedy Festival 3.0 (which is on till April 1 at Royal Palms, Koregaon Park), and we caught up with him for a quick chat. Here’s what he had to say:
Your comedy is like an insight into the Madrasi culture for North Indians fans. Is there someone who gives you an insight into their culture (a friend, another comedian)?
- I get most of my insights about the North Indian culture from comedians only because it is very easy to ask them for references, perspectives and perceptions. And since they also think like me, they know what I’m trying to achieve with a particular joke. They will be able to give me the data required as opposed to some history on North India.
Did you think that #IWasNotReadyDa would become such a popular hashtag with your fans after you introduced it?
- I had used ‘I was not ready da’ as a punchline in one of my first videos that went online and became viral. People were already using it in many references even before I launched this show, so it was not my idea to make it a catchphrase or a hashtag. But I thought it was a good idea to extend what people had already started buying into, and just widen the connotation. I wanted to narrate to them a wider range of situations where life throws you a curve ball and you’re not ready for it.
Your stand up special has a pretty good IMDB rating, and more importantly, people around the world have loved your humour. Even on social media, you’ve loads of appreciation from celebrities you are a fan of. How has all this affected you as a person, and as a performer?
- I didn’t even know that my stand up is listed on IMDB and that it has got a good rating. Thank you so much for telling me. To have people that I am a fan of come and give me their thoughts on the show, brings me confidence to stick to what I’m doing and trusting my gut. You like them because they followed their instincts as an artists and made a body of work based on it.
When they like your work the same way you like theirs, it is not really comparable to a general audience watching you and giving you great feedback. I use the feedback of such particular artists, to strengthen my belief in my work.
What plans about another special to be released online?
- I haven’t figured which platform to release I was not ready da on. I have another 10 months left. So by the sixth month I will figure out who and how and what and other terms about it. I definitely want to release it online because this new special will work for audiences across the country, cutting across language and cultural barriers. I want it to get a platform where it can reach out to as many people as possible.
You’ve managed to fetch yourself a huge female following too. They want to know if you’re single. If yes, are you ready to mingle?
- Yes, and yes. If your next question was, ‘Are you shameless?’, that also, yes.