Magic versus Comedy

Anjali Jhangiani
Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Papa CJ talks about the ultimate showdown between his comedy and psychological illusionist Karan Singh’s magic, presented in My Trick Is Better Than Yours, to raise funds for the victims of Kerala floods

Comedian Papa CJ and psychological illusionist Karan Singh have come together to present a unique show titled My Trick Is Better Than Yours. In a sort of a comedy-versus-magic jugalbandi, the two artists are trying to raise funds for the victims of Kerala floods. 

This show, conceptualised by Big Bad Wolf, is part of The Papa CJ Happiness Project, which is an ongoing initiative by the stand-up comedian to use his comedy for good causes, as he performs in support of charitable causes across the world.

Karan Singh is known for fusing behavioural psychology, subconscious suggestion, hypnosis and misdirection to create a unique brand of modern magic that involves mind reading, and is popular on social media for videos in which he tries his tricks on celebrities including Hrithik Roshan, Anurag Kashyap and Virat Kohli among others. 

The duo will be seen trying to outdo each other on stage in this new and unique format. 

We speak to Papa CJ about the ultimate face-off:

Do you believe in magic?
Yes I do. Because I’ve been in love. And yes, I am both romantic and cheesy like that!

Tell us about this new format of the show. 
This show seamlessly entwines the realms of comedy and magic. We work in tandem and you might find one performer stepping into the other’s realm and vice versa. The finale is something special and surprising but that little secret is only for the people in the room on the night. 

How do you plan to outdo a magician?
If I can’t dazzle him with brilliance, I’ll baffle him with bullshit. 

Have you watched Karan Singh in action? What  is your favourite trick?
I have watched Karan in action. I think my favourite trick is the one where he guesses the name of the crush or ex-girlfriend of a member of the audience. What makes it more fun for me is the reaction of his current partner when the name is revealed. That’s always going to be an awkward drive home!

Has he tried one of his tricks on you? How did that work out?
He has actually done that. And like Magneto in X-Men, I feel like I should wear a helmet around him so he can’t get into my head. 

Why are you performing this show only in two cities?
On short notice, two cities is the best I could organise for fundraisers. I’m incredibly grateful to all the partners who said yes instantly. Karan offered to do the show, Insider is doing ticketing without commissions, Farzi Cafe is giving us venues for free and Vistara is giving us air tickets for free. This is a brand new show and Karan and I do plan to tour it extensively in the future. However, for the Kerala fundraisers, we did a show on September 2 in Delhi and we’re doing another one in Mumbai on September 9. 

These are charity fundraiser shows. Can you tell us how the proceeds will be used to help victims of the floods in Kerala?
These proceeds will go directly from the ticketing platform to the charity Goonj to assist their efforts on the ground in Kerala. 

ST Reader Service
My Trick Is Better Than Yours will be held at Farzi Café, Kamala Mills, Mumbai on September 9 at 6 pm. Tickets are available on

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