At the very first comedy festival in Bengaluru, we learned that humour is best served fresh. And, the Indian stand-up comedians brought it all to the table; from improv, insult, interactive to sketch comedy. But, something left the audience overwhelmed during the show. It was the surprise act by Matt Davis. Yes! You read it right! Matt Davis - the American stand-up comedian performed at the Bengaluru Comedy Festival this weekend.
Moreover, we also got to have a one-on-one conversation with him, that helped us know what his thoughts were about India’s very first comedy festival. Matt is a funny man on and off stage and never lets go of any opportunity to come up with funnies. Here’s what he had to say amidst a lot of chuckles and guffaws.
What did you think about Bengaluru’s first Comedy Festival?
“This is my first time performing in India, at Bengaluru’s first Comedy Festival. I love how the stand-up scene is exploding in India, not just with the comedians but also with the audience completely embracing the different forms of it like stand-up and improv. Usually the first edition of a festival is on a smaller scale, but this one is massive! In spite of this being the first, this is so proper.”
Does the Indian audience relate to your jokes? Or do you tune them?
“No, I do not tune my jokes, but making sure that the little things are taken care of like my accent. I try to talk slowly, so that the audience understands my accent.”
From the 50+ comedians at the Bengaluru Comedy fest, who are your favourites?
“That’s such an evil question to ask! There are so many. So many. But, the guys I am really really impressed by are Sanjay Manaktala, Sundeep Rao, Kaneez Surka, Abish Mathew, and Kenny Sebastian.”
Is there a difference between the American and the Indian crowd?
“Yes, there are a few differences. Stand-up is relatively newer in India, and people here are still trying to get used to it. In the US stand-up comedy has been happening for 30+ years. The novelty has the audience here more excited to watch the acts and react to what the comedians have to say next.”
What advice do you have for the Indian stand-up comedians?
“Stand-up comedy has many genres and styles. Some are storytellers, some like wacky punch lines, some go for serious social commentary with a layer of humour and so on. I have noticed the performers in Bangalore Comedy Festival are already multi-faceted and are exploring various styles. That’s good. Performers here should focus on creating customised material. In due time the scope of stand-up comedy will broaden and there will be a dedicated fan following of whoever their unique style appeals to.”
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