Why Age is not a barrier in Stand-up Comedy
Considering stand-up as a rookie town where the nature of showbusiness seems to favour young(er) stars, it is a surprise that major comics fall in the age bar of 30-45. Sure, comedians like Kanan Gill, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan Joshi and Abish Mathew are the toast of the comedy world, but, as much as they are good to look at and have a fresh perspective, there are comedians who are way experienced and yet the audience relates to their situations easily as, say, Radhika Vaz, Atul Khatri, Vikramjit Singh, Praveen Kumar and so on.
After all, in stand-up comedy, how much the audience relates to you is what matters: “Will they think about what you said during the stand-up act and ponder upon it later?, “Or they won’t think about it at all?”
So, when it comes to upcoming artistes, do the older ones have more clout? No, not really. Stand-up is a vast subject and anyone who has a fresh perspective and relates to their audience is a better comic than the other. Mentioned below are a few most can easily relate to.
This stand-up comedian is a 40+ guy, we’re talking about his age not IQ. At the Bengaluru Comedy Festival 2015, he came up with some intelligent and funny one liners which had the audience in splits. One of which got a good reaction was “Do they have a blue tick verification for Tinder as well? A friend wants to know.” Of course, he was trying to ‘help a friend’.
“If not for comedy, I would’ve been a chef. But, comedy is exciting me more right now,” quoted Sumukhi Suresh at the Bengaluru Comedy Festival 2015. This improv queen is Bengaluru’s pride. Laugh-out-loud funny, bold, and vivacious, she has carved a niche by being the city’s only woman comedian. You crack up so often in a conversation with her, you can only imagine how much funnier she is on stage.
At a very young age Sanjay Manaktala, now a 30+ stand-up artist started performing at Los Angeles and is now back in India. His range of topics to induce laughter range from his hilarious take on strange advertisements to complexities of the Java programming language. And, who would relate to Java Programming language better than the audience at the Bengaluru Comedy Festival? This US return comedian’s mantra has always been “Always dress better than your audience, as they pay money to come watch you. Flip-flops and shorts are just a no no.”
Siddharth, the 30+ comedian, realised that he had a flair for comedy when he graduated in economics and started writing research reports. This is what he had to say about his career in stand-up at the Bengaluru Comedy festival, “I am a bit unique, cause I have a deja vu and I don’t do comedy for money, I just do it to make people laugh,” says Siddharth. He further adds, “In a country of about a billion people, 60-70 comedians are not enough, we need more.” Aspiring artistes, are you listening?
Is it a 40+ Britisher, a Turkisher or a plane? No it's Sal Sufi Yusuf - an individual who is now a member of The Improv and views India from a very foreign perspective. According to him, how could one not find India funny? This Britisher also has something interesting to say about India at the Bengaluru Comedy festival, “ India is a virus, once it gets into your system, it is difficult to get it out.”
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