What makes a comedy a classic? Something that floats on the changing tides of time and taste, remaining relevant – and hilarious. Making people laugh is a serious business.
For him, comedy is a stress buster. His fans share the idea and enjoy his stand-up acts as stress-releaser. His bold, unapologetic and relevant comedy keeps the audience engaged and amused.
The recent show by Kunal Kamra, a stand-up Indian comedian, received huge response in Qatar as the organisers had to arrange another show same evening after the first one was sold out and the demand was still mounting.
The auditorium at Crowne Plaza Hotel was full to the capacity as Kunal entertained the audience with his blunt political jokes and social satire mixing them with cracking comments on different human whims. The gathering remained engrossed in the satirical and hilarious comments till the end of the show that lasted for one and a half hour.
People from all walks of life – mainly Indian expatriates – attended the first stand-up comedy show by Kunal. He also appreciated the interest exhibited by the Doha audience and thanked them for enjoying his comedy.
Kunal is yet another Indian comedian who seems to have had a meteoric rise with his edgy, political brand of humour. It all began when he uploaded an eight minute video of him that went viral on YouTube talking about politics. He was 17 when he decided to drop out of college to work.
He took up production as an internship at major TV networks. It was 2013 that Kunal had his first encounter with stand-up comedy. It was his friend who suggested him to try it out. He ended up doing his first unofficial gig at a Blue Frog event when the main act was sinking down and he was asked to step in.
In the same year, he did his first professional stand-up comedy show at Mumbai’s Canvas Laugh Club which the audiences loved but Kunal claims that was only because everyone else was bad. Since then Kunal has taken to comedy as a full time profession and is quite a regular on the stand up circuit. He even started his YouTube podcast ‘Shut Up Ya Kunal’ in 2017 in collaboration with his friend Ramit Verma. Kunal has managed to amass quite a huge following in only a few years, and with his bold, unapologetic comedy style there is no looking back for him.
Talking to Community after his show, Kunal said that he wanted people to know him by his art. “Comedy is an art and I want people to know me by my art. I follow my heart [as a comedian]. Whatever I say comes from an organic feeling. If I feel like saying it, I will say it. Whenever there is an organic feeling, I will say it because I am an artiste.”
When asked how his art is distinct from other comedians’, Kunal said: “I do not think that I am very distinct. I do not think of myself as unique in anyway. I make sure that I write the content that comes from the heart so that it seems that it is a conversation with people. I think I am an ordinary persona and we should celebrate ordinariness.”
Kunal agrees with the idea that comedy is a difficult genre. “Comedy is a difficult genre because a comedian has to get response from the audience every 15 seconds. So, you are totally dependent on them. They have to like you, and they can only like you if you have no ego and no malice. If you are candid, vulnerable and honest, they will like you. If they do not like you, they will not respond. The show that should last for 90 minutes can get over in seven minutes. That is possible and I have been through those days.”
Kunal is optimistic about the growing popularity of live stand-up comedy shows. “I think that the content people watch online depends on the people coming and watching live shows. An act is genuinely built live. I cannot set the rhythm of my show sitting at home. For the rhythm, I need support from live audience. If people do not watch a comedian live, he or she will not be able to produce content for Internet. Live comedy is just like music in rhythm. Every beat depends on reaction and the reaction requires the audience.”
For Kunal, he sees himself as a stress-buster. “I think I am a stress-buster. My show on weekend can provide solace to people grappling with life. Comedy is the sponge ball that you have in your hand, you presses it to de-stress your body.”
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