Tickling the funny bones!

Tickling the funny bones!

Standup comic Amit Tandon popularly known as The Married Guy has decided that he is just going to keep track of his memories and not try to get wiser...

Stand-up comic Amit Tandon popularly known as “The Married Guy” has decided that he is just going to keep track of his memories and not try to get wiser. As his mistakes per annum increase, he gets more determined to make you laugh at his expense. Amit was in Hyderabad on November 30 to perform his show ‘Not Getting Wiser’, which was about family appropriate humour and satirical insights on marriage. On the sidelines of the show, Amit shared about his stint in the comic world, influences and the comedy industry in India.

Excerpts from an interview

Who would you say are your influences in the comedy world?
My earliest influence in comedy was Johnny Lever sir. I would listen to his cassettes because there were audio cassettes coming in at that time. Then, slowly I began watching Raju Shrivastav, in ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’. And later, Papa CJ and Vir Das were the guys who I looked up to when I got into the open mic circuit which was more English. Those have primarily been my influences.

Where do the ideas come from?
Ideas come from everywhere around me. A lot of my comedy is about the life that I live, you know, about my kids, my wife, my parents. It’s based on my daily life, whether I’m going to the hotel or the airport, all these places give me ideas.

Your comments about the industry in general and in the country overall?
Comedy is an industry that’s growing at a pretty fast rate right now in India. In the last 7-8 years from being nothing to be an industry which has at least 55-60 comedians (if not more), who are now full-time comedians. And, they are performing not just in India but across the globe. So, the industry is doing very well according to me. It’s been growing at say, 100 per cent or in fact more if you look at it in terms of growth rate.

Have you ever just blanked on stage?
Not really blanked on stage because you find one way or another. Sometimes, if you forget a joke, then you start talking to the audience for a couple of minutes. That’s the advantage you have in stand-up comedy. There’s no standard script and form, so even if you’ve forgotten a couple of jokes, you can move into another set. If I forget for a few seconds, what my next joke was, I would just start talking to the audience, in the meanwhile I figure out what I would tell next.

Do prefer improvisation of the stage or stick to the script?
A: I generally stick to the script. However, some new jokes always happen on the stage.

Do you get a lot of hecklers?
No, I get very few hecklers. It normally happens in places where liquor has been open for more than 30 minutes before the show and people get a little too drunk and confident and feel that they can contribute to the comedy.

How do you deal with them off?
I start very politely. A lot of people give in when you know when you’re polite with them but, if they don’t get it, then I try to get the audience on my side. My third step is being rude finally because if they are messing up the entire show for everybody then people are on your side. You can be rude and tell them to just treat this as a television and not contribute.

When you're a headliner, do you hate when your opening act kills? Does that make it easier or harder for you?
That’s an interesting question. Yes, when your opening act really kills too much then you know you have to get the room back which is a little bit of a challenge but that’s also a good thing because it keeps on testing your abilities. When you’re getting the room from somebody else, you have to make it your own room so it’s a good welcome challenge but yes, it’s tough sometimes when you have to do this.

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