Indian comedian and actor Vir Das, who will bring his brand of humour to Dubai on November 17, thinks we are onto something here. Our point of discussion: why aren’t comedians, whose job it is to make people laugh, as hilarious during press interviews?
“Most interviews are [conducted to] get a humanised insight into a person’s life; a peep hole. With comedians, however, we’re the ones who’d bare our saddest and funniest, and most candid experiences on the stage. Our best stories are fodder for material,” Das told Gulf News tabloid! over email.
Perhaps, that explains why he cherry-picked only half the questions that were sent to him (8 out of 16). He’s keeping his cards — comic or not — close to his chest.
Or his reticence could be attributed to his quiet confidence. The tickets to his show, Boarding Das, in Dubai are already sold out and therefore he doesn’t need any interview to boost ticket sales.
Whatever his underlying reasons, there’s no denying his soaring popularity.
Considered to be one of the established faces in the Indian stand-up comedy scene, Das has performed in more than 100 live shows and courted global fame after he took part in the Netflix show, Abroad Understanding, which saw him tackle world politics and Indian accents. He has also acted in Bollywood’s zombie comedy, Go Goa Gone, and satire Delhi Belly.
Here’s a peek into the comedian’s kooky personality…
My process before hitting the stage
“I diligently throw up before every show.”
Using my identity as an Indian as a theme in my stand-up act
“Diversity is important everywhere, not just comedy. I’m just glad I can bring that to the very pop culture that gave me so much. Especially in times we live in, where people are far more insular towards the ‘other’. Pop culture can smoothen our differences and educate us about each other. And make us little bit less strange to each other.”
My toughest and kindest audience
“Indians are the toughest and the kindest audience I can ask for.”
The comedians that I admire and envy
“Patton Oswalt, Robin Williams, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle to name a few. I envy them for their style and content.”
My biggest critic
“Myself. No one is entitled to push you or be hard on you. But, you are. I have walked away from shows where people have come to me and praised me, but at the back of my head, I go: ‘Ah [expletive], I fumbled at this point’.”
An occupational hazard of being a comedian
“There are days where I don’t feel funny at all. I’ve been in projects, and social situations alike where people expect me to leave them rolling on the floor. But hey, it’s a very small price to pay to be able to follow your dreams.”
My advice to all those who aspire to be comedians
“Run away, guys. It’s not worth it. In all seriousness, comedians should focus on getting on stage and try hard to be as original as possible. And, the material will flow. Nobody can say exactly when, but it will happen. But more importantly, just be a nice guy. You don’t have to schmooze, be callous or any of that. Be nice and write, write and write jokes.”
Don’t miss it!
What: Boarding Das
When: November 17
Where: Ductac, Mall of the Emirates