Venue: Lok Kala Manch, Lodhi Road
Date: 11 December 2016
Standup comedy is in vogue. Even Bollywood stars have started playing stand up comedians in films (Ranvir Singh in Befikre). Laughter Nation has been promoting standup comedians – budding as well as pros. Read our review of an earlier show LOL MAAL that we attended.
Kishore Dayani of Laughter Nation has recently came up with another show Laugh with an Engineer featuring Apurrv Gupta. The event was held at the cozy Lok Kala Manch off Lodhi Road. The show was opened by Dayani and he spoke for less than half an hour. His act ranged from socio political jokes to Bollywood to adult humor. The benchmark of a comedian is his ability to laugh on himself. Dayani also made humor about his Bihari origin and paved the way for the main act by Appurv Gupta.
It is pretty interesting to see how engineering as a profession has evolved. Earlier an engineer would work in a mechanization industry. These days we find them in banks, call centers, academic institutions, hospital administrations, restaurants… just about everywhere. Thus it’s no surprise an engineer would make the leap to stand up acts. Their profession provides a lot of fodder for humor.
Appurv seem to speak a lot from his life, that too in Hindi. His stories are about things that we all come across in life. For instance the audience was in splits when he described his mother’s experiments in the kitchen based on the Masterchef series. He also broke the glass ceiling of five-star stays when he made humor about his hotel stays with his uncle (chachaji). Through his expressions he almost brought his chachaji, live to the stage.
We have seen a lot of stand up comedies – from international artists (Colin & Brad, Jason Byrn, Daniel Bye) as well as celebrity stand up comedians in India (Radhika Vaz, Sanjay Rajoura, Neeti Palta and so on). Therefore the comparison is inevitable. Some jokes from both the acts were stale and the performers are better off dropping them. But what works in Appurv’s favor is his local connect. He comes out as a pucca Delhi boy with his fair share of attitude and frailties. Moreover he breaks the colonial hangover and speaks in Hindi. Thus his connect with the audience is organic and makes the show very relatable and thoroughly enjoyable.
The tickets were at a moderate 200/- . So next time he is on stage, go for it.