Stand-up comedian Amit Tandon brings his popular show ‘Masala Sandwich’ back to India for the one last time after a rousing response to his world tour that concluded last month.
As a part of his Indian Tour, Amit Tandon will perform in cities including Goa, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Patiala, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, and Jaipur between June 16 and July 16.
In addition to the India Tour, Amit’s first television show ‘Goodnight India,’ a comedy show being aired on Sony Sab TV, is set to reach 126 episodes, a feat that no stand-up comedy show has achieved in the past eight years.
Apart from writing skits for his shows, he has also written a feature film script in a comedy genre for an OTT platform.
Over the years, Amit has performed over 1,400 shows so far, including 200 shows in 25 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Dubai, and Singapore.
He is best known for his work on “Chalo Koi Baat Nahi,” “Comedy Premium League,” and “Comedians of the World.”
Given that you just completed your world tour last month, the Indian diaspora is likely to be your international audience. Can you tell us how foreign audiences respond to your comedy shows?
It is primarily an entertainment event for NRIs outside India; for them, it goes beyond the shows. They start celebrating hours before the show, they head to the bar, have a few drinks, and then party after the show as well.
Unlike the Indian shows that last for almost 90 minutes, international shows usually run for over two hours because of strong applause, screams of delight, and peals of laughter hence the show continues because of the great enthusiasm of the international audiences.
How has stand-up comedy changed over the years? How would you look at getting a start as a comedian today?
Starting out as a comedian is the same way it was when I was doing it, and that is still the case now. “Write, get on stage, beg, borrow the stage time whenever you can, and also drag some of your friends to the open mic.” That is still the only way to grow as an entertainer.
The stand-up comedy genre is the purest form of comedy and it is growing quite well where a performer writes a story, feels it, believes it, and acts it out without much use of paraphernalia, music, or lights.
These days, I think comedy is more than just a hobby, it is a full-fledged profession and has developed significantly. In your opinion, what is the future of this genre in films, OTT and other platforms?
Yes, you are right, it is a profession! There are about 200 comedians who work full time and can manage to support their families. There are a number of platforms available these days, including OTT, ticketed shows, and corporate events, and also hosting is another option that has emerged. Within the next five to seven years, we can expect to see a more diverse range of comedic writers creating comedy series and films in India.
Do you think there is a lot of room for female comics today? What advice would you give to aspiring female comic creators/comedians?
I believe that there is enough room for female comedians because any new voice is respected in the comedy world. Regardless of gender, people are more likely to respond to a unique voice and content.
Furthermore, it is a stark reality that women are often faced with filthy messages in their direct messages, which will always be around and may increase in number! Therefore, they must be prepared and ready to deal with trolls since that is what is likely to happen.
In your opinion, what are the qualities that a comedian should possess?
The ability to observe and listen to your audience is one of the most important characteristics of a stand-up comedian. Choosing the right joke for the right audience is the key to connecting with them efficiently. Besides, consider their reactions to Hindi or English jokes and adapt your approach accordingly. It is crucial that your audience feels comfortable with you, and a comedian must use just five minutes to develop a relationship with them.
What is the challenge of creating unique content so as not to appear boring? How difficult is it for a comedian to create interesting material?
Since it is a challenge to ensure your content is not repetitive, I spend more time observing things around me. So, whenever I write for film or OTT or any series, I usually begin by working through jokes and thoughts that I overhear from time to time. Once I jot them down, I usually discard them, and then after trying to figure out what I missed, I write them again to avoid redundancy.