Imagine ditching the tried-and-tested engineering route and pursuing something you’re truly passionate about. Sounds like a fun life, doesn’t it? Well, it’s easier to pursue your passion in today’s time as more and more offbeat careers are taking over the professional world. Stand up comedy is one such profession!

The stand up comedy Indian scene had not fully developed a few years ago, but today, several Indian comedians are making their mark and how! If a career in comedy is your calling, you are more than welcome to join the show!

As you’re probably aware, a stand up comedian is someone who performs jokes and gags in front of a live audience. They mix wit, satire, parody, and slapstick to entertain and humor a group of people. With more and more Indians embracing the urban nightlife, the stand up comedy Indian scene has emerged as a successful form of entertainment. It is something that requires a good deal of courage and quick wit to turn any situation into material for your jokes. Given the increasingly hectic lives we all lead, stand up comedians give us the chance to relax and see the funny side of life.

How do Indian comedians start a career in stand up comedy?

Most stand-up comedians in India usually start by performing local gigs at nightclubs, comedy clubs and open mic events. These sessions last for 5 minutes. These 5 minutes give the comedian an opportunity to put themselves out there and be recognized. Most beginner Indian comedians start doing comedy part-time. As they gain more popularity, they begin doing it full-time. Did you know that the most successful comedians in the world play in sold-out theaters, travel the globe and make millions each year! And the best part? You don’t need to have a particular degree to become a comedian. Anyone can become a comedian as long as they are courageous to go on a stage and make people laugh!

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How did stand up comedy originate in India?

The sudden and swift growth of stand up comedy India can partly be attributable to the internet explosion that happened in the country a few years ago. With smartphone sales surging and mobile networks coming out with better and more affordable deals, the internet quickly became something everyone had access to. This led to two main factors, the explosion of news and the explosion of user-created content on YouTube, Vine, and Vimeo.

Before this, comedy was chiefly limited to TV shows that used the same tried-and-tested gags repeatedly. The sudden internet explosion exposed Indians to comedians from all over the world who practiced comedic styles. It’s not that comedy did not exist in India prior to this. But now people are better aware of it than ever before. Today, several resto-bars and clubs in the metro cities of India host comedy nights. So much so that you will find plenty of comedy events happening near you all seven days of the week! In addition to the crazy shows that are hosted at places like Canvas Laugh Club, several bars and restaurants hold open-mics for budding Indian comedians.

Is the stand up comedy Indian scene growing or stagnating?

Over the years, the standup industry in India has grown and how! Suddenly, more amateurs are trying their hand at comedy. The popularity of social media has provided an all-new platform for comedians to reach their audiences. It helps their material go viral. All India Bakchod is one of the first groups in India to use YouTube to gain major traction and fast-track their way to success. They were no longer at the mercy of showrunners and studio executives. Veterans of the standup world like Rohan Joshi and Vir Das are now as successful as Bollywood celebrities!

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Stand up comedy in India can now be considered for a full-time profession. Indian comedians are venturing into different genres of comedy. All India Bakchod tackles current affairs with a twist of satire. Self-deprecating humour peppered with hilarious anecdotes has a huge fan following in India! Half a decade ago, all successful Indian comedians still had a day job, but that has changed today.

Stand up comedy India – Are Indian comedians paid well?

Today, a successful stand up comedian in India can expect to make lakhs per show, with filled stadiums and auditoriums. They can expect invitations to some of the most-watched shows in the country. And hang out with top Bollywood talent. It is no longer a fringe career for college dropouts. However, breaking into the industry can be challenging. The pay for amateurs largely depends on the turnout of the audience. Indian comedians start out with 5,000 – 10,000 per show and progress depending on their skill level. As you become more popular and successful, the inflow of money will increase exponentially. Major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi are where standups thrive the most.

Given the major reception it has gotten in the past few years, it is safe to say that the stand up comedy Indian scene is here to stay! Despite its popularity, it’s still an industry that’s in its infancy stage in India. Many are unaware of how huge it has the potential of being.

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