Azeem Banatwalla of the East India Comedy recently performed at Classic Rock Coffee Co., Kalyani Nagar and tickled each funny bone present there. Laughing our way through, we decided to get serious and interview him with some deep questions.
Read on for Azeem’s take on his journey and our freewheeling chat on the serious business of comedy.
You were an engineer and then became a writer for print and digital media, How did you decide to make comedy your career?
When I realised I could pay my electricity bill from the bits of cash thrown at me for doing shows!
Do you believe that a sense of humour comes from painful experiences in life?
Not necessarily. A sense of humour comes from everything, but quite often from failures, disappointments and personal flaws.
How competitive is the business of comedy? And what is really the key to establish yourself in this field?
Much like any other field, it’s a business, and there is competition. You just have to find your voice, and your market, and play to that.
How do you make people laugh when you aren’t feeling your best?
It just happens when you get on stage. You may be having the worst time, mentally or physically, but once you get on stage and the adrenaline kicks in, everything else is forgotten..
What has been your biggest achievement and failure?
My biggest achievement was getting on stage for the first time. And my biggest failure is always the last bad show I’ve had.
What do you think makes the Indian sense of humour unique ?
It’s interesting, because we have such a vast culture and so many different types of people and opinions. Eventually you’re going to stumble on to something that’s just stupid enough to be funny.
Akin to writer’s block, do you ever suffer a comedian’s block?
Absolutely. Happens every week!
What is your biggest catalyst for a great show?
All a comedian needs is a microphone and an audience. That’s basically it…