During Waves 2018, we got a chance to interview Gaurav Kapoor, the comedian, known for many of his stand up performance videos on Youtube and his Amazon special titled Hahakaar . He talks about how he deals with hecklers, the role of online streaming services in comedy scenario of India and more.
DoJMA: When should we take comedy seriously and when should we not?
Gaurav Kapoor: One should never take comedy seriously. It is just for fun. Nobody can set a bar on jokes. You might get offended due to a joke whereas some other guy may get offended due to another joke. Thus, it is impossible to ensure that no one gets offended.
DoJMA: How do you frame the content of your performances? What kind of jokes are liked by the majority of your audience?
GK: My content is a lot more for people belonging to the age group of 25-40. Even when I performed here (Waves 2018), there were some jokes which the audience could not relate to. While performing, I keep the audience I am addressing, in mind. I cracked the testicle joke while performing here, because you are college students and are ‘chill’ about it. It always depends on what the audience can relate to.
DoJMA: How difficult is it to make a comedian laugh?
GK: I laugh easily. It is not difficult to make me laugh.
DoJMA: How do you deal with hecklers? Has anyone ever created a scene in any of your shows?
GK: One has to take down a heckler. l must ensure that I am better than the heckler. There is a way to tackle a heckler, which is to go all out on the heckler. There are some people who take the joke on themselves, take the audience on their side and then take down the heckler. Basically, one has to tell the hecklers to shut up, but in a humorous way. A heckler is not only heckling the performer but also the audience. Around 600-700 people are enjoying and 2-3 people are ruining the fun. It is not a difficult job to take down a heckler. Just crack a simple joke because the audience is on the performers’ side.
DoJMA: What’s your plan going forward?
GK: There is no plan as such. I will not crack the joke on password in any college.
DoJMA: What has been your biggest breakthrough?
GK: I don’t think my career has had a breakthrough. There is steady progress. People liked the video that I made on bullet. The last time I uploaded videos on YouTube, I received a good response. Amazon special has increased the audience base. Earlier, I was not able to attract as many people, but now I manage to sell around 200 tickets with ease.
DoJMA: What role do you think Amazon has played on Indian comics?
GK: It is a good platform. Everyone is getting their own ‘Specials’, and are able to earn more. Before that, there was no platform. Comedians could not perform on TV due to several restrictions. It has helped the offbeat comedy stream to reach to the general public. Amazon has its own marketing strategy which helped us to reach to the general public. I think that after 10 years, television will die and only such platforms will survive. Hence, it is a good place to get a start.
Edited for reader’s convenience.