Exclusive! Sumit Anand: I Don’t Change My Jokes To Suit An Audience
Sumit Anand is one of the more established names on Comedy Shots, and he is aware of it. He talks about living by himself and his anti-social nature in his episode. He has been performing comedy for over 10 years and has made an audience for himself not just in India but around the world. He speaks to us about what is like to perform for international audiences in cities like Melbourne and Edinburgh.
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Q: As a person who is just starting out in comedy I am curious about what was your first-ever performance like?
A: My first performance was for an American group which had come for a raw comedy open mic. I went up for 5 minutes and I tanked. It was terrible…
Q: So what made you go back to doing comedy?
A: I went back mostly because I had nothing else to do.
Q: What was the first joke where you felt like you have a good joke?
A: Oh I never felt that. I don’t think you can ever say that you have a good joke unless you have worked on it for a while…
Q: You normally perform in English and do well in Hindi too. Do you change the language according to the audience?
A: No. I think the audience want to hear your joke not to find out what language you are jokes are in. So I don’t change my jokes or the way I do stand-up depending on the audience, even for Comedy Shots.
Q: On Comedy Shots, did you use new material or did you go back to some of your older jokes?
A: As a comedian, I always have spare jokes that don’t fit in your one-hour show. I had all these jokes ready which I used for Comedy Shots.
Q: Your one-hour show is name ‘Nothing Abt Godzilla. So if it is not about Godzilla, what is it about, in short?
A: In short, it’s a collection of jokes. I gave it an abstract name because there’s no common theme to the show. It’s the best jokes I had over the last one and a half year.
Q: You’ve performed this one hour at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. You are also taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe. What is that experience like of performing an hour every night for a month?
A: It’s something I had not done before. But after doing it for a month you become more free with your jokes and what you are talking about.
Q: So do you change the material for an international audience?
A: I don’t change my material to suit different audiences. I just hope my jokes work for people across borders.
Q: What or who inspired to do stand-up comedy?
A: I started stand-up comedy because I had nothing better to do. Plus I think people are inspired to do comedy only till they’ve been doing it for 5 years or so. Once you’ve done comedy for over ten years you are not inspired by other things.
Q: Which is a stand-up clip you’ve seen that you envy and wish you did something like that?
A: Not really, because most of the clips I like, the comedians have been doing it for over 30 years so I’m not at that level. The guys who have been doing it for 5 years or so have not written a bit as good as mine, so no I don’t envy any comedy clip.
Q: Any of the other stand-up comedian on Comedy Shots you are excited to watch perform?
A: Again, most of them are new but they all have good jokes and ideas. However, they haven’t developed yet. When they develop it will be really exciting to watch them perform.
Q: Are you working on anything else apart from your one hour show?
A: Anything else apart from these questions you mean? No I’m not working on anything else just my stand-up.
Watch Sumit’s Anand’s masterful jokes about the difference between being alone and being lonely in his episode of Comedy Shots, exclusively available on ZEE5.