In this article, we are going to look at the things we learn from stand-up comedians. Stand-up comedy has gained a lot of popularity in this last decade. Many stand up comedians have become well-known names and faces. The different reality television shows on stand-up comedy and the possibility of videos going viral on Youtube gave a platform to the talented stand-up comedians to come in the forefront and make their jokes available to the masses. There are numerous clubhouses around the city that organize stand up comedy shows.
Comedy has also evolved through the time. It is no longer just hours of delivery of jokes. They now revolve around the day-to-day mundane things that happen in general which are highlighted and made fun of during the performances making them more relevant and fresh. Topics today range from politics, race, culture, current affairs, any social event, economic issues, Bollywood news to a simple way of living by certain people of the society. Having said this, the role of a stand-up comedian has matured and become very challenging. There are many popular comedians today. However, mentioned below are five of them from whom we can learn life or business lessons.
1. Aditi Mittal – Be bold and beautiful! Take failure in your stride.
Known as the female rock star of the Indian stand up comedy space, Aditi Mittal has been in the industry for over a decade. She is one of the initial comedians to not only choose this career but also make a prominent place for self. The Times of India has rated her among the top 10 stand up comedians throughout her career. It was not an easy journey for Aditi in this unconventional career.
Initially, she went through a lot of hurdles and was rejected by the audience. This did not stop her. She simply took a few years off to work on herself and identified a niche for herself. Aditi is known and appreciated for her “bold, acerbic, and often self-deprecating sense of humor, “ with a knack to put across hard-hitting realities through her on-your-face funny acts. This person never shies off talking about certain sensitive topics like sex, periods, bra etc which has added further to her popularity both amongst men and female audiences.
There are many entrepreneurial lessons that we can take from Aditi’s journey to become a celebrity stand up comedian in India. One most important quality is to take failure as an opportunity to improve yourself and identify ways to move towards success. Second learning, find a niche for yourself. Being different from others while staying relevant can heighten the value of the product or the services that you are offering to your customers. Also, take risks in life. Be bold and do not confine yourself to the mediocre thoughts laid by the society.
2.Zakir Khan – Remember your roots while you spread your branches everywhere.
Zakir rose to fame in 2012 after winning India’s best stand up comedy competition, Comedy Central. He has also been part of the popular news comedy, On air with AIB. Known as the Sakht Launda, Zakir is a stand-up comedian, writer, presenter, and actor. He was born and brought up in Indore, MP and comes from humble background. Through his performances, Zakir shares his experiences as a middle-class boy struggling to become something in life. His sense of humor is unusual due to his innate charm, simple style of speaking and relatable jokes. The shayaris and poems that he uses during his shows come as pleasant surprises.
As much as you can relate to his jokes, Zakir’s life story of the struggle to stardom is what most of us will relate to more. His experiences of being unemployed, an exploited intern and a rejected boyfriend resonate with most of the youth today. His motivation throughout the tough times has been the love of her parents and the strong supportive father who respected his talents.
As we grow in the ladder of business or life in general, it helps to always remember your roots. Another lesson is to be connected with your family and loved ones who trust and put their faith in you. Their support can be the guiding light that we often require.
3.Kanan Gill – Follow your passion in life and it will lead you to success.
Kanan Gill is an Indian stand up comedian, an actor, and YouTuber. Kanan was funny and known for his pranks since school days. Like any Indian family, after completing his engineering, he worked as a techie for three years. However, during all these years, he did not give up his passion of making people around laugh. While in college, he was part of comedy bands and wrote funny songs.
Even when he was working as software engineer, he participated in a number of comedy competitions and won the Punchline Bangalore competition and later at the Comedy Store in Mumbai. After this, he quit his job and started his career in comedy. He rose to fame through his YouTube series Pretentious Movie Reviews along with Biswa Kalyan Rath and also was recognized internationally for his role.
Pursuing our passions, hobbies in life always brings great rewards. It helps to achieve a sense of satisfaction and adds to our emotional and mental well being. Whether it is a sport, playing a musical instrument or writing, spending some time doing it can bring meaning to life and help to come back to work refreshed and rejuvenated. For a few lucky ones like Kanan, it could also bring fame and bread and butter!
4. Kapil Sharma – To keep the show going, you need to build a strong team of talented and ambitious people.
Kapil Sharma became a common name in the Indian household with his television shows Comedy Nights With Kapil and The Kapil Sharma Show. He rose to fame after winning the comedy reality television show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge in 2007 which got him a cash prize of Rs. 10 Lakhs.
Besides being a comedian, Kapil is also a television presenter, actor, and producer. He is a decent singer as well. Forbes India ranked him at 18th position in their Celebrity 100 list in the year 2017 with an income of Rs. 48 crore. Kapil has won numerous awards and recognition for his contribution in the entertainment industry. He has also hosted numerous television shows and events.
Though Kapil has a charm and perfect timing for comedy, his success of the television shows was also due to the fantastic team he had. Both Comedy Nights With Kapil and The Kapil Sharma Show had characters that were individually strong, talented and accepted by the India audience. They drove the shows to different heights.
As a business leader, it is very crucial for you to realize the importance of building a strong team. Nurturing a team will not only help you to achieve success in your business but also provide you with the opportunity to delegate tasks that might not require your time and effort so that you can focus on how to strategize further for your business.
5. Johnny Lever – Engage with the audience in an entertaining way. Always.
Johnny Lever is an Indian film actor and one of the most popular comedians of Hindi cinema. He is also one of the first Indian stand-up comedians. He has acted in more than 300 Bollywood films and received numerous awards and accolades for his roles. Like most of the inspiring stories, Lever came from a humble background.
Born in Andhra Pradesh, he was brought up in Mumbai’s Dharavi area. Due to financial problems in his family, lever could not pursue education after seventh grade. He decided to leave the school and started doing odd jobs to support his family. In spite of going through such hardships, Lever’s humor bones were not affected.
While selling pens on the streets of Mumbai, he would imitate popular Bollywood actors and dance on film songs to get the attention of his customers. His talent was recognized during his performance at a company function in Hindustan Lever Ltd. and from there on, there was no looking back for Lever. Ups and downs are part and parcel of business. Challenges need to be faced with a positive approach in order to come over them.
There are many more stand-up comedians through whom there is a lot we can learn. Stand up comedy can also teach you immensely about public speaking. It is not easy to get the attention and maintain it for 2-3 hours. Your content has to be relevant and delivered in an entertaining way. It has to be engaging and meaningful.