Sorabh Pant is one of India’s most prolific comedians, being in the game for about eight years now. Writing and performing individual shows, stand-up and working with the rest of East India Comedy – he’s one busy guy. And yet he makes time… In conversation with the man himself:
Your first experience on Stage
Sorabh: “I was opening for Vir Das, in Delhi, in 2008. I was supposed to do 11 minutes, and managed a nervous 4. Nothing worse than bombing so badly, and then going back to a hotel room and brooding for 16 hours! The first few experiences really weren’t good at all. It’s only got good over the last 3-4 years.”
Sorabh: “So in the middle, one or two shows went great, and that’s all it took. For me, it’s always been about writing jokes and doing comedy over anything else. So even at a point when it’s just not working and you’re being criticized by the audience or other comedians, the challenge is still exciting. Initially I was scared about being judged, but now I’m like okay. I like telling jokes. Everything else is just a byproduct. Besides getting to tour with the likes of Wayne Brady and Rob Schneider is no laughing matter!”
Your style- developed or intrinsic?
Sorabh: “Earlier you could get away with doing something contrived. That would be okay. Now it’s a bit more challenging. You gotta keep up with the development of comedy in general. The next show I’m working towards is more in the zone of politics, issues and history.
In eight years of writing, I’ve reached a point where I’m either repeating myself or repeating someone else. I need to try to not do that. Or I can do that and be funnier. The challenge is to be funny and let the audience have a great time but also get what you want out there. ”
Sorabh: “There’s no one particular way of doing it. You write the jokes and make notes all the time. I write because I want to and I need to otherwise I will go insane. Writing stand up and writing a novel is so different. It’s only with the third book that I’m learning how to write properly. Comedy is about asking the right questions and prompting the right thoughts. Writing and comedy feed off each other. The more you write the better you get at communicating your thoughts.”
Your take on being funny
Sorabh: “Different things work for different people. The reason I became funny was because I was just generally awkward and kept screwing up. I figured I might as well make people laugh and get them to like me for being completely inept at living. I think it’s about liking comedy and being obsessed with getting better at it. It starts with being a student of comedy, and then it goes from there.”
East India Comedy
Sorabh : “The intention was to create a comedy company which appeals to everyone, while still giving everyone the freedom to do exactly what they want to do. EIC is the best, most healthy writing room. New ideas are encouraged, everyone’s ideas are considered, and the person who is taking the lead on a particular project is the one making the final decisions on it as well. EIC Outrage was what I wanted us to do for a long time, the rest weren’t really convinced, but I knew everyone else had my back and were gonna go ahead as well.
You would like to #GetMore of?
Sorabh: “Time at home!”
Source for all Images and Videos: Sorabh Pant and East India Comedy