After Bollywood,Vir Das back as stand-up comedian

After flirting successfully with Bollywood roles,Vir Das is clear about sticking to his passion for stand-up comedy in the future

Written by Aleesha Matharu | Published: September 6, 2013 12:57 am

After flirting successfully with Bollywood roles,Vir Das is clear about sticking to his passion for stand-up comedy in the future.

Being a stand-up comedian can be tough — it takes just the right amount of writing,timing and delivery.

Unless,you’re Vir Das that is. Rude,raw and angry on stage,he finds the vein of the audience and manages to exploit it perfectly.

At his 100th performance of the “History of India VIRitten” show where he entertained the 2,000 strong audience at Siri Fort Auditorium,Delhi,Das was at his vintage best. Sample this joke. “In 1975,Sanjay Gandhi advocated family planning,after having three children. Men had to go for a compulsory vasectomy,” he began,ending with the Vir punchline. To explain it best,he used a Justin Beiber song. “Baby,baby,baby,nooooooo.”

Brought up in Delhi,Das studied at Delhi Public School and at Delhi University’s Sri Venkateshwara College,which he attended only for six days,before flying off to the US to study theatre. Booed off stage 14 times in a row in south Chicago’s tough comedy clubs,he finally got a laugh the 15th time,after ranting that Americans would be “sexless and sterile” without Indians.

Ever since,Das has flirted with Bollywood,making his presence felt in movies such as Delhi Belly and Go Goa Gone. He has also written the script for an untitled film,which will be directed by Nikhil Advani. “I don’t get too much sleep. I try and divide my time for stand-up and films,with four months a year devoted to the former and eight months to the latter,” says Das,whose next film,Supar se Upar is set to release in October. His other projects include Santa Banta,where he plays the lead along with Boman Irani; Amit Sahni Ki List,a romcom about a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Revolver Rani with Kangna Ranaut; and Golu Pappu,a film for children.

As for his comedy material,anything that makes news may become part of his act because “trending topics make for good comedy”. “But the question is how much can I include? If I talk about everything that happened just the week before,my act becomes too long and the audience gets fidgety. This year,I’ve played on the battle for Prime Minister between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. I’ve never received backlash for using politics,even

when politicians have been in the audience,” he says.

Unabashedly,Das says he sourced most of his material from CBSE textbooks and Khushwant Singh’s writings. He admits that his content is not completely “factually correct”.

The actor-comedian,will perform a new show,“Battle of Da Sexes”,in Mumbai on September 7. In it,he gives his take on men and women. “The show is about the early man,communication,business,sex and religion,and literature as seen from both sides. I’ve used a lot of statistics to supplement my material,” says Das.

But when it comes to choosing between cinema and stand-up comedy,Das is clear. “I have three audiences – for stand-up,films and music (Alien Chutney,his band),but stand-up will always be my first love,” he says.

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