When Anderson Andy Zaltzman was in college,a friend set up a comedy show and signed him up to host it. Nervous,Zaltzman got a little drunk and stepped on to the stage. He woke up the next morning to receive compliments from those who attended the show. That led him to consider stand-up comedy even when he was sober.
After visiting India twice earlier,to cover matches,the UK-based sports-writer-turned-comedians third visit has a different purpose. He is on his debut stand-up tour with performances slated in Mumbai,Pune,Bangalore and Kolkata. The act,titled Cricket versus The World,is his take on the world of cricket and politics.
I usually dont do much of cricket-based comedy and focus more on world politics. But everyone knows how cricket is such a rage in India and this encourages me to base my show on the sport. My act will have a lot of sports references and I will also use sports analogies while talking about political issues, says Zaltzman,who has worked with ESPN and also writes a blog,called The Confectionery Stall,on the sports web portal Cricinfo.com
I started my career as a sports writer but always had a knack of slipping in a humourous comment here and there. Just like I add some humuor to my sports writings,I add some sports to my stand-up scripts, he says.
He ventured into stand-up comedy in 1999 with a competition-based show,titled So You Think Youre Funny?,where he made it as a finalist. Ever since,he has been participating in many TV shows. He partners with political satirist John Oliver for his acts.
Oliver and I started out in the British circuit pretty much at the same time. We did our first show together,which turned out to be fun. We thought we must do this more often and kept coming back for more shows. The podcast we do has lasted since 2007, says Zaltzman,adding that they have a similar approach to comedy because of which they click. Their podcast is called The Bugle,and covers news about everything under the sun.
Talking about his show in the city,Zaltzman says he will be talking about players as well as the game. The players are such public figures in India,which is not the case back home. People harbour such strong opinions about cricket,which can sometimes lead to entertaining disagreements, he adds.
Another culture shock for Zaltzman is the way commentators are a household name in India. The commentators are as well known as the players,and also have their unique styles, says Zaltzman,hinting at the subjects that are likely to come up during his act in the city.
Andy Zaltzman will perform at High Spirits on Wednesday,
8.30 pm onwards