Written by Aakriti Bhalla
When Gaurav Kapoor stepped into the world of comedy for the first time, the stage was not with an open mic, but an office event where he was chosen for being the “funniest guy in the group. “Three years down the line, Kapoor is one of the 23 funniest guys in India who will be recording a Comedy Special for a much grander stage presented by Amazon Prime. Here Kapoor will perform his first solo.
Kapoor got his big break when he opened for world-renowned stand-up comedian Russell Peters during his ‘Almost Famous World Tour’ when it visited Delhi. What makes Kapoor connect with the masses living in urban spaces is his ability to crack jokes relating to them. “I come from an impoverished part of Delhi — west Delhi. So my accent is like any other west Delhi boy. One day a person came to me after a show and told me how he liked my accent. I responded by saying, ‘brother I have been preparing these jokes for more than a year and you are telling me that you like my accent’,” says Kapoor with a laugh.
Kapoor, whose ‘Royal Enfield joke’ went viral on social media, also earned him much backlash. He responded by creating another video called ‘Royal Enfield joke and Internet Hate’, which won him many fans. But despite that, he is conscious about jokes that can offend people. “It happens everywhere, even in a country like America where stand-up comedy has been around for 40 years. And here we have the BJP, so it is bound to happen,” says Kapoor.
Kapoor agrees that performing on stage is an empowering experience as he has the freedom to express himself. “For the next 30 minutes, an audience of 1000, 500 or even 50, will listen to you. And the complete onus of making people laugh is on you. With this power comes responsibility as you take the audience through an experience. Look at Zakir Khan’s show; his performance does more than just make people laugh,” says Kapoor, who feels that the biggest challenge in comedy is live audience. “I have two million views on my videos on YouTube, but it’s not easy to sell tickets,” says Kapoor.