Amazon Prime Video recently launched its first-of-a-kind comedy reality series Comicstaan. The show has managed to break records and emerge as the most watched show on the platform. Host Sumukhi Suresh spoke exclusively to indianexpress.com about the show, women in the comedy space and her writing expedition.
Stating that she was really excited to host Comicstaan, Sumukhi said, “First of all I haven’t done something like this before. So I was quite kicked about this new experience. Also, I was getting to host with Abish (Mathew), which is a treat in itself. Judging a show is not easy and I was relieved to not form opinions about performances but just enjoy them. The entire experience with the show was an amazing one. Honestly, I was a bit worried thinking I would be intimated among these comedy stalwarts (winks). But we really had a gala time together.”
Talking about the changes in the comedy space, the 30-year-old stated, “Everyone seems to become a comedian these days. But being just a standup artist is no longer unique. You need to be really funny and have the talent to explore and create other kinds of content. The times have changed and it’s not just about jokes anymore. But yes, it’s a great thing that more people are joining the space. It increases competition and demand. And that results in quality work.”
When asked to mention the turning point in her career, Sumukhi replied, “It has to be Pushpavalli. It was a complete game changer for me. First of all, no one would have written a lead for me. Secondly, none could have written it that way (smiles). Also, I feel a guy wouldn’t have managed to get that grey shade out from a woman. That can only be our perspective. After the show, people know that I can write. Thankfully, I don’t take the success as a pressure. Comedy cannot be worked with expectations, you need to keep it free-flowing. I want to write more and not just for me, but for others also. Creating shows gives me a lot of pleasure. And I love being on stage. It’s my first love, acting happened quite by chance.”
The standup industry is mostly male-dominated. But for Sumukhi, it wouldn’t be long before women take the space by storm. She said, “See, women can never be not funny. We are so twisted in our mind that there is comedy running in our veins. I think there are fewer women right now but give it some time, and you will see them rock and how.”
Discussing the topic of body shaming and sexism used as a comic tool, the writer-actor said, “Earlier being chubby meant that you should be funny. But I think times have changed. Today, people accept you regardless of how you look. And I don’t think anyone reacts to fat jokes anymore. Also, I feel comedians across are taking a conscious effort to not use body form or specific sex to crack jokes. This self-awareness is a great thing. I hope the trend continues for long.”
Comicstaan is judged by Biswa Kalyan Rath, Kanan Gill, Tanmay Bhat, Kenny Sebastian, Sapan Verma, Naveen Richard and Kaneez Surkha. New episode of the show streams every Friday on Amazon Prime.