Stand-up comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath along with six other contemporaries have turned judges for Amazon Prime Videos’ Comicstaan. Indianexpress.com sat down for an exclusive chat with the IIT alumnus who talked about his judging stint, changes in the comedy space and his love of writing.
Stating that he never imagined becoming a judge on a show, Biswa said, “Every new show teaches you a lot – about the world and who you are. Doing Comicstaan was a great experience completely. We all secretly judge comedy, but it was a challenge to do it publicly as your opinions really matter. You can laugh but to come down to a number and rate an act, it needed a lot of introspection.”
Apart from judging, the star comedians will also be mentoring the contestants but for the Orissa boy, that was not a difficult task. “The participants were really talented and so they did not need much mentoring. But yes, during the process I got to learn a lot. The challenge was to maintain and polish their strengths than forcing our thoughts and ideas. I must add it was a fun time interacting with these young people,” he said.
Biswa shared that writing is his strength. He further added, “I think everybody should write their own acts and never follow anybody else’s style. I think a joke is also an intellectual property and it shouldn’t be copied. And when you write for yourself, you know its soul and it’s easier to perform that way.”
Biswa Kalyan Rath had recently written a web series Lakhon Mein Ek. Talking about the series, he shared, “I was amazed at the response it got, people really liked it. I think I enjoy writing a lot and performing comes close second. I am writing another fiction show and soon, you all will get to know about it.”
Ask him about television and he smiled to say, “I have to really like the script. Currently, I do not have the bandwidth to do TV but it’s a great platform for many things, for example live cricket commentary. I am open to doing television, but it has to be something that suits my style.”
Lastly, talking about the changes in the comedy space, Biswa said, “There’s lot more comedians, more audience and the topics have also become varied. It’s a progress and I think every day, there’s a new artist entering the space but it really takes a lot of hard work to find a place. Trust me, comedy is not where you get instant fame.”
Along with Biswa, Kanan Gill, Tanmay Bhat, Kenny Sebastian, Sapan Verma, Naveen Richard and Kaneez Surkha are the judges on Comictsaan. Hosted by Abish Mathew and Sumukhi Suresh, the series is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.