Comicstaan 2 recently aired its finale, where Aakash Gupta and Samay Raina were announced the winners. The two comedians beat Supriya Joshi, Raunak Rajani and Sumit Sourav to take home the trophy and Rs 10 lakh, each. Hosted by Abish Mathew and Urooj Shaikh, Comictsaan 2 streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
While Samay surprised all with his performance in the finale, Aakash has been one of the strongest contestants through the season. Every week, the Delhi boy shone in different genres making him a clear favourite among the judges and audience. Post his big win, Aakash spoke exclusively to indianexpress.com on his journey, his parents’ reaction to his career and his future goals.
Here are experts from the conversation:
Q. You topped the charts throughout, were you disappointed to eventually share the trophy with Samay?
I would have been disappointed if I lost it. The finale was a different ball game all together, where whoever did well could have won. Topping the chart was a different aspect but the marks didn’t matter on the final day. But I am happy that I won and I am also happy that Samay won too.
Q.What are you taking back from Comicstaan 2?
Some money and a trophy (laughs). I am also taking back some really good memories. All of us really bonded well and the two months seemed like being on a college project, where we could work together and still have fun. I have also never lived out of my parents home so it was really a nice experience. And the best part was that we were also getting to jam so much that helped us learn and polish ourselves.
Q. How do you plan to use the prize money?
I have already opened three fixed deposits, so let’s see what happens after it matures.
Q. What was the biggest challenge for you in the show?
To maintain the quality and not disappoint myself. So I have been doing comedy for about three-four years now, and there were others on Comicstaan who too have been into the profession. But the audience usually feels the show is for upcoming talents. So, I was in a lot of stress and mental pressure to do well. At the back of my mind I knew if I didn’t do well, I would have to bear a lot of consequences. But it’s been a big achievement for me that I maintained the standard throughout.
Q. Since you had been doing standups, what made you take up the show?
I have always wanted to do things beyond just standups. And I knew Comicstaan is a platform where I could showcase my talent and skills. I have learnt improv for a while but sadly my team in Delhi dispersed, so we couldn’t continue. Also, I love doing sketches so the stage was perfect for me. I don’t have an orthodox stand-up comedy style and I wanted people to know that.
Q. Indian parents usually have an issue with a profession like yours. What are your parents’ views on you being a stand-up comedian?
When I quit my job and started doing comedy, they were initially very sceptical. But slowly things fell into place. I have been doing shows and earning enough to survive independently. And they have seen my performances and accepted my profession a couple of years back. And now, they are even proud of me.
Q. Any do’s and don’ts for upcoming stand-up comedians?
I really feel one should explore a lot before deciding what they want to do. It really takes a long time for people to discover themselves and their voice. Also, do as many stage shows as you can because eventually, that’s what matters the most. All the magic for me happens on stage only.
Q. What’s next for you?
The short term goals, for now, is to focus on my mini India tour. Then I want to bigger tours in the country, and even foreign locales. And after all that I really want to work on sketches and acting. I have been trying to do that for a long time, and now I think is the right time.
Comicstaan 2 was judged and mentored by Biswa Kalyan Rath, Kenny Sebastian, Kanan Gill, Sumukhi Suresh, Zakir Khan, Neeti Palta and Kaneez Surka.