November 15, 2019 9:11:57 am
Upcoming web show One Mic Stand will for the time have popular celebrities testing their stand-up comedy skills in front of a live audience. The one-of-a-kind show has been created and hosted by Sapan Verma. And he got the biggest names in comedy to mentor the five celebs – Shashi Tharoor, Taapsee Pannu, Richa Chadha, Vishal Dadlani and Bhuvan Bam.
During the promotion of the show, Sapan spoke exclusively to indianexpress.com about his new project. He shared, “It is the latest original from Amazon Prime Video. It’s an unscripted show, where for the first time, celebrities from various fields will attempt stand-up comedy. And while I am hosting it, the best comedians in the country have trained the celebs for their performance.”
Sharing that he had pitched the idea four years back to his agency, the creator of One Mic Stand said, “It all came from the fact that we had worked with a lot of celebs having written for various award shows. I realised that they are very self-aware and funny but don’t display it publically. We wanted to get them on a platform where they could be themselves. Back then, there was no scale and now with Amazon coming in and Comicstaan doing so well, we just got going with the plan.”
While Sapan refused to reveal the best performer, he did not shy away from applauding the efforts put in by these celebrities. He shared that the biggest challenge for them was the one-take shoot. “Usually, when we record for our YouTube channel and feel that the video is not good enough, we reshoot it in the next show. But here, it was all about that moment. And it was amazing to see them put in so much efforts. They took out time to work on the scripts and were very serious about it. Also, since two pro-comedians opened up the show before them, they really had a lot to live up to. You guys will be amazed by the kind of performance that they managed to put up,” the comedian said.
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For the uninitiated, the pairs for One Mic Stand are Zakir Khan-Bhuvan Bam, Angad Singh Ranyal-Taapsee Pannu, Kunal Kamra-Shashi Tharoor, Rohan Joshi-Vishal Dadlani and Ashish Shakya-Richa Chadha. When we quizzed Sapan on how he zeroed in on these celebs, he laughed to say, “The honest answer would be that they were the ones who said yes to it. And if you want a PRish answer, it would be that we wanted variety where we could have actors, a musician, influencer and a politician attempting comedy.”
He went on to share, “We kind of knew them through social circles and had an idea about how inherently funny they are. And we wanted to bring that side on stage. Also, everybody (the mentors) had some connection with them. Bhuvan and Zakir go a very long way, and he was adamant that he would be only mentored by Zakir. Angad and Taapsee have been college friends, and the reason she agreed was because he was there from the first meeting. Vishal is someone who is very opinionated and Rohan was the right person to bring out his thoughts.”
While getting these celebrities would have been easy, we wondered how he managed to get Shashi Tharoor to take up the challenge. “That, I think was our biggest luck. So not many know but a few years back, when the IT cells were not so active, he actually used to tweet about EIC (East India Company) videos. I thought that since maybe he knew us, I wrote to him through his website. Then a couple of months of mails and calls, I finally got to speak to him. And he actually agreed for it in just two minutes. Shashi has an amazing sense of humour and was fit for the show. He told us was that whenever he tried to pull a joke at rallies, no one laughed. But he wanted to start the culture of even politicians attempting something like this.”
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