Thursday, May 18, 2006

My First Stand-Up Comedy Show...

I never knew this existed in India...Never knew it...I guess Chennai is not happening in this arena...It might have some great Disco's, restaurant, and amazing beaches...But when it comes to entertainment...Only Vijaykanth and Rajnikanth rule the world. Or may be I was never exposed to them and I just did not rub shoulders with people who did such fun things...

So anyway...We went to The Russell Peters Show in Dallas today...It was in Majestic theater which is a fabulous piece of architecture...I just enjoyed being inside the space...I have also been to one other theater in Dallas called the Eiseman Center but it is very modern. Somehow I have been comfortable in very few modern buildings. The sense of being and space is lost in them. The old ones kind of welcome you, make you feel comfortable and keeps you engrossed with details...I really liked Majestic Theater...

Anyhoo, coming back to the show...The opening for Russell was done by Chris Spencers a Stand-up Comedian from LA...Who was hilariously funny. He made us roll on the floors and kick our feet to the floor...He made outright racist comments...I guess we all want to say such things but we are afraid to do it in real life...So when someone bravely tells them out we enjoy it...It is true most of the time but the fact that is poised behind the facade of COMEDY we tend to ignore the reality of the statement and how it could hurt a person if uttered in real life and enjoy it...

Russell came on after 15 minutes of Chris...Somehow I must admit that I enjoyed Chris better...Maybe it was because he only performed for 15 minutes and he could powerpack his best jokes into them unlike Russell who had to work it for an hour and half...a couple of instances the show seemed to be moving at a very slow pace...He tried to take dabs at the audience and it was funny but he dragged it on way too long...He did his "Somebody Gonna Get a Hurt Real Bad" towards the end...Since I have already seen/heard it...It was kinda not doing it for me...But on the whole it was $34.50 well spent.

These are the few things I observed:
1) The audience are just way too demanding...You really need to be good to hold the attention of 200 or more people and keep them all laughing...coz when Russell was boring he did get the hint...Nobody laughed.

2) You need to be really smart. Have the current world issues, history, geography, civics, and even Math at your fingertips, because whatever you say should be funny but not do a funny on yourself...People should laugh at your jokes and not at you...

3) You must be seriously quick witted...Because a lot of jokes that were done were on the front benchers...improv...So you cannot just by-heart a joke and come and pour it out...

4) It does take a lot of guts to be the only one in a stage with the spot light on you and trying to do your work too...I mean this FUNNY business is SERIOUS business...You cannot fool around when you are trying to make people laugh...

5) You need to observant of everything happening around you to make something funny out of it...In other words you cannot keep your eyes or ears closed...For such people information is wealth!!!

So to all the GOOD Stand-up Comedians...You are way too cool...My sense of humor is limited but I am the first to appreciate when something is funny...So KUDOS to all of you...It seems like it is more difficult than what I do!!

9 comments:

Seashells said...

Every stand up comic takes a dab at racism... What gives, who gives ??? I mean it's cool only if a couple of them do it... but almost everyone of them does it... Chris Tucker et al for the black, the Garcia fellow for the spanish, mexicans and latino, Russell Peters for Indians, ABCDs and Chinese and so on...

The first time i watched RP, i thought he was a comic genius... But ever since, i've watched 3-4 more of his shows online or on TV and it seems like he has the same content... Oh and if you laugh in anticipation knowing what is to come, he definitely takes a stab at you with his "you cheap internet downloading bastards" line...

Anu Russell said...

ya I agree with you in everything you have said...I have seen a lot of stand-up comedians on TV but this was my first one live...I do agree that he repeated his "internet downloading bastards" like 3-4 times in his 1.30 hours...and he kept trying to take cheap dabs at people in the front...

But what irritated me is that he was making fun of pakistani's and some idiots in the audience actually screamed "Pakistan Zindabad" and Russell came back with a sharp retort and I was very impressed...

But on the whole the show was okay...but was it worth the $34.50? I don't know...like someone tells me...It was not remarkably better than what we saw of his online...

Another thing is that...if not for the internet...NO ONE WOULD BLOODY KNOW WHO RUSSELL PETERS was...sometimes pirating is for the advantage of these people and their exposure...He would never have made the 200's of 34.50 he made that night if not for the internet exposure he gets...

Anjaan said...

Russel Is Kick Ass! Managed to watch some of his DVD's

OF course Stand up exists in India, Maybe not chennai but defenitely Bangalore.
Take a peek into www.comdeygurus.blogspot.com

Its a sad thing that we're temporarily on the ice, cuz the pub dont have money, and the sponsors dont see it as BIG! :)

Fosix said...

RP is funny as hell... but yeah, i did hear from a friend that he's been doing almost the same thing for the last one or two years...

hey, do you have any "action" clips from rajni or vijakanth movies ? now those are seriously funny :)) forward me anything you have or get from now on... i circulate those around the office whenever i get some and we all have a really good laugh...

Anu Russell said...

Hey Fosix...dude...I do not have any action scenes from Rajni movies...but if you do please pass it on...i might have a balakrishna clip somewhere in my office...let me check it out...

BTW pass them on to me...

Also be warned I AM A DEVOUT RAJNI FAN!!! I sometimes do not take too kindly to jokes on my THALAIVAR! :)

Vijaykanth...Dont really care about him also he cannot kick anyone standing in front of him...he kicks like a donkey...he will runn befor ethe villain and kick him...hahaha...

Asmyaham said...

Good one..anu..more like the letterman show i guess. chennai is not quite up to comedy on contemporary stuff, but last year, we had quite a few stage dramatist groups performing comedy plays in Madras..

and yes, about the effort, you definitely need to take the cue from the audience..on a personal front, unless i sense the flavor and mood of the audience before blending it into my mimicry performance, it's tough to appease them.

By the way, my blog updated... your comments awaited...cheers

Megha Bansal said...

Anu, i felt the same way about RP what u felt, his jabs at the front seaters was a bit too long, but at the same time his jokes were funny!
and the paki bit for me was funny coz he handled it well...

chris was far better than RP but i think that is coz we didnt know his kinda jokes and didnt hv any expectations...

the majestic theater lives to it's name...very neat place!

for my part i think the show was worth it's money :)

second_wind said...

Have you seen the movie Comedian. It a docu. and follows Seinfeld around. It gives a real good insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Anu Russell said...

@second w/ind...nope...But I will try to see it now...That would be interesting considering Seinfeld is my favvy stand-up comedian!!!