A regular feature at Gurugram’s Canvas Laugh Club, Jaspreet Singh, has been coming up with wisecracks ever since he can remember. But 18 months ago, he started doing this for a living. So far, Singh has done over 600 shows across 40 cities in six countries (his next show is at Bengaluru on July 20).
No mean task, but then when one is as funny as Singh is, nothing is difficult either. Even his most mundane jokes from daily life situations evoke a resounding laugh from the audience.
Singh started writing jokes around the time he was in Class 6. But he came on his own in college.
“In college I did everything — acted in stage shows, participated in skits and did solo shows. I also represented my university in dance,” says Singh, a trained Bhangra dancer. The result was he flunked in maths in the very first semester. “When I told my dad that I have failed, his reply was, ‘great’,” he says. This explains the reason behind his wry sense of humour: his genes.
After college, Singh got a job in Noida. He then moved to Delhi from his home city Amritsar, in 2011, and got busy with work. But the creativity in him was itching to get out. It was then that one of his colleagues suggested he should attempt stand up comedy. “I didn’t know what it entailed so he advised me to watch some videos, which I did, and realised that I could easily do this,” he says.
He then started approaching different clubs, and in March 2015 he got a chance to perform a gig at AntiSocial, Gurugram. It was an average performance but it didn’t dishearten Singh. “I don’t get insulted by anything; I can do really bad and not feel bad about it,” he says. But that was the beginning of his journey in stand up. Slowly, he started getting spots in others’ shows. “When Canvas Laugh Club opened in Delhi NCR, I got a 30-minute solo act. After this I started getting solo shows.”
Initially, Singh was moonlighting along with working at Sapient Tech, Gurugram, doing comedy shows on the weekends. In January 2018, he quit his job. Earlier, in July 2017, he had launched a YouTube channel, which today has over five lakh subscribers. “It has been over a year and a half when I quit my job, but not once have I felt that I took the wrong decision. I am enjoying my life,” Singh says, pointing categorically, “life means nothing if there is no enjoyment in it.”
Singh doesn’t take anything seriously, except humour for which he works doubly hard. “It takes me around a year to write a show, which I carry for nearly two years in different cities across globe,” he says. He draws his punches from his own life. “Whatever I do has either happened to me or I have seen it happening. I talk the way I do in real life. Acting or posing as someone you are not is difficult,” says Singh, whose forte is observational comedy attempted in easy, conversational style. His father, a banker, who was initially worried about his son’s earning capabilities, is now a relieved man. “Last year, I gave him my Form 16 for filing IT returns and he said, ‘Hire a CA now’,” smiles Singh.