Ask standup comedian Praveen Kumar about why he chose to deliver his upcoming act, Mr Family Man, in Tamil, and he says that wasn’t the idea from the word go. “My act, 36 Vayadhinile, was written in English and Tamil in 2018, but the latter is what connected with the audience. The demand for Tamil is more and that’s what I received,” says Kumar, about his second, which released on May 8 on Amazon Prime Video. “There’s also a bit of selfishness here, since I am more comfortable with writing and delivering jokes in Tamil. So if it makes my job easier, then why not?,” he chuckles.
The Kanchipuram-born and Bengaluru-based comedian reveals that the show revolves around the daily events of a man in the family, with vignettes like getting pest control, having a steady relationship with your carpenter, parent-teacher meeting, ties within the apartment society, etc, which often go unnoticed. “The theme aims to highlight that the family man is a superhero. Throughout my set, I talk about how these observations go unnoticed and also the due credit to be given for the same,” he says.
A part of Bengaluru’s initial wave of standup comedy since 2010, Kumar, who has performed over 1,400 shows and delivered five standup specials including three in English, says while the initial wave was that of English, it was only post 2014 that regional content took flight. “There was a huge demand as well, and comedians who started in English slowly moved to Hindi, because it connected to a larger audience. In 2017, I took a break from English and moved to Tamil, because, for one, nobody had done it, and secondly, it’s easier for me, since I think in Tamil,” says Kumar.