CHENNAI: A chartered accountant-turned-standup comedian known for his tongue-in-cheek humour, Kunal Roy of East India Comedy (EIC), a YouTube channel, was in the city as a part of the Laugh Ok Please Multi — organised by Raintree, Annasalai. “I’ve performed in Chennai before and I love this city!” he said.
He debuted in 2012 with a comedy special Holy Krao after which he calls his entire journey inspiring, exhausting, comforting and difficult. “It’s a mix of easy and difficult, yin and yang,” said the versatile comedian who left a cushy job to become a comic. Why? “I didn’t, actually. I left it because I burned out. It was tedious for me. I always wanted to do something in the creative field, and stand-up comedy found me,” he explained.
Successfully touring six cities in India, Kunal revealed that he wasn’t always inclined towards stand-up comedy. “I am the least funny person in my family. In college, I was a sarcastic evil guy, and people hated my acerbic sense of humour. I actually wanted to be a rock star!” he grinned.
He describes his folks as parents with ‘swag’. “They were composed when I broke the news about me leaving the job and pursuing comedy. They said I needed to find balance between earning money, gaining respect and being happy. They are cool, chill and have loads of swag!” he said.
There is a notion that everyone has about a stand-up comedian — ‘Friends have a laughter riot when the person is around’. Does he agree? “It’s not true. For friends, I’m just a friend, not a performer. I’ve had the best time doing the dumbest jokes with them that I would never do on stage!” he explained.
Talking about the stand-up comedy scene in India, he said “There are about 20 serious comedians in the profession now. I think that’s proof about the positive change and that it can be taken up as a career. We started EIC with just a couple of people working out of a living room; now we have seven people with a swanky office! I’ve done stand-up comedy, videos, writing and acting…my journey in EIC has been great. But we also have a lot more to discover and do.”
Taking inspiration from everything around him, this comic says he practices hard. “I listen, watch and read,” he said, adding that a comedian can talk about Mohenjadaro and still make it funny. “I plan to keep doing what I do seriously. I’ll make people cry, because that’s what they want at a comedy show!” he added.
(To follow updates on Kunal Rao and East India Comedy, visit eastindiacomedy.com)