He was the ‘funny guy’ in class, while studying dentistry at ITS College, Muradnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Becoming a stand-up comedian then was far away from his thoughts. But destiny has its own ways of changing a person’s life. As it happened with Dr Gaurav Gupta, who is all set to perform at Radisson Blu, Faridabad today.
“I watched a few videos of stand-up comedian Sumit Anand and realised this is something even I could do,” says Gupta, who acted in many plays and did mono acts during his college days. Sometime in May 2015, this resident of Kaushambi, Ghaziabad, did an open-mic at Summer House Café in Hauz Khas. “It was rather bad,” he says candidly. But it didn't deter this dentist from becoming a stand-up comedian. For three months he went into hibernation, only to emerge stronger. His next open-mic at Barrels in Vasant Vihar was a roaring success. He recollects, “It was a Jeeveshu Ahluwalia show, and I had a great time with the audience. That inspired me to move ahead.”
Gupta began to delve deeper and created jokes, most of which are based on his keen observations and encounters with different people in his daily life. He has even won a few open-mic competitions like 94.3 FM Radio One LOL contest, Piano Man Tongue in Cheek (Delhi) and Chalta Hai Comedy (Mumbai). It is because he’s a baniya, he excels at bringing out the nuances about his community through his jokes. Life was moving smoothly for this doctor till 2017 when an unexpected but much-desired event occurred – one of his videos, Being Baniya, went viral.
“It was a recording of the show that I done at New Delhi’s Akshara Theatre in 2016. I shared it with some corporate houses. I don’t know who among them downloaded the video and shared it on WhatsApp, but I’m grateful to that person. It made me popular and I started getting more shows,” says Gupta.
But success has not made him complacent. He still does open-mics as it helps him understand which of his jokes get the most laughs. His schedule is quite choc-a-bloc: during the day, he attends to patients at his Delhi clinic at Mayur Vihar II, and from Monday to Friday, his evenings are booked for open-mics. “Weekends are super busy with my own shows,” he says.
Now that he’s an experienced stand-up, Gupta has an informed view about how old puns are a bygone thing. “People are sick of slapstick comedy and cross-dressing on TV shows. They are educated and intelligent and want content-oriented humour for unwinding after a hectic day at work. After start-ups, stand-ups is the next in-thing,” he says, listing his favourites in the business – Abhishek Upmanyu, Zakir Khan, Amit Tandon, Kunal Kamra and Jeeveshu Ahluwalia.
Gupta has done shows across the length and breadth of India. Ask him which city responds the best to his jokes, and he is quick to answer, “Baniyas are everywhere so my jokes are lapped up in all Hindi-speaking areas. But people in Ghaziabad are yet to come around.” In Delhi-NCR, he rates Gurugram and South Delhi as the best places for stand-up acts as “audiences are supportive”.
WHAT: Stand Up, Comedy Nights –Gaurav Gupta
WHEN: July 21
AT: Radisson Blu, Faridabad