Stand-up comedian Anubhav Singh Bassi says the art form of comedy is ever evolving with more people entering the arena, bringing fresh content and audience with them. He also says that a joke should be taken as one, and we need to come to a place of mutual acceptance.
Bassi, who has over 18 lakh subscribers on YouTube, may not have many show clips on his channel, but what makes him an internet sensation is the viewership he enjoys. The Indian comedian had a whopping 38 lakh views on a comedy video based on cheating in exams. Success with an audience, he says, depends heavily on how much they relate to your content.
“I try to create something either nostalgic or relatable or it’s a lived experience or a story they’ve heard. They start imagining and it hits them. The relatability factor works best,” he told IANS life in an interview. Asked a question on the audience finding certain content sensitive, he says: “I think comedy is influenced by life and evolves with the times we live in. So, we have a diverse spectrum of artists and audience, I believe there is something for everyone. Some people are sensitive about particular kinds of content, it’s true, but it’s okay. Every artist has their audience. This will get resolved as the art form progresses and evolves in India.”
Speaking on comedy and politics being increasingly intertwined, Bassi believes: “It’s hardly a trend, a joke should be taken as one and we need to come to a place of mutual acceptance. The purpose is only to entertain people.”
The law school graduate has much content culled out and spun from his personal experience of hostel life. Between law school and being a stand-up comedian, he says things have panned out pretty well. The entrepreneur and one time UPSC aspirant, says he’s happily ended up with stand-up.
On more and more people wanting to get into comedy he asserts, “I think it’s really far and far. I get texts on Instagram saying people want to try their hands on stand-up comedy. It’s really good that more and more people are giving recognition to the art form. Fresh audience would mean our content reaches far and wide.”
The period of lockdown and no live shows has brought the whole industry to a standstill, with only a handful attempting to do script-writing or online performances. This, however, has not been the case with Bassi. “I tried to write many things, but for a comedian whose art form is basically live, it’s difficult to write content and think whether it’s funny. Till the time you’re not performing it in front of an audience, you cannot determine that. Another thing is, when we did live shows before as comedians, we did not record those shows. We recorded only those sets which we knew we had to release on YouTube or somewhere else. I will try to record as many shows as possible from now onward because if anything like happens again, I must have few videos to release.”
Is he expecting a strong recovery? “I expect a strong bounce-back when it opens, people will step out and buy tickets out of frustration of being home. Plus, many people have saved money on entertainment.”