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'People have opened up to tolerating jokes on anything'

December 07, 2015 11:20 IST

"There are more avenues and people have opened up to tolerating jokes on anything and everything on the earth, be it society, fat men, aunties, menstruation, sanitary pad advertisements, history or even religion."

"Internet has been the biggest equaliser"

Comedienne Aditi Mittal reveals how stand up comedy happened to her by chance and how she's creating a niche for herself.

Aditi Mittal

The multi-talented girl, who is also an actress, singer and writer, says she entered the profession after her graduation because she did not know anything else.

"It so happened that a friend of mine was interested in stand-up comedy and we had been to a club where she was to participate in an open-mic event in Mumbai. Excited about the whole thing, I decided to get behind the mike and crack some jokes. The rest is history as they say," recalls Aditi, admitting to being a 'nautanki' since childhood.

English stand-up comedy started in the country at the clubs in Delhi and Mumbai.

"But back then, we used to earn in garlic breads and soups. More than the money involved, it was about getting stage for doing stand-up. Many times, I have produced my own shows," says the comedian, who has created two hugely successful characters -- Dolly Khurana (a Punjabi film reviewer) and Dr (Mrs) Lutchuke (a Marathi sexpert).

Besides performing live, she releases her spoofs -- Dolly Khurana in Dollywood and chat show with Dr (Mrs) Lutchuke -- on her Youtube channel, AditiMittal, which has around 10K likes.

Much before the English scene took roots; Hindi stand-up comedy occupied a massive space on Indian television with super-hit shows like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.

"Even today, Comedy Nights with Kapil receives brilliant TRPs. Stand-up shows in regional languages have occupied television space as well. The Hindi stand-up is way bigger, but English comedy is certainly growing. In fact, now is a fantastic time to get into English stand-up comedy," she says.

Commenting on the stand-up scene today, she says it has become fairly easier.

"There are more avenues and people have opened up to tolerating jokes on anything and everything on the earth, be it society, fat men, aunties, menstruation, sanitary pad advertisements, history or even religion."

"Internet has been the biggest equaliser," Aditi says, adding that it is the single best thing to have happened to stand-up comedy.

"You do not need to spend money on advertising yourself, social media does that for you for free," she smiles.

And is it difficult to be a female in a performing art sphere that is also male-dominated?

"Not at all. It's a creative job where gender is clearly not a concern," she answers.

Creatively, though, stand-up isn't an easy job.

"Writing the script is a heck of a task, especially when it comes to an educated audience who usually attend open-mic events," she says.

Aditi says she wants to explore more facets of stand-up comedy like character comedy, sketch comedy and musical comedy.

Lastly, what does Aditi do when she's not tickling people's funny bones?

"I think of how to do more comedy because like I said before, I do not know anything else. To be honest, I do not socialise, go clubbing or party like my friends. I have been so engrossed in stand-up comedy that I have killed my social life, quite literally, " she says.

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Lead Image Courtesy: Aditi Mittal/Facebook

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Diana Sahu
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