Delhi’s popular stand-up comic, Papa CJ has performed at many unlikely venues— a Birmingham mosque, a police station in London and even an operation theatre in Delhi. So performing at a music venue in a city that boasts of a comedy club is the least of his concerns. “It was all well planned and taken care off, y’know,” he says.
This weekend, the 34-year-old will be standing up for a cause as he performs his new show, Standing Up For Our Children. Proceeds from the show will go towards a charitable organisation, One Child, which he started in 2005. “The charity works with underprivileged children in India, getting them out of child labour and back into the formal schooling system and is largely funded by my acts,” he says.
Having performed over 800 shows worldwide, Papa CJ was short-listed in 2008 as one of the world’s top ten comedians on American TV show, Last Comic Standing. Ahead of a recent trip, he tweeted, “As my flight to Goa was about to take-off, 30 people at the back shouted ‘Anna Hazare Zindabad’. To respect their commitment to the cause, they weren’t served any food!”
And though his show will be sprinkled with topical issues, he swears to stay away from clichés. “Community comedy is lazy. I don’t want to pick on the same thing. Mine is unadulterated, irreverent comedy.”
Ask the Delhi comic why the Mumbai-Delhi clash never fails to amuse and he says, “I think we all need someone to hate. It’s like people who ski don’t like people who snowboard.” He promises to rustle up a few sleeves with his new show. “I’ll make So-Bo residents believe they are not from Mumbai. They are known to be snooty. They have the stiff BBC anchor look on their face, not laughing or flinching by even the most preposterous news. I’ll make sure they show some sign and even laugh out loud this time around.”