While prepping for his debut stand-up gig in the city, Scott Capurro was sure of carrying forward his global image. “I ended up hitting on some men in the front row, implied that I had sex with them and even made them rethink their sexuality,” laughs the San Franciso-based comedian, known for his provocative brand of humour.
Art of provocation
Tonight, he plans to depict “sexual acts with his fingers and talk a lot about homosexuals.” Capurro’s scathing comedy is known to pick taboo subjects as material and his offensive gigs across the world have caused many audience members in the past to squirm, cry and walk straight out of the room.
“It was only the staff at the venue who walked out last night and I covered pretty much everything from the Quran to Anne Frank. I don’t look for extreme subjects, but just things that make me laugh,” he explains, adding, “When a comic is patronising to the audience, you can tell he’s cracking pub jokes and not his own. And I’m not going to talk to the audience as if they’re children.”
So will his Indian gig be a tamer, lamer version of his international acts? “I heard that homosexuality has been decriminalised in the country recently, so I should be fine."
Capurro is best remembered in a straw hat in the 1993 film, Mrs Doubtfire, as one of the make-up maestros who turned Robin Williams into the lovable plump nanny. Ask the actor what made him switch to comedy and he bats back, “I went to a London pub and cracked some filthy jokes. People seemed to find me funny, so I thought, ‘why, that was a good way to earn easy bucks.’”
Being controversial, gay and Jewish-American all at once, is there any thing that offends him? “Comedy is a risk. There are no rules. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but you need to push the limits and find newer boundaries. There’s so much to talk about in the world. What’s the point of ignoring it?”
Having spent his day well, first at the Iyengar yoga centre and then on the Mumbai locals, Capurro hopes to try observational comedy that doesn’t come across as a white man’s narrow view. Ask him what he expects tonight, and he says, “Hopefully a standing ovulation.”