"I come from the land of the Kama Sutra. I can sc**w you in more ways than one.” With one-liner like this, Indian comic Papa CJ, is set to regale the audience at the Red Light Comedy Live from Amsterdam stand-up series on October 25 and 26.
Hosted by stand-up biggie Russell Peters, the series is commissioned by Showtime USA. It aims to bring together 24 of the most provocative voices in comedy from the UK, South Africa, Australia and the USA.
Papa CJ, who is the only Indian comic performing at this show, says, “Russell Peters hand-picked comedians personally. No Indian comedian ever got a global space like this. This puts a huge responsibility on me.” He adds, “My line-up of jokes would be India-centric and focus on how we are a fabulous country.”
Sample this: As I was walking towards the immigration counter in USA, one officer looks at me and tells another officer, “These people are a mistake”. I walked up to them and said, “I'm an Indian, and as an American you should be grateful to us. Because when Christopher Columbus discovered America, he was looking for India. So to be perfectly honest, you are the bloody mistake.”
Rolling on Stage
With almost 1000 shows under his belt, the Oxford graduate’s finesse lies in improvising on stage. “Anybody can tell jokes, but chatting with the audience and creating humour is the fun part.” So, has there been a time, when his jokes didn’t go well with the audience? “Yes,” he says. “I was performing at a place of worship at Leicestershire, when three guys pulled knives at me backstage. Apparently they were pissed of with some joke I’d cracked. I got in my car and ran away to London.”
Being a comic though, has its perks. “Once three comics and I were pulled over at 3 am in London for being over the alcohol limit. On the way to the station we started chatting with the police and then ended up performing for them from 4 am to 6 am. Luckily, they let us go,” he chuckles.
The Delhiite believes that India is the “easiest” place to take to your comic calling. “Very few Indians do stand-up comedy. So, you do five shows, get your picture clicked and become famous instantly,” he says. adding, “However, comedy is similar to doing a PhD in group psychology. And you only get better by doing more shows.”
* An Englishman to me: “You Indian men are soft. You're not into wildlife or adventure.” I said, “We are not into adventure? Nine yards of silk...wrapped around a time bomb of emotional blackmail…with an erratic timer…is more dangerous than any wild animal you will find in the jungle. You marry an Indian woman and then you talk to me about adventure!”
* As I was walking towards the immigration counter in USA, one officer looks at me and tells another officer, “These people are a mistake”. I walked up to them and said, “I'm an Indian, and as an American you should be grateful to us. Because when Christopher Columbus discovered America, he was looking for India. So to be perfectly honest, you are the bloody mistake."