You don’t need to take classes, research in libraries or have the talent to become a stand-up comic (though talent may help). If you have a tolerable sense of humour, a smattering of grey cells and are able to catch eggs and tomatoes hurled your way, you stand a chance of being labelled a comedian by your friends. You will also be exploited for entertainment purposes at social gatherings.
I kid about the eggs and tomatoes (I am perennially hungry), but Mumbai audiences are a cheery and forgiving lot, and you won’t be scarred for life if you decide to dole out the funnies at any of the open mike nights across city clubs. If you are used to being laughed at (and have grown up idolising Johnny Lever), it’s a fantastic time for you to cash in on the mushrooming trend of stand-up comedy in the city.
The great thing about amateur comedy is that you don’t face performance pressure – if you think you are bad, take heart — all other amateurs feel exactly the same way. Once you decide to take the plunge, the entire world’s your punch line.
You can make jokes about everyone from yourself to the host, SRK to KRK, Rahul Mahajan to Rakhi Sawant, North Indians to Raj Thackeray (although you may want to have a place to run away to, in North India, just in case) and of course, the crowd favourite, sex... even if you haven’t had any. Be original, be whacky and think of the funniest things no one speaks about, or the funniest things about stuff everyone speaks about, and you’ll be set for your first stage performance.