stand up comedy advice how do i get more stage time

How Do I Get More Stage Time?

Updated July 2019

In this post I’m going to explain how aspiring stand up comedians, whether in the USA or India or Singapore or anywhere can get more stage time, aside from “network.” I live in India so I may give examples here but the advice is practical anywhere. I’ll first talk about the career track of a stand-up comedian the first five years and then explain the most effective way to get on better and better stages.

TLDR: If you want something done, you gotta do it yourself.

Getting On Stage as a Comic is HARD

I’m in the US for a few months and the harsh beauty of stand up is that no matter how many credits you have on TV, how many millions of views on YouTube or how many Twitter people like you…when you’re doing this as a profession there is something you have to quickly learn and accept:


Hunting for stage time is going to be a normal part of your career. It’s like business development…no matter how cool your job is, you will have to follow up on leads, send emails, and yes, possibly…cold call.

Just like an office worker checks his emails in the morning or marketers need to offer you their products via InMail – so to do you need to be actively taking control of this craft you’ve committed yourself too.

It’s not easy, you will get A LOT of negative responses (to be fair, they’re many good people who are just busy) but eventually, you will start filling up your calendar and your own routine will be sorted.

Most comics (including myself) sit around for years thinking some magic guru will pluck them from the open mic scene, mentor them and push them up the ladder. It might happen for a few, but the reality is if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

You’re creative with your comedy, so now get creative with your comedy career.

Stand Up Comedy Career Progression (example)

“Stick to your time” in comedy jargon also means learning to manage it.

Year 1 in Comedy: Open Mics & Overcoming Stage Fright, Hecklers, Learning to Write

Love yourself.

Hate yourself.

Question everything.

Bomb for many. Kill for a few.

Think you know everything after watching Carlin, Burr, CK, Stanhope, Hicks, Mitch, etc.. (Hint: They don’t give a fu*k about you either, but I’m sure are still amazing human beings)

Get accepted by fellow comics. Judge other ones, thinking they’re hack or sellout even though they’ve been in your exact same shoes.

Make friends. Make enemies. Many quit here.

You will put out an 8-minute clip of your standup thinking it’s awesome when in reality it’s terrible and shot on your shitty phone. Your friends laughed to be supportive and your ego will swell. You will message me and other comics to watch it. If we’re nice enough to go through it (cause that chick we’re stalking isn’t responding and we have the time), you will then overstep and ask us to share it.

Then we will block you.

I’m not being an asshole, I’ve just made this mistake and it’s the equivalent of emailing your friend’s friend who is a VP at Google with your resume when the HR department exists for a reason. Trust the process, learn the rules and then bend them. I admire the grind, and I’ve been both too aggressive and too passive.

All I can say is be patient but not complacent.

Years 2-4 in Comedy: Featured Shows + All of Year 1 Again:

Based on contacts you’ve made and crowds you’ve impressed, start getting booked at bars, birthday parties, comedy clubs, company events, etc.. Bomb at these shows and realize while open mics are required, making comics laugh and making a general Friday night office/college audience laugh aren’t the same thing.

They don’t care about your super clever pedophile joke Brad.

Continue the same hustle at open mics, maybe even hustling harder. I’m shocked in California that some of the most successful comics still go to the shittiest open mics – but that’s the same reason for their success. You should be actively announcing your existence as a comic to all your Facebook friends by now.

Now you will need them to attend shows, share better videos, give you support, etc.. And if you’re worried about your job noticing your comedy hobby or your friends judging you – then please quit now. If you don’t commit to it, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Some of the best real gigs I’ve gotten also come because my entire social network knows I do this as that one guy on their newsfeed and will think of me when events happen. Use the tools at your disposal, not run away from them.

Know some guy who owns a restaurant? Do a show.

Have a team outing at your office? Do a show.

Wedding friends asking you to say something? Do a show at the reception bro! Or simply volunteer to emcee and squeeze in a few inside jokes, which is also great practice for writing quickly for events (ahem, award shows, TV shows, news, etc…)

Year 4-7: Headline Shows, Many Featured Shows, weekly open mics:

Same as before but now try to actively push on 30-40 minute spots, try to book your own dates at bars/venues, etc..

More heart break, a few mores successes.

Travel, spend money, and look for other avenues to have your voice reach people. Continue to get rejected but don’t even think of it like that – it’s just another day at the office, like traffic on the way to work.

Before you give up on these depressing timelines, just know that I’m in year 9 of actively doing this (and year four of doing it without a day job) and I’m barely in this bracket in India, and probably in the second bracket in the US.

So don’t worry if your timelines don’t match up. I’ve seen guys and girls doing it for a year already booking big clubs, and I’ve seen similar folks doing it 10 years and still at an open mic.

It’s commendable to think that if you just work hard and you will climb. Mama raised me the same way.

But real life isn’t so black and white.

So now that you kind of understand the process, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the day to day.

How the hell do I actually get more shows, now that I want to do this every day?

Sundeep Rao
Sundeep Rao is blind and finds gigs. And some comics are so lazy they ask him to find them shows. So come on man. Get off your ass.

Well to be blunt…while you’re learning comedy, don’t forget to learn the business of comedy.

And after the jokes, what exactly is the business? It’s about getting strangers (aka non-comics aka audience members) to come to a venue, watch comedy and ideally spend money (e.g. ticket sales or food and drinks).  

If you look at this like a startup or a company, it eventually becomes fairly simple.

How To Perform More as a Comedian


Jokes are like your morning poops.

They never come when you plan for them but more at a time you don’t expect.

As a result, you end up having a LOT of free time. You’re waiting to perform, you’re out for coffee with friends, you’re day dreaming in your cubicle, whatever.

So what is a comedy show?

It’s a sound system (mic, speaker, mixer, stand), a venue (bar/club/coffee shop/backyard) and an audience.

ALSO: Skills Comedians Need in 2019

Sound is a commodity, most venues have it or it can be rented cheaply. I tell every single new comic I meet in India – whether a year in or ten years in – find a venue, start a show.

You want the secret sauce to this career? THIS IS IT.

It’s the most obvious tip that I so blatantly tell you now because just like “Junk food is bad for you” most don’t want to deal with the work involved and just ignore the most obvious solution.  


Go on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Zomato, Facebook, Event Brite whatever….email restaurants and bars, speak to your friends who own or work at one – and start a fU*king show.

I spent my first year in California going to some of the worst open mics started by drug dealers and slobs because you know what…they had the balls to speak to venues and get it done and I just wanted to find a platform that already existed, no matter how shit.

Once you do this, you start getting good at online promotions, understanding the business and before you know it 20-100 people are coming to your event.

You get the stage time, you find out comics will come easily and you pretty much get into the system.

Most comics sit around and whine that they’re not getting shows or everybody is against them – but this self-destructive nature is just you scapegoating reasons for your shortcomings.

You’re waiting 4 hours to perform for 4 people – there is a much better way to utilize your time. You could spend 2 hours promoting your own pub show and have 10 people next week. It’s not hard, it’s just work.

Sanjay Manaktala who quotes himself.

The best comedy shows aren’t put together by people who are smarter than you.

They just know how to execute.

Yes You Need Online Presence:

Look at amazing comics like Joe Rogan, Bill Burr, Andrew Schulz, and the folks in India doing amazing things on YouTube/Snapchat/Facebook etc.

Things like videos and podcasts are an amazing way to utilize your downtime to reach out way more people, who then come to your shows. Even if I put out a video that bombs at 1000 views or a podcast only 500 people listen to, that’s still way more than whoever sees me at an average show.

Andrew Schulz Hustle
Bro each of these boxes is like 10 hours of effort.

Over time, all these things tend to add up.

If comedy were a company, under the hierarchy you would have Stand Up Comedy (your main product), but then YouTube (your website and also your product), podcasts (your R&D and also your product) and Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram (your marketing team and also another creative outlet of thoughts/ideas and distribution channels).

I know the analogy is not perfect, but you get the idea.

Even with Facebook and YouTube reach down, stand up Comedians can market for free to at least 1000 people (friend list) daily, yet they put ALL their efforts in the open mic that has diminishing returns. Maybe, just maybe…move the dial just 10 percent?

You need to be actively flexing your comedy muscles throughout the day in order to churn out jokes consistently.

A lot of comics say “I dunno bro, I just get inspired and then want to churn it out at the mic” but forget they’re 20 other hours to the day.

When you’re hired for TV or ad films, you think they’re gonna wait around for you to get inspired or they’re gonna ask for 10 quick jokes about Trump or Modi or whoever.

I’m not saying go be a hack online chasing followers by copying stolen memes and Facebook pirating other videos – but work on all aspects of your product.

I hate Twitter (and snapchat) but I’m trying to understand why they work, and to some degree I get it. Tightening a thought down to 140 characters and saying something people resonate with is a fantastic skill to have which improves the way your brain thinks about new ideas or current events. And if you get 1000 RT’s on a Trump in Korea newsbite, guess who’s citing your tweet on which is then booking you at a better show next week? Sanjay Manaktala Cricket
Happens all the time bro. This wasn’t even that great a tweet but thanks fam.

People like snapchat because it’s personal, and some people do better on a Snap view count than the $1K video they spent money on.  

Someone like Bill Burr doesn’t need to put out his podcast weekly as I’m sure he’s busy or tired from all the crazy shows he does – but he also knows millions of people him discovered him through this platform and now it’s vital to what it does, aka packing his shows. (There is actually a video somewhere in which Bill talks about recording his podcast on a Voicemail because that was the only way to do it at the time!!!!)

Comics who have paid their time at the open mics/grind but also know how to play this social game have so many more tools in their arsenals, and that helps them book bigger shows and draw bigger crowds.

Promoters and clubs are still trying to run a business (and believe it or not, many just love comedy and want to break even) and care about seats, not that you’re funnier than the guy on stage. He’s working in 20 other things behind the scene, while you’re not.

So get to it.  

I once heard (I forgot where) that a comedian without Twitter is like a rapper without a mix-tape – meaning you need to advertise like everybody else bro.

Networking (SIGH)

Real-life is not a meritocracy, and you know it.

I’ve met investment bankers making $300,000 a year that I knew were the DUMBEST dudes in college, and I’ve met some of the smartest people living off of peanuts (and vice versa).

And in comedy, people booking the shows aren’t going to always book you because you’re the funniest. They just have a room to run and need to get people in the seats and leaving happy.

Guys will think hot girls are getting stage time for the most obvious reason, others will think this person is on stage because they’re rich or always bring people – but to be honest, who gives a shit?

The problem with this business is it’s so personal, and comics always want you to loosen up for their jokes but can’t really loosen up themselves.

You will meet and work with so many people in this career that you can’t afford to make cliques with fellow comics or stop meeting/shunning new people.

So many comics whine and crib, while others are just nice to everyone and do their shit.

Which one do you want to be?


Being honest, genuine and of course funny is still the most important thing you need to do in comedy, but there’s one last point most people forget…comedy isn’t about the one hour you shine on stage, it’s about the 23 hours you grind off it.

Even if you have the best app, or the best product, or the best restaurant…who in this digital age of expensive news feed real estate is going to take the time to care? So many restaurants don’t want to invest in Yelp, so many businesses don’t care about having a Facebook…but those less talented ones that do are the ones who are getting the stage time…and then getting better than those same businesses.

I urge you…please…focus on what you do off the stage and you’ll get plenty of more chances on it.

Reasons Why You're Single

Stand Up Comedy Videos by Sanjay Manaktala (ENGLISH)

On this page, you’ll quickly find the latest Stand up comedy videos in English by top Indian English stand-up comedian Sanjay Manaktala.

1. MBA and Startup People (Funny for Office Types)

Filmed in Bangalore on April 2019, Sanjay does jokes about having an MBA, some startup ideas in the pub city and some fun crowd work. Filmed at B-Flat in Bangalore, India. He also talks comedy about Swiggy and people who are obsessed with innovation.

2. IT Industry Jokes

This video just crossed 2 million views, Sanjay is known as the best comedian for your IT crowd or corporate entertainment in India.

Whether you have a corporate show at Infosys, Wipro, Microsoft or other places, let him entertain your employees and visiting clients with the humor only they know.

Comedy show filmed at Vapour in Indiranagar in 2018.

3. Indian girls and Goa and Selfies Comedy

Sanjay performs stand up comedy at the Humming Tree in Bangalore, India about girls and selfies and how we’re obsessed with taking photos.

Social media has made us all influencers and comedy about the ladies is always welcome, right ladies?

Also See: How To Be a Social Media Influencer in India with Aswathi Balakrishnan

4. Sanjay on Office Culture and Pointless Meetings

Office meetings and jokes are always fun, aren’t they?

Sanjay jokes in the Canvas Laugh Club in Mumbai, India about having meetings in the office and your work being connected to a projector.

The number one comedy club, sad that it closed last year!

5. Techie Jokes

Sanjay once again riffs on being a techie growing up in America with a series of relatable jokes about the IT industry and working in software, as well as being in America.

6. Dating in America Versus India

What’s the difference between dating a white girl versus an Indian girl? Sanjay explains in this clip from B-Flat in Indiranagar, Bangalore.

Also: Dating in India: Why You’re Single (Real Advice)

7. IT Jokes Volume 2.0 on Call Centers, Marriage and Consultants (2019)

Sanjay’s latest viral comedy clip on working in a call center in India and dealing with folks in America.

Latest stand up comedy by Sanjay Manaktala on working in tech support and a call center.

8. Interviewing at Google (stand up comedy)

9. Creepy Indian Men (stand up comedy)

Latest comedy about guys who ask you for bobs and vagene.


These are also some of the best Indian podcasts recorded by Sanjay Manaktala for the Global Comedian podcast and also the Birdy Num Num Podcast.

1. How Deodorant Helps Men Succeed in Life

2. Dating in India | Your Questions about Relationships, Ghosting and MaNo Longer Being Single


Sanjay Manaktala is one of the best English comedians in India and knows the content landscape in India better than most.

Want to book Sanjay for your comedy show or corporate event, or for help in your digital campaign or script?

Amazon: Step by Step Guide to Stand Up Comedy (for those who want to learn Stand-up comedy)

Contact us now or make sure to follow his YouTube channel!

How to be a stand up comedian in India

How to Do Stand Up Comedy

In this post, I’m going to explain how to have a stand-up comedy career in America or Australia or India (although the advice applies anywhere) and things you need to know AFTER you start getting on stage and have written a few jokes. If you haven’t even begun or are wondering how to do stand up comedy for the first time, I suggest you attend an open mic and then come back here. It’s a long post, but considering it’s the most viewed post on this site I guess we’re onto something. Thanks, friends.

Never tried comedy?: See How to Write a Joke for Stand Up

I’ve been doing comedy across the world for years. having started in Orange County and Los Angeles, California.

Two years ago I wrote about the mistakes I see newer comedy market comedians (Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia) make all the time.

Sanjay Manaktala BBC
On the internet you cross borders, literally.

While a lot of that stuff seemed obvious in 2016 to a comic in LA or NYC, it was received well here and I got tons of questions from comics all over the world.  Hell, some of those same comics who commented on that post are now doing great things.

Regardless, I was cleaning up my website and realized it’s been a while since I talked about standup comedy in ANY COUNTRY, what I’m seeing, what I think is happening and what my predictions will be on the trends and where I think it’s going.

how to do stand up comedy in india for the first time
Spoiler Alert: The audience is more important than your dumb Tinder story. Make them happy with original content and you’ll be happy.

If you’re interested please read on and I’m always more than happy to hear your feedback in the comments and/or social media.

I will discuss a few things that are India specific as I currently live here, but rest assured all of this will be helpful in kickstarting your comedy journey wherever you live.

I regularly do spots in NYC//SF/LA/Singapore/Hong Kong/Canada/Amsterdam and can tell you that comics are pretty much the same in any scene. Yes, New York sets are tighter, UK folks like dark humor, yada yada…but the business of comedy and the hustle are pretty much the same.

You have to be a sick individual to put yourself through this career.

Ok, I kid. This is comedy right?

I think engineering or medicine will be less painful, but ok, up to you.

We’re all trying to figure out how to write the perfect stand up comedy routine and more importantly (after you do a few mics you’ll know)…how to get people to watch it.

Regardless, no way are comedians more alike than, for most newcomers, instead of just going to an open mic and eating a fat one, they probably look for tips online on how to be a stand-up comedian in India or the UK or whatever.

So on that note, since you’re here…time some bitter truths.


1. You need to do Open Mics, they will get worse, and that’s OK.

As Indians, we often have a build first, think later mentality.

We see a formula for a movie or sketch or microbrewery or restaurant or app and we copy it and assume it will work. We bring it here and do it faster and cheaper.

With open mics, I’ve noticed (even my own advice) that the Book My Show listings have gotten out of hand. Everybody is listing an event…but, to be honest, that’s ok.

Comics need stage time and a normal byproduct of that is that audiences will get confused. “This show is Rs.150, but this one is Rs. 499 and the same comic is on both. Wait, what? What’s a trial show?!?”

Ahhh, finally we’ve arrived. This is a good problem to have.

As the years’ march on and comedy continues to grow, I hope people realize as in Europe and the US that just having a show isn’t good enough.

You need to make videos almost daily these days. The sitcom on a major studio days are over, time to play digital (when you’re ready).

Art takes effort and it’s dirty, unpolished and embarrassing. Comedians are the only ones who have to practice in public.

To stand out from the noise as a comedian and still be able to “practice your instruments”, you need to build something special so audiences can always be guaranteed a good time because that’s what they care about.

How to Organize a Good Open Mic so You’ll actually write a good stand up comedy routine?

Why do some comedians rise faster than others? It’s quite simple, they get on stage more. In fact, some comics I know get on stage more in a month than other comics get on in a year.

Who’s gonna do better?

So How do you start an open mic?

  • Invest in a brand, like “the South Indian Comedy Club.” that you can do in various cities or pubs.
  • Make a property like Tequila Tuesday Comedy Nights at Toit BrewPub (fictional example)
  • Differentiate your show, give free stuff, encourage audience participation, make a comedian have a beer before he goes up, read live tweets, whatever.
  • Focus on more audience, not more comedians. The comics will come…oh they’ll come.
  • Take good photos or videos of the crowd, ensure you’re maintaining a good FB page or IG.
  • Build buzz, pass flyers, make a FB event, learn how to market yet not spam.
  • Invite friends, walk on the pavement and pass out flyers an hour before the gig, put in the groundwork.
  • There is no stand-up comedy template, and existing joke structures like rule-of-3 and such are helpful in the beginning…but the closest thing you’ll get to a stand-up comedy template is the points above.
  • If you run a good room, you will GET GOOD FAST because you have 20 minutes of stage time a week that YOU OWN and *drumroll* a REAL AUDIENCE.

For the love of God, play upbeat music for the 30 minutes your audience is settling into the venue. Anyone who goes up to silence and doesn’t know how to set the tone for the room deserves to bomb.

If you build it they will still come but make sure you BUILD IT TO LAST.

Nobody gives a shit that you got a coffee shop to give you a corner room.

dating advice india nice guys finish last

What are you doing to make sure an audience comes?

Why are you buying a coffee/beer to an empty venue and a wasted evening instead of putting that 300 INR in FB ads to promote it?

Why are seven comics standing by the door smoking cigarettes when they should be inside filling up seats, so the people who do peek inside to see if they should join don’t get intimidated by an empty venue and 7 strangers?

I mean if you don’t value your time, why would an audience member?

SA Aravind and me discussing stand up comedy and writing and of course ego is the frenemy.

2. the Low Hanging Viral Comedy Fruit is finally getting scarce.

I think most of us who started in the last eight years got a little lucky in that we got views on jokes which were probably not the most inventive, it’s just nobody had ever heard that stuff on stage before.

Indian mothers (I’m guilty) are like this, Flying is like that, Punjabis and Gujus are this way, Engineers are virgin, etc….. Now that the views have come and gone, you’re going to see that just putting a stand-up clip where you kill in a crowd isn’t enough. It has to offer a more personal point of view, more unique, AND crush as hard as the generosity of all the applause breaks of years passed. AND let’s be honest…do you really REALLY care that Delhi is so different from Mumbai?

I’m not saying don’t talk about your Mom, I’m just saying tell us a story, make it specific, and really think about if anybody else could tell the same story.

Also, one thing I’ve learned watching those who have really done well digitally the last few years, you HAVE TO BE consistent. (I wish I followed my own advice).

A million views on one video in a month can actually be worse than 250K views on 4 videos, 4 weeks in a row.

Try to write about things you haven’t seen anybody discuss on any YouTube videos before, and if you’re getting laughs, you’re on the right track.

3. Newer Comedians Need to Remember to live their lives

I know comics complain.

Man don’t we all.

In a country where it only matters that you did better than your neighbor…we compare…a LOT.

In fact, watch any cricket match at a bar and listen to the conversations around you. Many Indian businessmen are people who will never follow their dreams so they need to compare those who are following theres to feel better.

Sachin/Virat, Federer/Nadal and just one year in your comedy journey someone will say “He is trying to be a Russell Peter.”

Singular. Peter.

You know every comedian you see on Netflix has heard that last line?

It can get ugly.

I compare myself to myself. And I miss having less gray hair.

If I could shake myself in 2010 I’d say just focus on what you’re doing, not checking Facebook to see who is doing what.

I always tell people,

“if comics wrote even 5% of the time they complained, they’d have nothing to complain about because that 5% would get them a new hour every year.”

Newer comics ask me how I write, or what the principles of writing and performing stand up comedy are.

Principles? Huh?

I get it, you’re looking for any bit of ted talk wisdom to give you the secret sauce, but like bro…don’t steal jokes and try to write for 10 minutes a day about anything.

Even if it’s just 5 bullet points in your phone. Because that’s more than most.

But after you figure basic joke structure from watching 10 comedians and analyzing it 100 times with ur other open micers…all I can tell you is….


Instead of reading every tweet, or every insider blog or industry whispers….maybe, just maybe…spend that time hanging out with friends outside of comedy, go to the gym, take a walk, chill with your girlfriend or boyfriend…and DO STUFF.

Your audience does exactly that and they’re the one you need to relate to remember?

If you don’t go to the gym like they do, go on dates like they do, watch the shows they do, work like they do, unwind like they do…what exactly will you have to say to them?

4. Stand Up Comedy is WAY MORE than JUST being on stage, especially in 2019

One thing even I’ve changed my viewpoint on, and maybe I’m channeling my inner Gary Vee, is that the industry has changed across the world.

Going “Viral” in an age of constant scrolling doesn’t mean anything anymore. Hell, even this blog post might get a few head nods before the readers move on to something else.

Where’s that link to HOW TO DO DSLR PHOTOGRAPHY IN 2019 when you need it?

As comedians especially in India I still see so many people spending 5 hours around attending an open mic (traffic, hanging out, performing, eating, going home) and that whole time was simply in service of 10 minutes on stage.


Were you learning video editing, PhotoShop, planning a podcast (and I mean actually scripting one), planning your social media posts for the week, writing a book maybe?

I’m not saying you won’t get famous just off of stand up, but I’m saying for most of us, you really need to stretch your creative muscles far beyond what you’re currently doing.

And you know I’m right.

Everything you do should be in service of getting on stage, don’t get me wrong.

developer meme
You’ll need to practice making memes like this. They will get better with time tho.

The right clip or sketch or content gets you to the front of the line, but I wish comedians didn’t look down on social media people that are hustling in their own right.

If you can figure out social media, having a stand-up comedy background…the world is your oyster.

A YouTuber can’t do stand up, but a stand up who kills at YouTube has a very lucrative career.

Now to depress you even more:

Skills a Stand Up Comedian also needs in 2019

  • Video Editing
  • Motion Graphics
  • Podcasting
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Screenwriting
  • Blogging (Hi!)
  • Basic Web Design
  • Public Speaking
  • Story Telling
  • Copyrighting
  • Advertising
  • SEO
  • Digital Marketing
  • DSLR Film Making
  • YouTube Film Making (yes they’re different)
  • VLogging
  • Improvisation
  • Stage Production
  • Event Management
  • Crowd Control
  • Oh…and you also have to be great at writing jokes.

Amazon: the Podcast Recorder you Need to Also Record Live Sets

It’s midway through 2019 and trust me things have changed.

And in 2020 they might change again.

A lot of you have Instagrams and Facebook’s but don’t even have a website or a simple “Email me for Bookings” link.


5. Gatekeepers don’t really exist. Your content is the gate. ANYBODY can get 1M views online.

Any open mic in this country has comics discussing who got what show, what special, what deal, what video, etc…

Let me tell you something.

Even some of the comedians who have Amazon or Netflix specials might be broke (not just in India).

And many comics who don’t have those specials are doing just fine.

I have no clue who this kid is or if that’s even a real audience or mp3 laughter. But good for him, and this shows you the market is WIDE open.

It’s nice to be in a group or in an agency, but ultimately, your value is not dictated by any organization.

All you have to do is have some clever bits succeed (that’s the hard part) and then build a following online (that’s the harder part) and then consistently monetize that following (the hardest part).  

Renting an auditorium or recording more sketches will come super easy once you’ve done that. 

Sure it’s nice to get on a show or be in front of a crowd but every single comedian has performed for 5000 one night and 5 the next. 

You’re in it for the long haul right?

NEVER let yourself think “If this comedian just gave me this opportunity” I’d be fine.

Once you get 5M views on your own video without that comedian’s help, he’ll be asking to be on your show.

6. Even the Best Stand Up Comedians Need to Take More Risks and Fail

Some of my good friends and hilarious/viral comedians are absolutely horrible at being funny on Instagram.

They can tell the jokes on stage, but beyond that, they really don’t do much. And trust me, they’re not too busy to learn the other skills. They just are banking on stand up, and that’s fine.

But at the same time, our industry in this country is putting its eggs in one basket.

Comics across the world are minting money on writing for ads, doing podcasts, handling corporate training, running their own rooms (even after getting famous).

Why aren’t we?

You were 35 when you started doing stand up, now at 45 you can’t talk into a mic on your laptop to discuss a few things?

Advice: You can work at Infosys and still become a famous comedian. Plus you’ll have a well-rounded life.

In fact, one great thing I see now is comics who have been protecting their position of “experience” now realizing newcomers are outshining them in a matter of a year or two.

As stage time gets more scarce I hope I see my fellow older comics (many of whom are now much more successful than me) continue to mentor, to blog, to write, to fail publicly and do things other than protecting an image they don’t realize they once weren’t so protective of. I love watching old Bill Burr clips, of him, even after he made it driving around and just rambling and seeing it peak at 20K views. And you know what, he didn’t give a fU*k.

7. Ego is the Enemy

One of the worst parts about the comedy boom, or any boom, is a lot of people attribute having luck with having talent. I’m sure it was true for the Gold Rush or the Dot Com Boom, and I’m sure it’s true for our Indian comedy boom.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m friends with all the comics we love and know, but I’ve had my own personal friends/colleagues act pricey with me for no reason. I even had a comic who I spent hours editing a video for, when he was fairly new, then tell me years later he doesn’t want to do my podcast cause “he’s not doing podcast these days.”

But that’s fine man.

I learned many years ago that you shouldn’t expect anything from anyone and everybody is going through their own struggles and way of doing things. 

So if you’re running a room and a lot of comics burn up your stage but never get YOU on another stage, that’s ok.

Just keep doing you.

If you helped somebody get famous, congratulations on guiding that person to whatever their destiny was meant to be. You’re lucky you’re in a country where even a shitty open mic gets 10 people, so just please count your blessings and keep moving forward. 

And if another 20 kids email you asking for advice…don’t be a dick, stop stalking that girl on Instagram and try to reply once in a while to people who can do nothing for you. Don’t go out of your way, but don’t be a jerk for no reason.

8. A Note on Indian Stand Up Comedy Earnings

Look…I get asked this question all the time and since four of you emailed me in the last 8 days asking, I’m jotting it down here.

Let me get one thing clear for those of you wondering how much Indian stand up comedians get paid.

Nothing for the first two to three years.

You hear me?

Sure, some comedians make 10K per show, a few make 10 lak per show, and a lucky few make much more.

August 2019: How Much Do Stand Up Comedians in India Earn or Make?

But as with anything in life, if it were that easy, everybody would be doing it. In reality, if you expect money out of this you will burn out and quit much earlier.

Pro Tip: Don’t expect to get paid for your first three years, and if you keep a clear head with that, you’ll probably start making 3-5K per show after a few.

CONCLUSION aka my big Closer

ALSO: How Do I Get More Stage Time?

ALSO: Ten Mistakes Indian Stand Up Comics Made

ALSO: Who or What Enables your Mediocrity?

So yeah, that’s about it for now.

I run this room in Bangalore. The room is for the crowd, not for you. Tell them it’s starting in 15 minutes, take their feedback, as for video testimonials, and share their photos on social media.

I’m happy to see the market increasing, but I’m sure I speak for most comics when I say…all of us…beginner to veteran…could do a lot more than we’re currently doing. And if you’re new to comedy, you can get years ahead in a matter of months if you just PUT IN THE TIME, and EFFORT.

  • WRITE.

Comedians make a living on calling out people who could do better.

Unfortunately I wish we did that to the mirror to.

So get to it.

Sanjay Manaktala is one of the top stand up comedians in India who started building the comedy community in the country back in 2010. Since then his stand up comedy videos and podcasts have helped millions laugh or get motivated. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his YouTube channel here.

Stand up comedians in Bangalore

Best Indian Stand Up Comedy Videos (ENGLISH)

Stand up Comedy in India is Booming in 2019.

I started much of the stand-up comedy wave in India and Bangalore with Praveen Kumar and Sundeep Rao back in 2010, and although I don’t attend the open mic’s as much anymore, I’m happy to see what has become of the scene.

Well, mostly.

Indian comedy clubs are opening up everywhere, audiences are hungry for fresh, unique content and with so much diversity that is India there is honestly a joke for ANYTHING.

Indian Stand Up Comedy and Bangalore’s Role

Bengaluru has the most stand up comedy nights in the country and has set the tone for how the rest of the nation operates.

In fact it has the most diverse crowds in the country, as comedy crowds in Bangalore speak English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and more.

IT show in Bangalore.
Bangalore has the most comedy shows in the country.

Amazon Prime and YouTube are also giving more exposure to Indian stand up comedians from all walks of Indian life, whether Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali, Kannadiga and of course English.

Canvas Laugh Club is also a household name despite some legal troubles and its unique backdrop has quickly been cemented as the signs of a video to watch, much like the Hollywood Laugh Factory did in California.

South India is the Best Place for English Comedy in India

It’s nice to see the comedy scene growing, and comedians from Mumbai and Delhi and Chennai are constantly coming down here (even though our travel from the airport to the city longer than their flight from Mumbai).

I personally enjoy the market in Bangalore as it’s predominantly English which is great for in-person shows, corporate events, and diverse crowds… yet tough online in the Hindi dominating Indian digital space.

So I thought I’d start keeping a list of the best comedy videos for Indian stand up that I see month to month.

But first, for the Indian comedy newbie…

What is Stand Up Comedy?

For this post, Stand up comedy in India is defined as:

  • live crowds who aren’t part of a TV-set,
  • a mix of English and whatever language,
  • hecklers,
  • avoiding hack jokes, yet obviously exploring topics like MBA, engineering, porn (if you have a clever take), clean family-friendly jokes and pretty much anything that gets Indians to giggle and probably share funny videos on Whatsapp.
  • bars and comedy clubs,
  • YouTube and podcaster style comics.
  • And lastly, the comics in this list are folks who know legendary names like Carlin, Chris Rock, Chappelle and so on.

I’m defining Stand up Comedy in this country not as what you see Raju Srivasta or Kapil Sharma do nightly, but more along the lines of Vir Das, Netflix, and the Western-Indian style of stand-up comedy. Those guys are also great but generally operate in a different space and market. (And it’s probably more lucrative too) than what I know personally.

Regardless, although YouTube has yet to be kind to comics who remain in Namma Bengaluru, here are my favorites desi comedians from the city that I also think have some of the best videos in India.

Best Indian Stand Up Comedy Videos in Hindi (ranked by views)

I will continue to update this list so if you have any suggestions do let me know in the comments.

The beauty of stand up comedy as we saw from that Bassi cheating clip recently, is anybody, and I mean anybody who puts in the effort can leverage the democracy that is the internet.

Those who have been doing it for 1 year can quickly perform at a level of someone doing it for 10, and if you can hit a chord with your audience you will be rewarded.

I hope some of these folks below get their shake.

Best Hindi Movies on Netflix India

Give them a watch!

So Which are the Best Indian Stand Up comedy videos in English?

These are the best Indian comedians as of 2019 who do primarily English stand up comedy.

1. Sundeep Rao | NRIs

Sundeep Rao is probably the funniest comedian in India you’ve never heard of. He’s partially blind yet fully dirty, although this clip not very adult, hence I’m putting it on this list.

As an NRI I also find this comedy hilarious and accurate AF. After the whole #howdyModi event this clip is even more relevant.

ALSO SEE: How to Have a Stand Up Comedy Career in India

2. Aditi Mittal | Bra Shopping

Although Aditi is not from Bangalore, she calls every time she wants to do some workshop here and has an affinity for our crowds so I’m putting her on the list.

She’s one of the top comics in the country who actually puts her money where her mouth is and doesn’t let high view count misguide her into thinking she’s done learning, which I just LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Keep going, dude. This bit about shopping as a woman for bras is just packed with punches and nuances and of course, her signature act outs so enjoy!

And the fact that some of the comments are negative from guys who don’t get it is just proof that Aditi is a pioneer and hustler who has a thick skin, as we all need to.

3. Rupen Paul

In India, if you follow your dreams, you parents will use your dreams to kill your dreams

Rupen on sports quota for medical students.

I used to confuse Rupen with Shridhar because they’re both such clean-cut kids if that makes sense. But my favorite line of the year comes from this set, which you should watch but is basically:

Glad to see Rupen do his podcast also.

This video with some super clever insights any kid who is interested in stand up comedy about engineering or IIT or an MBA would easily relate to, and the writing is very well done.

4. Vamsidhar Bhogaraju – Swiggy and Girlfriend

There is arguably no better physical comedian in India that I personally know.

Actor turned funnyman Vamsidhar Bhogaraju’s most hilarious video moments happen when he says nothing.

Not many comics (myself included) can be the loudest with silence, and Vamsi does just that with his facial expressions and physical gestures.

This stands up comedy act out about Swiggy and landlines is hilarious from a live stand up comedy show in Indiranagar, Bangalore.

You probably recognize Vamsi from this video in your WhatsApp over the years.

An ex marketing manager who knows acts in films and can do both funny and serious roles, in this clip Vamsi tells jokes about heartbreak and experience in wrong numbers everybody in Bangalore can relate to.

Hilarious and please wait till that ending!

5. Shridhar Venkatarama

Aside from having to google his last name to figure the spelling right, Shridhar works hard, still has a day job and is so PUNNY with his tweets I can’t help but admire his hustle.

He’s also grinding in a way I like to see comedians grind, with a series called Prime Time jokes where he smartly talks about current events that can quickly be written about, delivered and released.

Ten Mistakes Indian Stand Up Comedians Make All the Time in 2019

Mark my words, he’ll be a big name on Indian twitter and amongst the “intelligent political” comedy crowds because of his take on humor you’ll likely find based on Times NOW or CNBC.

Just yesterday he got to open up for friend Kunal Kamra, who ironically probably looks the most opposite on stage to well dressed Shridhar.

Well done buddy.

6. Atul Khatri – On the UK (Netflix)

Atul Khatri is the 50-year-old who has two kids and started comedy at 42.

He’s proof (and I know first hand) that older guys with limited time (in the day I mean) are way more productive than younger guys who just complain about comedy or art or whatever.

You can see Atul Khatri doing stand up comedy Netflix and also all over YouTube, and check him out on Twitter at his handle One_by_two.

7. Satish Perumal – Marketing Comedian

I was at this show and I remember seeing SATISH kill it.

South Indian weddings aren’t as fun as the North, but laughing about them can be.

Satish Perumal is a big part of that comedy group called the Bangalore Comedy Club.

He cracks some funny jokes about growing up in defense family also, but more so gives insights into the unique comedy culture of the south and train journeys between Bangalore and Chennai. Very relatable and highly hilarious.

Also Is that Mallu actress Madhuri Braganza in the front BTW?

8. Comedian Praveen | Tamil Comedy Video Star

I’ve known him forever, but nobody invents himself more and more than Praveen Kumar.

Early on Praveen had a hard time getting accepted into the cliques in Mumbai, even though he was one of the first to perform at Canvas, which was then owned by the London Comedy Store.

This a Tamil clip but check out his channel for all the other English.

From English stand up comedy to clean comedy to Tamil clean comedy to now Tamil clean comedy and movie reviews and Comicstaan, the number of haters and idiots who gave Praveen stuff in the early day’s of comedy would have made me quit years ago.

In fact, most comedians who struggle still do.

Now he’s doing better than ever as a judge on Comicstaan Tamil (and has mentored the judges on the main Comicstaan) and well-done bro.

So happy for you.

But aside from the bromance, the main reason I dropped CPK on this list is that….he holds the record in Indian comedy for most viral video over an hour.


Who would have thought doing a full one-hour special comedy video in Tamil would get nearly 3M views!!!!! Big ups to Evam stand up Tamasha for producing this great video for him.

BRO!!!! ONE HOUR!?!?!

9. Kritarth Srinivasan | Hairloss

Kritarth has a wonderful stand-up segment on balding as a young Indian dude and any fan of Indian stand up comedy who struggles with hair loss, shampoos, parents and more will love this comedy bit from Bangalore.

Any young middle class guy who is worried about male pattern baldness or losing hair can probably related to this, whether they want to take finpecia or not.

10. Aravind SA | Why Tamilians Don’t Speak Hindi

7M views not too shabby.

Aravind SA was on my podcast here but also a funny dude who captured the South Indian comedy market well.

He’s one of the top South Indian stand up comedians also and is the leader against the Hindi being the national language voice. Good for you bro!

SA Also had various shows on Amazon Prime and tours the world performing for South Indians all over.

11. Saikiran | Dark Skin and Marriage

I’ve never met Saikiran but this is probably the most viewed video for Indian English stand up comedy and good for him.

Glad the material resonated well and considering he hasn’t uploaded much else it stands to show this is a truly viral clip.

Well done dude!


They’re many English stand up comics in Bangalore and India but these are just some of my favorites.

If you’re a fan of the North Indian style of comedy, you’ll likely not prefer these folks as someone like Vipul Goyal or Zakir Khan, but the beauty of comedy, just like ice cream, is there is a flavor for literally everyone.

Read Next: How to Do Stand UP Comedy in India

The key is to be the comic that most folks want to order two scoops of 🙂

Questions or suggestions? Comment below.

If you’re in Bangalore do check out the vibrant stand-up comedy scene here.

Sanjay Manaktala is one of the top stand up comedians in India who started building the comedy community in the country back in 2010. Since then his stand up comedy videos and podcasts have helped millions laugh or get motivated. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his YouTube channel here.

indian stand up comedy lessons

Ten Mistakes Indian Stand Up Comics Make (2019)

Updated November 2019

Note: If you’re not Indian, most of this stuff still applies across comedy scenes in the US, Canada, Australia the UK, Singapore and beyond.

Want to know How To Start Stand Up Comedy In India or Anywhere?

I moved to India almost six years ago, when I was just a year into stand up comedy.  My main experience at the time was from the small pubs and coffee shops in Southern California, whereas the song goes we all “Started from the Bottom.”

After having done thousands of open mics, pub shows, theaters and corporate events in the country as well as having worked with, mentored and shadowed hundreds of other comics, familiar patterns start to emerge.

Since comedy is booming in a place that can benefit greatly from laughing at ourselves, I thought I’d take a second to jot down a few conversations that repeat themselves almost daily with fellow comedians pan India.

If you’re new to comedy (or even a few years in), I hope some of this advice can resonate with a few of you. Because while comedy is funny, there is nothing funny about the funny business.  

It’s pretty damn serious.

1.) Not Recording Your Set. And then WATCHING IT.

We’re very lucky that we live in a time that allows us to have a computer, camera and tape recorder in our pocket.

As comics this is invaluable since you need to be listening to your sets to know what worked and what didn’t. It also gives you a word for word record of how you did a joke in case it destroyed, so that helps you figure out how to recreate the magic later rather than trying to play it from memory.

So many comics don’t do this, but there is honestly no reason not to.

It’s painful, but while you’re stuck in traffic on MG Road on the way home it only takes 4-5 minutes to listen to yourself and make your adjustments to get better.

What else are you really doing with that time anyway?

Chances are you’re gonna smoke up and do the exact same set the next day, so you may as well hear what the audience did to give you a few ideas on what to change next.

I did this joke for 2 years, and then once I listened to it in the uber on the way home the second part (server issue) came to me.

Comics in New York/LA often record their sets from a 7PM open mic, listen to it on the way to an 8PM showcase, and then repeat that as they go to a 10PM show and have already made 2-3 adjustments to the joke.

Since stage time is less plentiful in India, it’s important you at least try doing the same here to maximize your progress.

People will say “But Bro it’s so hard to watch myself.” or they’ll ask the host (who is running around doing 20 things) “Dude can you stand still and record my stuff for 5 minutes.”

If you can’t bear to watch yourself, how do you expect others too?

Shaking my Head Bruv.

And aside from the host, asking other comics to record you and vice versa is also a great way to network amongst yourselves, help each other out and build comradery amongst your ranks.  

Dwayne Quote
Dwayne has crushed a few times in India.

2.) Insulting the audience for no reason/Doing Crowd Work Before You’re Ready

Did you bring the audience to the pub or cafe you’re at?

Did you promote it on Facebook, invite people, and organize the event with the manager, DJ, etc..?

If you didn’t you’re probably being given a chance to try your interest by the person who did and you have no place being a dick to someone who is supporting the comedy (whether audience or comic who organized).

If you get heckled, learn from the experience rather than acting like you’re doing anyone a favor by being up there.

It’s a great way to look unprofessional since early on you won’t have adequate comebacks and will burn bridges with the other comics who are now going to have to deal with an uneasy audience.

Russell Peters can do it because the audience knows him for that, he’s famous and he’s spent 20+ years getting to deserve that. You haven’t. And honestly, as Indians we are generally very polite and well-mannered in these upmarket bars and cafes where most comedy is currently taking place, and 90% of the time I see an open micer or newcomer go after an audience member it was an overreaction stemming from the comics insecurity of being up there rather than a malicious audience member.

Learn when to do it, but more importantly, learn when not to.

Biswa insulting

3) Using Celebrities (e.g. “Name Dropping”)

“Man, the new Hyundai i20 is terrible. It’s like the Tusshar Kapoor of hatchbacks. Am I right people?”

Was that a joke about Hyundai’s or driving or was it just the equivalent of “George Bush is stupid.” as a punchline?

It’s ok to talk about celebrities and use common references, but when trying to explore a topic, look for obvious problems and funny/ironic things about the situation. These jokes might get you easy laughs but they’re not going to stretch your comedic mind to think about things from a different perspective.  

Nobody is going to be waking up in the middle of the night thinking "hehe, man, when that comic said the situation in the middle east was more complicated than Anil Kapoor's chest hair, wow, what an insightful comedy yaar."  

If you have a joke about celebrities or notable figures, keep it about that.

What did they do, why is it weird, what really bugs you about the situation.

But if you have no opinion on the person and are just using their name to get a laugh from the audience, is there any honesty or originality in what you’re trying to say?


4) Only Sticking to Stereotypes

Gujus are cheap, Punjabi’s are drunk, South Indians are dark (although, not really), Guys named Sanjay are so handsome…yada yada.

I understand you’re nervous just looking for approval, as I’ve been there and done the same.

You should talk about what you want to talk about, but don’t make community jokes basis for your whole performance. It’s getting laughs because everybody already knows it, and since it was so easy for you to write and talk about these stereotypes it’s going to be just as easy for the next person.

How are you going to perform your set in Mangalore about drunk Surdy PJ uncles to a crowd of all South Indians? Do they care about Punjabi culture or would they instead like to hear humor about marriages, corporate life, filter coffee or who knows?

And what are you going to do when the last 5 guys before you did similar bits about Air India is all fat aunty air hostesses and now you have nothing new to add for the crowd?

Stereotypes are fine if you have a fresh/original twist on the idea, but don’t ONLY do them.

Amazon India: How to Do Stand Up Comedy Step by Step Book

They’re a good tool to have when you have a certain audience that just wants to hear that stuff, but try to write jokes about life in general also. India is such a unique place with a bunch of cultures mashed together, so it’s fine to talk about these things if nobody has pointed them out before, but try to just keep this in mind as you push forward and want to stand out.

5) Putting out your first whole clip online

When you start doing comedy, you probably start posting about comedy.

You change your profile picture immediately to that DSLR shot your friend took holding the mic, you post senti status updates about being an artist and your friends start saying things like “Machaa YouTube clip pls.”

While this can be exciting, you forget the fact that you probably still suck.

Your friends will naturally be supportive and probably laughing in the audience, but that’s probably where it will stop. Chances are your jokes aren’t finished, the false ego-boost will make you think this is easier than you think (How many shitty cell phone clips of a first time performer on stage do you see go viral?) and the whole thing probably belongs on SnapChat rather than youTube.

Where it will delete on its own.

Enjoy the attention and support but if you care more about comments than comedy (and we’ve all been guilty at some point), you will be setting yourself up for failure.

If you want to get feedback from others share a private link amongst your friends, but you will need support/shares/fans to come to your shows once you really decide to do this long-term, so don’t stretch yourself thin too early.

Only start inviting your friends on Facebook after a year, so they actually have something worthwhile to see.

Read Next: Best Indian Stand Up Comedians

6) Taking Notes on Stage/Not Rehearsing

You’ve spent all day at work, and then braced hours of traffic, parked your car and are now waiting an hour at the venue before you perform your five minutes of jokes.

Why the hell are you reading off a piece of paper in front of audience members who did the same? What were you doing in the cab the whole time that you couldn’t remember 5 bullet points?

If you’re willing to do all the previous things, not taking five minutes at home, in your car or in the bathroom to practice/memorize your set is inexcusable.

So many comics who are not doing well then looking at their paper just makes the audience thing: “Oh God he has a list and is not gonna finish.” It’s like when your CEO has 20 pages of notes and you know for sure he ain’t cutting that speech short.

Amazon India: the Audio Recorder you Must Buy for recording live sets and your Podcast (Industry Standard)

Oh the horror!

I still do this and I know it’s completely wrong, but in your first few years you need to ensure you do not do this. You will weaken your memory skills and set yourself up for failure.

The sooner you memorize, the sooner you give more lift/performance to your jokes and the sooner you’ll get better.  

If you can’t memorize 5 minutes as the first step into this business, just stop now.

7) I don’t want to Give away my material (e.g. Not put it out online for free)

A lot of comics I know don’t like releasing their material (as if they’re signed to Sony Music) because they either don’t want people who come live to see the same jokes, or they want to get paid in some form.

But when you’re first starting out, this is one of the best assets at your disposal.

Putting out short clips (1-4 minutes) on a certain topic is a great way to reach people who otherwise will likely not know who you are (if the clip is good and shot well, of course, see the previous point).

Even if a video “fails” at only 1,000 views, that’s probably 10-20 times more people than who saw you perform the joke live.

how to start stand up comedy india
You think your crappy cell phone clip about Modi travelling is “giving away” your material. Best joke ever!

It also gives you accountability and ownership for a joke, allows feedback so you can hear the harsh truth from people who aren’t your friends, and forces you to write new material for the fans who you do make online.

Above I had mentioned not to put out your first clip, but once you get into the hustle and grind of comedy, putting out material that is tested and ready to be retired is arguably a game-changer in a country where 99% of the population still hasn’t seen a comedy show live.

So make sure you get your stuff out there and don’t hold on to the past.


8) Dressing Like a Slob

One thing I’ve noticed as I get older is how I see myself in younger people.

And then I cringe at how stupid I was.

And then I laugh cause now they’re stupid and I’m probably only stupid to 40-year-olds.

But I get it bro.

  • You’re jaded in your middle-class lifestyle.
  • You’ve seen YouTube clips of Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, and Bill Burr and you think you got it all figured out.
  • Absorbing 30 years of their careers while smoking a joint with friends, you understand this comedy thing right?

And so a good chunk of you come to the shows or open mics, wearing slippers and looking like you just woke up. And if that was part of your routine (e.g. if dressing sloppy or looking stoned made your jokes better ) I would be all for it.

But in reality, let us call a spade a spade. You’re performing stand up comedy to a group of strangers because you obviously want to be there and you care about their opinion.

Hell, you need their opinion. Their validation (laughter) is your only metric of progress.

And since you’re a human being like the rest of us, you obviously want to do well. And since you admire the comedy greats who also looked like they didn’t care (even though that whole act is filmed in front of thousands of people with mega-million dollar budgets), you try to emulate it forgetting that everybody in the history of comedy calls their set “their act.”

Be yourself, be who you are, but unless your jokes are just so good and you have the fan following, don’t try to look worse than your audience. And on the flip side (I’m guilty here), don’t spend all your time doing your hair and wearing those designer jeans instead of practicing your jokes.

Praveen Kumar Biryani

9) Only Doing New Stuff

So many comics in India (and I don’t blame them) watch a Bill Burr or Louis CK or whoever and reverse engineer the process and churn out joke after joke at the same rate these guys do.

These folks spent twenty years building the ability to write a new hour each year, and while I’m sure it can be done easier this year with technology and the nature of entertainment, the mentality of quantity over quality can creep in.

I’ve seen newer comics who were so nervous to perform in Bombay because they had performed at the same venue six months ago, and they assumed it would be a 100 percent repeat audience and then proceeded to try out new jokes and tank horribly.

While you should always be writing new bits, you should recognize the lucky platforms you sometimes receive and not overthink the situation.

Even if there was 1 person out of 100 that saw you before, disappointing 1/00 with an old joke is better than bombing for 99/100 with new bits.

As more venues appear in the country, with more diversification in performers and audience alike, remember when to bring out your tried and tested material and when not to. In 2019 as I update this article, Canvas has shut in Mumbai and Habitat is the main comedy club there. If you have a viral clip performing there, then don’t perform those jokes again. But if you don’t, feel free.

A joke is also never finished, and repeating it for fresh faces over time gives you additional tags, ideas, and ways to make it better.

Mark Normand on When He Finishes a Joke

10) Using Hindi (e.g. When to do it)

The modern stand up comedy scene in India (which started almost entirely in English) is moving towards a more mixed/Hinglish model, and after years of seeing the evolution, it’s sort of time to accept it.

Best English Stand Up Comedy (Indian)

I didn’t grow up here so that obviously it doesn’t help me with my terrible NRI Hindi, but this is India and I have no right to crib about it.  Part of comedy is learning to accept things you can’t change, and in India, this is one for me. But it may be a strength for you so lean into it! (And also don’t get angry when your full Hindi set tanks in Chennai).

The point I’m trying to make is regional comedy is just getting started. Even the Comicstaan trailer’s I’m seeing online are almost all Hindi, even though a few of my friends judging it barely speak it.

I don’t know Hindi but I can write scripts/sketches in English that get translated, and well…sometimes that clicks more. (In this video Sumukhi did the translations after I typed it out in English). This was my first attempt doing Hindi and well, it blew up.

Earlier on most English stand up comedy venues in the country would ask the comics to focus on English, but after a while you realize, they’re just some things way funnier in Hindi. Or Tamil, or Kannada, or some mixture of it all.

If you get cut off in traffic you’re probably gonna think “Fu*king Chutiya” versus “Oh that jerk!” and as someone who has tried telling both versions on stage, I think you can see how an Indian audience would relate.  

Every country has its own style of stand up comedy that branches off in its own unique way from the art, so India is no different.  

In Delhi, Hindi is king, followed by a more mixed model in Bombay and I’d say in the South it’s still focused on English.

If you’re comfortable speaking in Hindi, then do that.  

If you mainly speak in English, then do that.  

But don’t be fake to yourself.  

A common theme over the last few years is to have a setup in English and then deliver the punchline in Hindi.

And boy oh boy, does it kill like anything when the joke is actually funny.  

So as you progress through and watch hundreds of comics, take stock how each person uses language to their benefit.  If you think in English and express yourself in Hindi slang, then, by all means, do it.  

But if you try to pander or lecture in one language or the other, the audience can often times see through your inauthenticity if that is not how you really speak.  

The beautiful part about India is since there is so much culture and people from all walks of life, people will enjoy your comedy in one style or another.  Just keep at it and play to your strengths.

Another side note is on swearing. If you have a joke that is about watchmen or elevators, and the only time you get a laugh is on using the MC or BC’s, ask yourself if the joke was actually funny or the audience just laughed on the adult stuff.


Stand up Comedy is not easy.

How to do stand up comedy in India
You left a high paying IT job to deal with stoners and slackers for this!

If you read the full article, I’m sure you know that by now.

I wrote an entire post as well about how to have a stand-up comedy career in India or anywhere that will probably get you even more sad.

But if you want it for the right reasons, and trust me, fame shouldn’t be one of them…you’ll be more famous than you can imagine. But with India, there is a boom so feel free to get in front of it.

It just might take 10 years or more!

Good luck!

Also, starting a podcast is a great way to move faster up the comedy ladder.

Read Next: Best Indian Podcasts in 2019 and How to Start One

How to Write a Joke (Beginner Stand Up Comedy)

It’s an exciting time to be a comedian in this country, and it’s only going to get massively bigger and bigger as comedy penetrates the tier two cities and people start voicing more opinions using humor to affect social change.  But the industry is still in its baby stages and has some amazing things ahead.  

I hope the above was helpful, and I’d like you to know I’ve made (and will probably repeat) all of the mistakes above.  So please let me know if I missed anything and/or you have any other feedback and happy open mic’ing.

sanjay manaktala comedy advice

Failure as a Comedian

Sanjay Manaktala is a stand-up comedian who was instrumental in starting the comedy scene in India when the UK Comedy store also entered the country in 2010. Since then he’s helped hundreds of comedians figure it out, and is also the host of the iTunes and Spotify charted Birdy Num Num podcast, because life begins after Engineering. In this post, he talks about the weekly struggle of comics who have to deal with doing badly on stage.

Updated: Jan 2019

As I write this post it’s 11PM on a Wednesday night.  

I’ve just returned home still wearing the suit I put on a few hours earlier when I was filled with hope and optimism.  Only now I’m about to toss it in the laundry bin and dub it my “bad luck suit.”  

This was probably my 200th corporate show, for a group of software managers, and man oh man….did I eat shit.

Bombing as a comedian is one of the worst parts of the job.

Corporate Shows can make or break you.

Stand Up Comedy Is Hard

Comedians are an interesting bunch in that we don’t really have any discernible talent.  

A musician can strum the guitar with immense precision, a singer or athlete have even more obvious gifts but with comedy (and part of the reason I got into it myself) the talent is less tangible.  After all, you’re just a guy on stage talking into a microphone.  

What could be so difficult?

So you give it a shot.  

You visit a local open mic, listen to the schmucks ahead of you and slowly start to feel those nerves tingle as your name gets closer to going up.  

Flash forward a few hours and eventually….

You bomb.

And you bomb some more.

And then you realize, as someone who has done this for close to six years now….you’re going to bomb a lot.

Comedy is by all accounts (based on the lexicon it uses) a very passionate profession.  Although it’s been said many times before, the proof is in the terms themselves.  When you do well you either “kill” or “destroy.”  Or as my friend Comedian Praveen Kumar once said when I asked him how his show was, “Machaaa, I killed but didn’t destroy.”

Inversely when you do badly you “died” or “bombed.”  

For the purposes of this post let’s just stick to “bombing” so this site gets flagged for all the wrong reasons.  And since I’m in a depressing place re-evaluating my career after my almost routine once-every-three-months shit-eating show tonight, let’s talk about it.

I’ve probably bombed on stage more than I’ve not bombed. 

I remember hearing a friends story about how he did so well his first few times on stage.  He hadn’t realized the reason was that a big chunk of his friends was supporting him from the audience, and the first night he performed without them he died hard.  

The promoter walked up to him, placed a hand on his shoulder and said “Congrats bro.  Now you’re a comedian.”


Bombing is as much a part of being a comedian as going to the gym is for an athlete.  

It’s completely normal, expected and happens to everyone, from the first time performer to Chris Rock testing out new bits.  The problem with comedy is that you need an audience to practice.  In fact, the game itself is the practice.  

A musician can practice a song a 1000 times before making it flawless, and the same is true for various other art forms.  

But with comedy, your mistakes happen live and in real-time.  

What might be funny amongst a group of friends or as a really popular tweet, will not be verified or shut down until you do it live for a group of strangers.  

No matter what shortcuts you try the sooner you accept bombing as a routine hazard of the job the sooner you take steps to minimize the pain and maximize the benefits of not doing well.

STORY: In Bangalore, we’ve had a room Praveen and I started four years ago at Urban Solace (a small friendly coffee shop) in which we’d perform for two people.  


Now the room is run weekly with a steady audience and you know what?

A majority of comics who have graduated through that room went on to do wonderful things and continue to do so.  

Early in our planning we could have thought, “Nobody comes here, this is a waste of time.”  But instead, night after night, week over week, we figured out it wasn’t the audience not wanting to support us, but it was the comedians not knowing how to hold the audience’s attention.  

And eventually, week after week, year after year, things turned around.  Come by any Wednesday, and see a comedy scene in full bloom, with years of history now behind it.

Perry Menzies runs a great room.

Good shows make you good.  Bad shows make you better.  Shitty shows make you great. 

A pilot doesn’t spend most of his training flying the plane on autopilot, and a well-seasoned comedian has likely spent way more of his or her time dealing with crap than reveling in fan appreciation about how funny their blowjob story was.  

Whether it’s building the thick skin needed to deal with hecklers, bartenders using blenders, crowd noise or trying to convince 50 drunks who prefer to watch sports that their first tinder date story is much more interesting, a comedian must be ready to deal with anything.  

Back to the pilot analogy, I’m going to assume that 80% of a pilot’s training isn’t on autopilot but on what to do when things go wrong and comedy is exactly the same.  

When you watch a comedian like a Bill Burr or Louis CK talk about women or traveling, they didn’t just magically get selected as the random white dude to talk about these things for a collective conscious.  

They’ve dealt with all of the above and then some, night after night and have masterfully figured out a way to deliver a message through a swarm of drunk and apprehensive message blockers that have earned them the stage and audience they command.

Bombing for a comic is like Training Day. Man that pun was the bomb. Ok sorry.
Bombing for a comic is like Training Day. Man that pun was the bomb. Ok sorry.

When you bomb as a comedian, you overcome quite a few things.  

  • Stage fright.  
  • Ego.
  • Course correction.  
  • You leave the stage feeling like a pile of dirt, but after a few hours or days, you quickly realize it’s not the end of the world and regroup.

 It builds the mental fortitude necessary to survive in this business of constant rejection and swings and misses.  All of the above is realized much much faster of course if you can learn from it properly and….

Disarm the Bomb and Get on With It

It’s comforting to know that bombing is commonplace, and everyone bombs.  

It makes going through this comedy journey a lot easier, no matter what stage you’re currently in.  But understanding why you bombed, uff….that’s easier said than done.  

Was I too nervous? Too fast? Too slow? Was it the audience? Were the jokes too dirty or not dirty enough?  

These are all questions you’ll ask yourself with fellow comedians at 1AM in some dingy restaurant eating unhealthy food as you wallow in self-pity.  

But they’re extremely helpful in making you a better comedian.  As you answer these questions one by one, you learn to spot the causes of these issues at all future shows and eventually, you bomb less.  Let’s take a look at each:

1) Were you too nervous? Or too fast/slow?

I still get nervous, even after over 1000+ times on stage.  

Maybe I’m performing in a new country and not sure if they’ll get my references, or the show is being filmed, or the jokes are just too new and I’m not confident enough in their delivery.  

Or that girl I like is in the audience and it’s going to chip away at my timing and pacing since I’ll be checking her reactions to see if I’m winning her over, which I’m so clearly not.  Either way, it’s another part of the job.  

One of the easiest ways to spot this during your act is to notice if you’re stuttering or mumbling your words.  

The more you do this, the audience subconsciously loses faith in your setups and your timing suffers.  Another way to spot this (and learn from it) after the fact is by recording your set.  A comic once told me that they film each performance and watch/listen to it immediately in traffic on the drive home.  

When you do this, especially after an open mic, you’re actually performing twice that night (the logic being since you were most likely going to perform the exact same routine the next open mic night, you’ve done this by listening to yourself and now you’re going to adjust on the next show).   Plus we have so much time before and after a show as comedians, not watching your set is almost inexcusable since you’re sitting there waiting to go up anyways. (Same is true for not memorizing your set and going up with a piece of paper, but more on that another time).

2) Was it the Audience’s Fault?


I live in India, a place that sometimes can feel like 30 countries mashed together each with different languages, foods, customs and a whole slew of unique comic references depending on which state you’re in.  

Punjabi’s may like a certain type of jokes, South Indians might prefer another type, and then the foreigners in the crowd are just happy they’ve found a place that is crowded and not on lonely planet.  

And despite all of that, I’m here to remind you again, IT’S NEVER THE AUDIENCE.

2M views on this video and I still get 10% of hate from people who just didn’t like it. That’s just more for me to learn, not to complain about.

I’ve done shows with my super American accent, in Hyderabad, for 400 Canon salesmen who didn’t speak a word of English.  

If you don’t believe me, the video is here.  

And man oh man, was that a bad show.  

But despite everything,  it’s never really their fault.

 They’re just a group of people who happened to be together at a given intersection of time and space (Star Trek reference woo woo) and you happen to be the comic.  

It might not be the perfect audience, but early in your career, you will see very hostile or quiet rooms get turned around in almost magical fashion by a comic who is up for the challenge and knows what he or she is doing.

Maybe all your jokes are about sex and dating and the audience is filled with Aunties & Uncles.

Or maybe you do a whole set on corporate life and marriage and you’re catering to a bunch of 16-year-old college-bound kids who know nothing aside from Game of Thrones and video games.  

Either way, your job is to make a group of strangers laugh and until you command a huge theater of fans who are identical to you, you first need to learn how to make them all laugh.  

Take any show you can get and be ready for any crowd.  Try to perform for people who aren’t like you and watch the other comedians who are performing and take stock of what works.  

Not blaming the audience is the first step towards correctly reading the audience.  

And being able to read the audience (e.g. Do they want dirty jokes? Are they tired of dirty jokes?  Maybe they don’t care about jokes but love the crowd work, etc..) is one of the most important skills in your comedy arsenal.

3) Maybe you just sucked bro.

It’s important to make friends as you push through the ranks.  

Also: New to Comedy: Make Friends To Survive

They help you enjoy the highs and march through the lows.  

And as comedians, we have a lot of fun doing it.  Before tonight it had been a few months since my last good bombing when I performed in Surat with comedy friend Vipul Goyal.  

The crowd wasn’t ideal for me and I didn’t scan them enough to realize that.  I don’t speak Hindi but I could have done stuff that was a bit more in line with their lives rather than stretch the references to see if they got it.

After a less than stellar performance, I walked backstage and Vipul asked me (with an evil smirk hiding behind his curiosity) “How was the show?”  I told him it was alright, and that at least I had fun.  

To which he replied “Nice, but the audience should have fun too no?”

Stupid bastard.

Either way, it’s helpful to remember that in comedy you’re always learning as you go.  

You will have different types of bombs as you progress through your journey: 

  • The new material bomb,
  • the nervous on a new stage bomb,
  • the on-purpose open mic bomb, whatever it might be.  

But more often than not, it will be because the joke isn’t funny.  

Remember this, and keep reworking your act.  

When a joke works 9/10 times you can be sure the joke is fine and it’s just a matter of finding the right crowd.  But if you’ve done it twice and it bombs on a real show…it could just as easily still be the joke and you simply lucked out those first two times.

Some Final Thoughts

The best comedians have really good bomb stories, and that’s part of the reason they’re revered as the best comedians.  When it happens to you, just remember it as another part of the job.  

Embrace it with a smile on your face and thank your lucky stars it’s happening now than when Seinfeld is in the audience, and you’ll be ok.  

Some other pointers I didn’t get a chance to talk about:

  1. Don’t focus on the one guy not laughing to the extent it takes away from those who are laughing with you.  Disappointing 10 percent is better than disappointing 90 percent.
  2. Cut it short and deal with it.  Watching a comic unravel on stage is not pleasant for anyone.  If you’re bombing, finish your set early.  Give the emcee adequate signs (e.g. Put the mic stand near the center of the stage) and wrap it up, ending hopefully on whatever laugh you can muster.
  3. Get back up on stage as soon as possible.  Whenever I bomb, I quickly try to find an open mic later in the night I can go “wash off the bomb.”  It helps my mind get back to a positive place and resets the comedy heart to deal with the career again.

Enjoy your comedy journey and happy bombing.

Bangalore comedy audience

Why Most Comedians Quit

Stand up comedy is a very interesting art form in that to the casual observer it appears anybody can do it.  

You’re a human with a microphone, talk for 30 minutes and you move on after selfies and adulation.

However, as we’ve all learned in life… if it’s too good to be true then it probably is.

And stand up is no exception.

Comedians in Bangalore Hummingtree
Share the stage but share a lot more.

There is nothing funny about the funny business and comic after comic will tell you it’s a grueling journey that only the strong survive. Like a soldier going to war, the ties that bind are the ones that help you make it or break it.  

How do I survive doing stand up comedy?

How do you survive your first five years in stand up comedy? The simple fact is that you need to make friends in this business to have the patience to stick it out.

I’m not talking about kissing ass or only hanging out with people who can give you social media clout or book you on shows. I’m talking about:

  • buddies you waste 4 hours with doing a show for 2 people who don’t pay attention
  • fellow comics who will tell you if a joke has scope or legs to stand on
  • people who want to grow and put in the work on video editing, social media, film making
  • people who don’t just want to bitch and drink and moan about who slept with or who got what spot, (although those gossip conversations do help you alleviate some stress when things don’t click which normally they don’t)

Comedy is Networking Whether you Like it or Not

Most comedians are either introverts who think if they just write jokes the rest will fall into place OR extroverts who think if they just hang out and make friends, the gigs will fall into place.

Very few comedians are both, and that’s where the sweet spot is.

A guitarist can be an introvert and then just toss up a YouTube video and show the world how awesome he is…but YOU need to the same thing with your jokes AND get out in front of the public or producer and get your stuff recorded.

That takes social skills, my friend.

Just like you can’t climb the corporate ladder without attending a few office functions or simply being a friendly face amongst your peers, you can’t grow as a comedian if you don’t learn how to scale.

I myself am so used to booking rooms, running marketing, helping others, managing my career and doing other things but you need to learn to let people do things for you. They will mess up, you will know you could have done it better yourself but you need to build a web of people because I got something to tell you:

Most comedians who book rooms or shows aren’t actively wondering about who will kill the most. They just think about the last 10 comics they interacted with who have a solid 20 minutes (should be most of you after 5 years) and then dig deeper if required.

Also, friends, networking and an innate sense of human nature around relationships (both professional and social) are what keeps most of us in it for the long haul.  We grow together, we cry together, and ironically, we laugh together.

The irony of our profession is that while you’re one man or woman on stage, you probably need a team off of it.


How do I make Friends in Comedy?

Comedians tend to grow up in classes similar to your batch mates in college or high school that you make your way through life’s milestones with.  

The group of comics who you started performing with from dingy little coffee shops to those better shows at bars and ultimately paid shows are the ones you’ll become close with.  

Your pain and constant effort to improve becomes the shared experiences your working group of comics will never forget.  

  • You slowly start to depend on each other as writing buddies,
  • you hang out and bond over those long hours before a set,
  • and when it’s all said and done you dissect the game plan on what worked and what didn’t over a few cold ones.
  • Post-show bonding is one of my favorite aspects of comedy because your mind is already firing on all cylinders anyway.

Most importantly if you spend enough time with someone you start to trust them.  

You trust if they hear about a good show they will refer you and vice versa.

You trust if they perform before you or you before them, you will do a good job warming up the crowd and be grateful for the opportunity they’re extending your way hopefully to return the favor in the future.  

Quid pro quo which exists amongst our friends in their more traditional professional service jobs is also an unwritten rule in comedy.  

Just like your old college flatmate may help you get that dream job at Google or Facebook, the comic generally never forget their pals while moving up the ranks.

Nobody Is Out to Get You

I hate to break it to you but you’re not that important.

Not even to hold a grudge against.

Comedians love to call out the world but never call out themselves.

One of the misconceptions that occasionally occurs in the stand-up comedy world and also contributes to people giving it a try and then quitting is that they aren’t part of the “cool” crowd.  

They come from nowhere to an open mic, wait a few hours, tell a few jokes that don’t go so well, and then disappear never to be seen on stage again.

These people then think nobody laughed at them because they weren’t pals with the host or some other childish but understandable reason, get discouraged and move on.  

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately?) this is far from reality.  

As a host of several events myself, this is the last thing on the host or organizer’s mind.  

He or she is simply providing a platform for his or herself and others and is trying to move a quality show onwards while giving everybody a fair shake. We’re all vulnerable and far from apathetic, and the kid who that person may have seen us being chummy with could have been the same person that got booed off the stage a year earlier.  

It’s just that these people continue to show up, put in an effort, and like a coworker that grows on you over the months and years, this new performer starts to become a part of the struggling family.

They’re so many comics I’ve seen grow up who used to annoy me all the time, but I can’t help but want to help them when they keep showing up to put in the work.  

The best advice I’ve heard given to any performer is simply “show Up.”

Bangalore comedy audience
These guys don’t care how well connected you are. They just care about a good time that evening and if the opener was late and you’re manning the camera, a good host will ask you to do 5-10 mins.

You never know who will cancel, or be late with traffic, or need help with something and how that inconvenience could be a blessing in disguise for you.  

We’ve all been beginners and remembering that on a daily basis from the fresh faces that show up, the last thing we intentionally do (at least most of us) is hinder an aspiring beginner from even getting started.

It’s just too much work to be a dick to someone on purpose. So stop being insecure and just keep your head down and do your shit.

You Will Still Meet Jerks

While the majority of comedians operate in the manner above, you do also meet people in this industry who may be polar opposites.  

They see other performers and those in the business of comedy as mere stepping stones.  

These people pay lip service to get a show or two in the beginning but in the end, it may simply about them and what they do, and they would be damned about making lasting friendships in their chosen creative profession.

Some want to be famous actors, some want to do YouTube, others just want to get laid.

Whatever it is, it doesn’t affect you and your journey, so again, suck it up.

This is probably true of life in general.  

While I’d love to say karma has a way of course-correcting these selfish folk it’s not a guarantee and I’ve learned shouldn’t really be something on your bucket list.  

Finally, as you get older in your comedy journey the phrase it’s not who you know but what you know becomes a little less relevant.  

Luckily for the comic, no matter who you know, ultimately the judge of your worth will come from the audience who in the beginning cares entirely about the opposite.  They judge you on what you say while on the stage and how they feel about it.  But the chance to make it on the stage first is where relationships in comedy gain such significance why it was worth talking about here.

So many comics wonder about what other comedians think of them while forgetting what the audience might think of them.


Comedy isn’t easy but like going to war or being in medical school, knowing your not alone is what makes it a lot easier. You still need to nail your final exam and score highly all by yourself, but the rest of the time you need to find a way to study with others.

After years of doing this profession, building up a scene and having my own ups and downs I would suggest the best way for you to survive in this business, and this is for completely selfish reasons…is to just work hard and be nice to everyone you meet.

I know it’s a bit ironic, but you’re begging strangers to hear you talk, so any ego you had should have been dropped the second you thought about doing this.

Questions or comments? Agree or Disagree? Hit me up on my Instagram or comment below.

ALSO SEE: How to Do Stand Up Comedy in Any Country

praveen kumar comedian

Comedian Takes Photo with Mic In Hand

34-year-old Infosys employee Comedian Praveen Rao recently changed his Facebook profile photo to a shot of him holding a microphone, NDTV reported late Thursday evening.

The incident sent shockwaves to Praveen’s 754 Facebook friends who were completely unaware the Masters in Engineering student from a leading US university had turned his hobby into a profession.

Praveen performs at an open mic with a broken mic.

“This totally changes everything.  When I saw the pic of Praveen holding the Shure SM58 microphone in a dimly lit coffee shop I thought wow, he’s finally turned pro.  There must have been at least 12, maybe 15 people in that audience.  NOT COMICS,” remarked Nivi Arora, who was in the cafe to catch up with friends and had no idea there was a comedy show.

The Pulitzer prize winning photo was captured by amateur photographer and college student Shunky Sharif, himself an aspiring comedy enthusiast.

“I was just really excited I got the focus and dedication in his face as he delivered that line about cheap Gujarati uncles.  Fu*king edgy stuff” Shunky remarked while packing his camera into the seat of his Activa.  “I was hoping Praveen would return the favor and take a photo of me, but I guess I’ll just leave my DP as the shot of me holding my DSLR looking into a mirror.”

“I really like that one,” he added.

The photo was uploaded at 10:42AM IST and immediately accumulated 74 likes and 13 comments, the success of which was attributed to the insanely insightful caption “FOLLOWING YOUR DREAM TAKES GUTS!”  

A slew of supporters left encouraging remarks such as “Way 2 Go” and “All d best macha.”  

Praveen’s uncle Suman Hinduja also contributed to the career-defining milestone with a game-changing “Superb Snap.”

Praveen's older profile pics did not hold microphones.
Praveen’s older profile pics did not hold microphones.

“Thanks Uncle…Looks like SRK and Russell Peter (singular) has competition!” replied Praveen, immediately liking his uncle’s comment as well as his own.

“Hey check it out, it’s Louis OK!” added jaded comedian Sanjay Manaktala, who then received more likes on his comment than Praveen’s entire post.

At 11AM the photo started trending on major social media sites, albeit with a tad bit of controversy when fans of the twice-on-stage comic pointed out proper photo credit attribution was not given to Shunky for pressing the shutter button.

“Ahem, *cough cough*, nice pic” remarked one supporter, Kritarth Banerjee.

Sources confirmed the caption was later updated to include “PC: Shunky” and believe Praveen will be using this photo for years to come in all future comedy business, once a high-resolution version has been mailed to him for which he will pester the photographer until received.

At press time it was believed Praveen was opening up a Facebook fan page while torrenting a series of comedy specials from Bill Burr and George Carlin.