Hailing from Assam, Pronoy Chowdhury is an aspiring comic. He has been staying in Bangalore since his graduation days. Currently, he works in the healthcare industry as a medical writer. Pronoy is short but not short of humour. Apart from being a performer, he as well, fancies himself as a humour writer and writes to satisfy his comedy cravings. Humour Sapiens got into Tête-à-Tête with Pronoy Chowdhury. Read on!
How did you get into comedy?
I always had a knack for humour. However, I was not aware of the comedy scene in India. I was fascinated by the fact that people have taken comedy as a profession. The only comedians I knew were Russell Peters, Jerry Seinfeld, Rowan Atkinson, Ellen DeGeneres and the great Jim Carey. I followed more of Indian comedy back in my school days and used to love “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge”. That was the only platform that I was aware of. I started YouTubing more in 2013, and I came across the channels “The Viral Fever” and “All India Bakchod”. TVF and AIB used to make spoofs/sketches and I loved them. I became a religious follower. I started writing funny one-liners and stuff and shared on social media. The first few stand-up videos I had seen were of Amit Tandon, Zakir Khan, and Jeeveshu Ahluwalia. I could relate to the jokes, which led to me watching one after the other. In 2015, I witnessed the Weirdass Comedy Festival live in Bangalore with 20 hilarious comics in the lineup.
It was then, that I decided to hit the stage someday. I happened to find out about the open mics. I did my first open mic in November 2016. However, for me to get on-stage again, I took 8 months (courtesy: JOB). I switched my job to focus on comedy as well. Since July 2017, I have been on stage every week working and struggling to find the funny stuff.
What are the challenges that you have faced?
Though I am a writer, but a budding comedy writer. I take time to build jokes, which unfortunately end up being non-funny sometimes. That’s the most challenging part. Some of my peers are better writers than me and I am striving hard to reach that level, and go beyond. Hopefully, I will.
Also, the number of people performing at open mics has exponentially increased over the years. Another challenge has always been to find stage time. Even if we find stage, we seldom see audience.
Your key achievements?
In a short span of a year, I am not sure of any achievements. Whenever a joke works, I feel accomplished that I could connect to the audience. However, I have performed for 80-200 people at different instances and I did manage to make them happy. That certainly motivates me to write better jokes. Even then, it’s a long road to travel and I hope I achieve the goal of making people laugh and have a good time on stage.
Any bombing moments?
The first few bombing moments were disheartening and then I got used to it. I feel that this art will always keep you grounded. I bombed at an open mic where the audience just stared at me and all I could manage was 5 minutes of silence. One of the worst evenings of my stage life. I was so apologetic that I went to each one of them and said sorry after the show. I know there will be more such experiences and I am working on how to get back the audience in those situations.
Experiences with annoying audience members?
I can give it in writing, that in every show there will be one. I was hosting one of the open mics and there was a guy who proclaimed to be a journalist. He started heckling us comedians, and we had to give him back by taking a jibe at him. By the end of the show, he had given up and was listening to the jokes. But, he never laughed. He was annoyed to such an extent, that he forced his partner not to laugh either.
In another show, a couple of ladies were not letting us narrate the jokes and were getting offended at everything we said. We made them understand that these jokes are on us and not on them, and they can relax. They eventually left the venue and we had a great show after that.