From Coonoor to Bangalore, Shankar Chugani has come a long way. Performing pan India for over 5 years now, Shankar is a widely recognised comic, who’s pretty active in Bangalore comedy circuit. He has even performed for massive audiences in Mumbai, Chennai, and Pune. You can very often catch him performing live in Bangalore open mics. He added a feather in his hat when he got featured in Amazon Prime’s Comicstaan. It’s a huge deal! Chugani’s style of comedy is observational and is known to weave stories to keep the audience engaged. His energy levels are contagious. Humour Sapiens got into a tête-à-tête with Shankar Chugani. Know more about this talented comic here.
1. How did you develop interest in stand-up comedy? What was your first stage experience like?
When I was 20 years old, I started watching Stand-up Comedy, so much that I wasn’t watching anything else at one point. I looked up Indian stand-up comics and that’s how it all started. My first time was addictive. Before I went to the venue, I told my colleagues the jokes I was going to perform and no one laughed. Then I went to the venue, puked in the restroom just before going up on stage and it didn’t go as bad. I had people laughing at one point. I kept returning to the stage.
2. How has the journey been so far? Were there any challenges that you had to face?
It’s been good. There have been ups and downs. There’s so much more to achieve and a lot of do that it feels like we’ve just started, and by we I mean, me and my comedic genius. There have been challenges, in mostly understanding what’s funny. That’s such a huge challenge! It’s paramount.
3. What was the reaction of your family when they got to know about your encounter with stand-up comedy?
I didn’t tell them that I was serious about it until I finished 2 years. Initially the conversations involved it being a hobby. But over time they gave up.
4. Any take on regional comedy?
It’s incredible to perform in a regional language and it’s only going to get bigger.
5. Any experience with annoying audience member?
Too many to pen down. But I’ve mostly the memory of either making them laugh eventually or shutting them up if they said something or yelled at the top of my voice at them in a restroom in my mind.
6. Any bombing moment you’d like to share?
Again, so many. My first time performing outdoors where no one was paying attention. The wind blew and the back drop fell on stage almost crushing me and I had everyone’s attention for 3 seconds and then they went back to ignoring me. Oh! Such memories are precious.
7. Who is your favourite comic?
There are many. George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Patrice O Neal, Bill Burr.