Stand-up comedian Manoj Prabakar brings his solo special, I Tried, to Kochi
If you’re looking to improve your vocabulary range of expletives, check out this artiste’s Instagram page. No, Manoj Prabakar doesn’t churn out racy content. In fact, those who are heading for the Kochi debut of his stand-up special, I Tried, will notice that he also refuses to depend on profanity-filled punchlines.
This Chennaiite’s approach to self-referential humour—as is apparent on his YouTube videos which have amassed millions of views—is fairly clean and observational. However, the comment sections on all his social media profiles are riddled with verbal abuse, often in multiple languages.
Off the mic
This brutal tirade, which eventually escalated to threatening calls to family and friends, is a clear indicator that some people misconstrue content and take comedy too seriously.
“It started almost a year ago, after a video of me joking about a Tamil/Telugu movie called Spyder went viral,” reveals Manoj, elaborating, “The bit, which revolved around actor Mahesh Babu, was shot at a show called AcaDummy Awards—akin to Hollywood’s Razzies or Bollywood’s Ghanta Awards. It was supposed to be a humourous dig at Tamil cinema’s box-office flops of 2017, but the actor’s fans took offence.”
Nevertheless, opting to issue a video apology, the software engineer-turned-comedian continued to work on new material which tackles everything from personal stories like his school life and traumatic surgeries to broader subjects like family and hyperconnectivity.
After spending over four years sharpening his timing, delivery, and source material, Manoj is finally touring across India with his show. “I originally wanted to become a screenwriter till I happened on videos of Ismo Leikola, a Finnish stand-up comedian. Despite being from the West, his material was extremely relatable and hilarious. Then, I experienced my first live stage show featuring Praveen Kumar, and I got hooked on to the art,” he explains.
Much like every other stand-up enthusiast, he started out with open mics and moved on with group shows. “Yet, I was still working in the IT industry at the time. Last year, I made the decision to do this full-time and see what happens. Things are great so far as I’ve performed I Tried across seven cities including Mumbai and Bengaluru,” concludes Manoj, who will be heading to Trichy and Madurai after Kochi.
On April 14. `250 onwards.
At Chai Cofi, Kaloor.