Risha and Mani’s ‘Fit For Joking’ is relatable and funny!

The comedians are absolutely fit for joking, as we found out in a candid conversation with the duo
Risha Rajas and K S Narayanaswamy aka Mani
Risha Rajas and K S Narayanaswamy aka Mani

Risha and Mani are two close friends on a mission to make you laugh and become ‘famous’. Since their childhood, both of them tried “many things” to get known, including cricket. “But nothing worked out,” says Mani, laughing and adding, “Until we finally discovered comedy. We fit into nothing till we started doing mic opens and realised, fortunately, we fit into comedy!”

That’s how the title for their show Fit For Joking (with the word ‘Nothing’ struck out) was born. It was during the Covid, when both of them found a lot of free time (just like all of us) and didn’t know what to do. “We started watching standup shows. We had just begun doing open mics when Covid happened, so we had to take our material online and entertain people. After things went back to normal, Risha and I started performing together,” says Mani, to which Risha adds, “And we want to keep performing together for another one or two years.”

While Risha’s jokes are observational, Mani’s is more of anecdotal storytelling/comedy. “We mostly talk about all things related to teens and early 20s,” says Risha. From dating problems, college issues to career choices, the duo can make every ordinary conversation into a joke. “If you watch our show, you know us. Period,” says Mani. Curious, we ask him to tell us a joke, and he is quick to respond. “Once you are 21 years of age, you shouldn’t borrow money from your parents. They have looked after you for so long! Now that I am above 24, I don’t borrow from my parents. I steal,” says Mani. “There, you know something about me now,” he adds.

Based on observations, Risha likes to bring in political angle as well into his comedy. “I try to merge a lot of genres together — political, cinematic, sports, cars and bikes. Talking about sports, IPL is here, so I am adding a few jokes around that too,” the artiste tells us.

Risha Rajas and K S Narayanaswamy aka Mani
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Risha, who is 23, went to an engineering college and says, “I am a mechanical engineer, so there are a lot of jokes on that to, which people love.” Giving us an example of how he merges different genres in his material, Risha says, “People are insecure about their partners, but they want to show their partners off in public, right? If you ask a couple at a stand-up show, they will be like, ‘We are not a couple. She is my brother’s sister! I don’t understand what kind of Game of Thrones s*** is this!”

He adds, “There is this common phrase — brothers from another mother. I don’t understand that either! The only example of brothers from another mother I know of is Stalin and Kanimozhi.”

Both Risha and Mani, like all other upcoming standup comedians, want to take a plunge into doing this full-time. “But there is still time for that,” they say, adding, “Right now, we are only focussed on making our comedy better with every show.”

Risha Rajas and K S Narayanaswamy aka Mani
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Talking about why they chose to do their comedy in Tamil (Tanglish actually), Risha says, “We are from Chennai and we can crack jokes best in Tamil. That said, we do break into English.”

Before we end the conversation, we ask both of them what their full names are. While Risha tells us it’s Risha Rajas, Mani says, “Oh! My name is too big — KS Narayanaswamy. And, of course, I have a lot of jokes on that!”

Tickets at Rs 300.

March 23, 4 pm.

At Idam, Kodambakkam.

Email: rupam@newindianexpress.com

X: @rupsjain

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