Here's why comedian Naveen Richard's new show on Amazon Prime Video is relatively relatable
Writer-comedian Naveen Richard explores the theme of empathy in his new stand-up special, Relatively Relatable
Naveen Richard has made a mark on the Indian comedy scene with his unadulterated humour. He avoids the double entendre, there’s nothing below the belt, and it’s just pure comedy. However, it can get a bit acerbic at times. But then, who doesn’t like that little dose of acidic remarks and provoking insights?
In his latest stand-up special, Naveen Richard — Relatively Relatable on Amazon Prime, the comedian presents a one-hour set that explores identifiable anecdotes from his life. “In my first special, I wanted to experiment with the idea of comedy, but I didn’t get to put out as much as I wanted to. I kept thinking, I should have fooled around with it a lot more. But I don’t think I was ready,” says Naveen.
The comic feels his new show is more entertaining and that a lot more people will watch it again for its experimental format. He says, “In my second special, I have taken a slightly weirder route and I have also played with the format. In the middle, the show cuts to my cousin Xavier Pandian (Naveen’s alter-
ego) and he gets 10 minutes. It is a completely different location, and is a different style of comedy. Everything about the show is totally relatable. I wanted people to laugh without a reason. I didn’t want them to think about the ‘nuances or opinions’, I just wanted them to laugh.”
From jokes about surprise birthday parties and why he doesn’t like them, to insights on how a cockroach reacts when it spots a human, Naveen has gone all out in his choice of strange topics, while making his content relatable. “My comedy is a mix of observational and personal anecdotal stuff. I talk about why I hate birthday parties in a relatable way. I don’t like it how people come into your house when you are not there and vandalise the walls with sticking tape. Later, I am the one left removing the tape and trying to figre out how to get the balloons down from the ceiling (when the party is over). I know people like relatable jokes, but I push these joke to make them funny,” he offers.
While it may appear that Naveen is just talking about the lighter side of life, and coming up with jokes on silly things, the comedian clarifies, there’s more to his set. Although he doesn’t like the idea of working with a theme, for Relatively Relatable, he worked with empathy as the premise. “I believe that the whole world is lacking in kindness and empathy. Maybe, we were always lacking it, but now, it has gotten worse. Today, everyone is either leaning towards the left or the right, is a either a liberal or a conservative. I don’t understand how one can hate another person, especially when they have spent significant time together. When you spend so much time, you find something in common, but people just dismiss it. I have tried to tie this idea together,” he explains.
Naveen’s special comes at a time when the world is staring at a pandemic and everyone is practising social distancing. The comedian hopes his humour offers a breather during this period when gloom is looming large. “I wrote this special much before the COVID-19 outbreak. But it released at a time when tensions are running high across the world. When I was writing and shooting it, I just wanted to make a special that would give the audience an hour of escape and make them laugh. I hope that people feel nice and warm from within after watching it,” he signs off.
A comedian’s take
If not a comedian, what would you be?
I would be an explorer or a journalist with NatGeo magazine.
What are the three things you want to complete before this year ends?
I want to write my first movie screenplay, I want to put out some music, and I want to create another show.
What is the best part of being a celebrity?
The best thing about being a known face is when someone strikes up a conversation, saying they have seen my show. It usually happens on flights. I just start talking and like to have fun with it.
What’s the first thing you notice about a girl?
I don’t know, you should ask my friends. They know me better...
Any shows you are addicted to?
Formula 1: Drive to Survive and Sex Education.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Adventurous, affable and naïve.
Naveen Richard — Relatively Relatable is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.