Comics Nirmal Pillai and Abishek Kumar, want the best of both worlds — digital content and live shows

Biryani and a live show    

author_img Shreya Veronica Published :  24th February 2022 04:57 PM   |   Published :   |  24th February 2022 04:57 PM
Nirmal Pillai and Abishek Kumar . ( File Photo)

Nirmal Pillai and Abishek Kumar . ( File Photo)

Comedians Nirmal Pillai and Abishek Kumar grew popular over the past two years for their relatable South Indian content.

The funny duo is all set to perform in Hyderabad for the first time on February 25 at Rangbhoomi, Gachibowli. Ahead of their show, they share with CE about all they have up their sleeve.

On being in the city for the first time, Nirmal says, “We’re primarily here for the biryani. Our show is secondary. We will be having the delicacy for breakfast, lunch and dinner (laughs.) Jokes apart, we are looking forward to performing for the Hyderabadi crowd because it’s a new audience and we always love to walk into a room of new people who aren’t familiar with our work. A lot of our followers are Hyderabadis, so we know they come with a hoard of expectations, we hope to meet them.”

Revealing a little about the format of their upcoming show, Nirmal says, “The first 70 per cent of the show will have each of us perform individually, and then we perform together towards the end. It is all crowd work, so nothing is scripted, it’s all on the spot! It depends on our interaction with the audience, and we’re hopeful of a good show, because we’ve heard so much about how warm, open, and welcoming the city is to artists.”

Probably, one of the most important qualities a comic will have to possess is confidence. While Nirmal and Abhishek come across like they have bags and bags of it all, they say it’s far from the truth.

“We freak out before every single show of ours, but once we get on stage, the first laugh or clap we hear eases us down. In fact, when you’ve prepped with material for your set, you know how it would turn out, but for crowd work, one has no clue. But we’re hoping the anxiety won’t kill us,” Abishek says.

Minting content and garnering views on social media and producing laughs through a live show are poles apart, the duo says. “Our biggest challenge was to sell tickets, it proved we are funny enough. Hitting a balance between social media numbers and content quality was important to us. It’s heartwarming to see people from different city book tickets for our show.”

Abishek counts the pandemic as their biggest blessing that pushed them to produce the best content. “When no live shows were happening, we resorted to Zoom shows which didn’t go the way we’d wanted them to. We then took to creating content on social media and the sudden love and fame have been overwhelming. The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for us; it gave us more time to sit down and create better content digitally and converted our numbers for our live shows as well.”

Talking about their camaraderie helps their content, Abishek says, “When we get together, all we work on is narrowing down on a topic or premise. Once done, we just let the camera roll, with no script in hand. We choose the final videos from over 20-40 takes.”  Saying they don’t want to just be two guys doing reels, they hope to strike a balance between live shows and digital content.