Standup artiste Nitin Mirani talks about his style of glocal comedy
It’s surprising when an artiste who’s performed at over 3,000 venues around the world remembers his only show in Kochi. Probably because an unexpected incident—involving a kid tripping over a wire and disrupting the sound system—led to closer interactions with the audience.
As we speak to Nitin Mirani before his upcoming show in the city, we realise that this conversational nature of his shows is what won him accolades including the fourth position in the renowned Laugh Factory’s Funniest Person in the World competition in Las Vegas.
“My comedy is more of a dialogue than a monologue. I love involving my audience in my acts and try to create moments on the spot,” says Nitin Mirani, who believes in ‘glocal’ comedy, as showcased in his opening set for Trevor Noah (The Daily Show) in 2017.
Working the room
Nobody rises to perform at one of the world’s most popular comedy clubs—which has hosted stars like Jim Carrey and Dave Chappelle—in a single day. It’s been nearly a decade since Nitin shifted to doing stand-up from a multitude of nine-to-five jobs.
“Being an expat in Dubai, I have dabbled in every industry including clothes, music, and real estate,” informs the comedian, not forgetting to drop a tinge of his humour, “I do feel that it’s still a 9-5 (job), but now it starts at 9 pm.”
Keeping the office-going millennials on his mind, he designed the idea of Laugh Your Assets Off; a programme which offers tailor-made sets for corporate clients.
On stage, Nitin juggles with his multiple identities giving people a sneak peek into his personal life. “Being a Sindhi raised in Dubai, all I do is talk about who I am and how it’s been for me so far, and the people I have met,” says the entertainer, who’s won the Esquire Middle East Comedian Of The Year award.
He winds up saying that he’ll talk about Indian habits and parents, and also titbits from his travels to Asia in Kochi.
Q. There are many IITians in Indian standup comedy scene. What do you think is happening?
A. They have figured out that Comedians can never become IITians so they are safe and cause being a comedian is the IT thing.
Q. On rich Indians pulling frauds on banks and going on lifelong vacations
A. ICICI….But, I don’t do anything about it.
Q. A girl's wink won her 3.5 million followers on Instagram. What do you think is mantra for viral online content?
A. The mantra is simple WINK then post the LINK. All ADAAR-s can wait.
Q. A farmer uses Sunny Leone’s image to avert ‘bad eye’. What would you use?
A. If it works for him, I guess I might give it a try too. Because you know what they say “Make HAY while the SUN-ny Shines”.
Q. Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee said Indian women who can’t tie saris should be ashamed. Thoughts?
A. I’m pretty sure Sabyasachi is regretting his comment but it’s “TOO LATE NOW TO SAY SARI”.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Could you please share with us your idea of glocal humor? For the uninitiated, how would you describe your style?
A. The idea of glocal humor is mainly adding a local flavor to global topics, which is not only a very popular way but also becoming a fav amongst audiences worldwide. My style of comedy is more of a Dialogue than a monologue I love involving my audience in my acts and try to create moments on the spot so everyone has something they can talk about even after the show.
Q. You talk about being Sindhi, the Indian life and sometimes about Arabs. Videos from the Laugh Factory contest see you wearing a thawb. How do you peddle these identities on stage?
A. Since I was representing U.A.E & India the organizers thought it would be a good idea to have some sort of representation in terms of attire and I guess it did work.Being a Sindhi born in Mumbai and brought up in Dubai all I do is talk about who I am and how its been for me so far, my experiences, the people I have met. A sneak peek into my life is what you get every time I'm on stage,
Q. What was the takeaway after performing at the Laugh Factory club which has hosted famous figures like Jim Carrey?
A. It was one of my most memorable experiences as Jim Carrey is my idol and just knowing that I'm on the same stage was enough for me. Also, I did learn that the comedy culture is so diverse they are so many styles of comedy and there is an audience for all of it. The founder Jamie Masada is an absolute gem and has been bringing the world together using comedy at Laugh Factory for the longest time.
Q. What do you consider as the best achievements of your career? What are some of your memorable shows from around the world?
A. Have been blessed to have some amazing moments like opening for Eddie Griffin, Marlon Wayans and most recently Trevor Noah the 2nd time around in Dec 2017. It had particularly been a tough 2017 but it ended with me Winning the ESQUIRE MIDDLE EAST Comedian Of The Year 2017-2018 so each achievement is extremely humbling and reminds me that this is just the beginning.