These six comedians will be in the city to make you laugh for a cause
The Madras Round Table 1, the first of its kind known for its five decade long community service, is organising an event for raising funds to help Mahesh Memorial Paediatric Oncology Centre in the city for expanding their ward. In order to raise around an estimated amount of Rs 3 crores for the hospital, the event will feature popular stand-up comedians like Aditi Mittal, Anu Menon, Azeem Banatwalla, Anuvab Pal, Sundeep Rao and Ajit Saldhana. As these comics from around the country gather for a noble cause, we ask them about their take on such a movement.
One of the first comediennes in India, this Mumbai-based comic has been in the top five charts since she stepped into the industry back in the early 2000's. The 29-year-old believes that though comedy touches a few serious and sensitive topics, the cause behind this event is something that cannot be included in the list. “We as comedians come to make our audience laugh. Making fun of the cause or about a topic like cancer, even for making a clear point, is a bit too insensitive for me,” she offers. When asked her about laughter as a medicine, she says, “I would love to believe that. I can't imagine so much money we could have made per sitting. But, on a serious note, I don't know about the medical background of it. However, I feel it helps you breathe in a much better manner.”
Better known as VJ Lola or Lola Kutty, thanks to her show in Channel V, Anu Menon is all the more excited to come back to her hometown, Chennai. When asked about her take on the cause of this show, the Mumbai-based comedienne says, “I am performing to make the people laugh. I don't think it would be appreciated to speak about cancer as a comedian even if it is to create awareness.” About her relation with children in general, she says, “I love being with kids. I find them to be funny and I myself have a four-year-old with me and I am going there to make them laugh and give them a smile.” What about laughter as a remedy. “I have heard about it. But, frankly I feel no one has died because of laughing. They might have shed a few drops of tears but, clearly so far no deaths reported. It surely is helping,” says Menon.
Known for his intelligent humour, this Mumbai-based comedian began his journey in 2011 and has been an integral part of East India Comedy since their inception. When asked him about interlinking the cause with his script, he says, “I think the cause and humour don't necessarily need to be interlinked. People can want to help cancer patients and also want to laugh at jokes. Everyone knows the gravity of the issue, and everyone's getting together to laugh for a good cause.” About treating people with laughter, he says, “Not really, no. I don't know about other people being treated, but doing stand-up takes all of my sickness away. No matter how sick I am, it disappears before I get on stage.”
A man who dawns multiple hats – comedian, screenwriter, playwright and novelist, he is has is rated among the top five comedians in India. About his participation in the show, he says, “I am going to make them laugh and I want them to enjoy and celebrate life in all its complicated beauty.” Though he does not think of comedians to be doctors who use laughter to cure his/her patients, he believes it surely makes one feel relaxed. “I think if you have a sense of humor you will live longer. When people come in to see a show, they've left all their problems behind for that hour and I think some of that is to feel better,” says the 40-year-old comedian.
Known as the gifted comedian, he is the only visually impaired stand-up in India. The An improvisational actor and voice over artist, he known for his unique style and dry humour that he brings on the stage. About his script for the upcoming show, he says, “ I don't think to mix the cause with my content. As a comedian, my job is to make them laugh. People know about the cause and I want them to go back with a good memory.” About comedy as a remedy, the Bengaluru-based comedian says, “I know for a fact that it helps a person to calm down. It is for sure a psychological help. Laughing also destresses you.”
A writer, promoter of theatre and a comedian himself, Saldhana feels cancer is a topic that deals with a lot of peoples emotions. “It is a topic which does not fit into the parameters of comedy. I am being called to make them laugh and I want to do a clean job. When asked him if he sees himself as a comic who can treat people, he says, “No. I am grateful to do my job and I feel we comedians are more like storytellers at heart and not doctors.”