About half a decade ago
Stand-up comedy was never looked at as a full time career option. People who were into stand-up comedy held day jobs as well. The major source of comedy was films. Movies were the only platform where we got to see some of the different categories of comedy. Thanks to Charlie Chaplin, the film industry took notice of comedians. Legendary comedians like Johnny Walker, Mehmood, and Kishor Kumar were very popular for their comic timing. But being in movies never gave comedians a chance to explore their full potential in terms of content.Over the years their parts were reduced to sometimes just making funny faces.
There are many forms of comedy. Mimicry is one of the most common. Then there isstand-up, which is one of the toughest as the comedian has to crack jokes and interact with a live audience and makes funny comedy videos. The jokes and gigs need to be au courant and very witty as the feedback in this format is instant.As the famous comedian Johny Lever once said in an interview given to bizasialive, “Comedy is very difficult to perform in front of people but their positive feedback does not need any judgment.” Although it was popular in the west, India wasn’t even aware of this form of comedy.
India was hit by the Internet wave
With the spread of the internet across households and acts by people like Russell Peters hitting the computer screens of youngsters in India, there was a sudden awareness of this form of comedy. People started to be more accommodating and realized that it is cool to laugh at oneself. This gave rise to a number of comedians who started to believe that this field had potential. As their popularity increased, Comedy clubssprouted up in cities like Mumbai, Delhi,and Bangalore. A variety of shows on TV called in comedians to showcase their talents. They even had shows wholly dedicated to comedy.As a result of the overwhelming response of youngsters to stand-up comedy gigs, many corporate companiesbegan inviting them to perform at their events.
What was it then that led to this immense popularity?
YouTubewas the major factor to contribute to the success of stand-up comedians in India. Putting up a videoon this platform by Google does not cost a penny. It is absolutely free.Owing to the increase in internet users in India, people from all across the country could see a possibility of becoming a comedian. The following image depicts the rate at which the internet users are increasing in India. This is what provides a wider set of audiences for comedians from all genres.
The rise in the number of internet users and their continued increase over the next few years in India is depicted by the graph below: