Clean cut

Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 12 May 2017

Vipul Goyal talks about keeping his comedy clean and suitable for families to enjoy together

You’ve seen him in Humourously Yours as the struggling comic and an urban husband addressing the struggles of his profession and issues of daily sexism in a way that will even make the sternest feminists laugh their guts out. Tonight, comedian Vipul Goyal will be performing a live act in the city where he will try and tickle your funny bone by touching upon topics like cricket, Bollywood, politics and more. “It’s the kind of show you can watch with your entire family. The content is clean and universal, so your parents or kids can relate to it as you can,” says Vipul. But if you do plan to bring your kids to the show, make sure they are old enough to watch and understand it. It’s a fun, witty show about day-to-day life,” he adds. 

Often, comics decide to keep their comedy clean but resort to profanity or sexual innuendos 10 minutes into their set because they sense that’s what the audience wants to hear. But in Vipul’s case, he says he has never had to struggle to keep the attention of the crowd with clean humour. “It’s difficult to write clean comedy but the rewards are worth all the effort because you know that your humour reaches out to people from different generations,” says Vipul, adding, “The problem arises when you’re doing corporate shows. But that’s because nobody is really interested in what’s happening on stage and what the artist is saying. They are more interested in their free alcohol.”

After a hit first season, Vipul reveals that work on the second season is on. “The tentative plan is to release the second season of Humourously Yours next April. The writing has started,” he says. “There were many personal experiences which were not explored in the first season, which I will be doing in the upcoming season,” he adds. 

“I think for the next 10 years, the comedy scene in India is only going to get better and better, in terms of both, the quality of humour and scale of  growth of the comedy industry in the country,” says Vipul. He reminisces that about eight years ago, when he started comedy, there used to be only two open mic events in a year, but nowadays there are two open mic events organised at various venues per week. 

“From big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune to small towns like Nashik and Rajkot, comedy has spread spectacularly. Earlier, your options were limited to going for a movie on a Friday night, but now you also have the option of catching a live stand-up comedy show at some venue in whichever city you are located. Many young people are watching their favourite comedians in videos and getting inspired to take up comedy as their profession. It’s become a legit form of entertainment,” he says.

Having struggled quite a bit himself, on the series and in real life, Vipul has some pearls of wisdom for budding comedy artists. “They should keep a check on their talent. Everyone thinks they are funny because they can make all their friends laugh, but it’s a different ballgame when you’re up on stage trying to make complete strangers laugh at your jokes. You must try and write two-three minutes of content and perform at open mics to test waters. If people are not laughing, don’t lose hope and be heartbroken. The first two-three years are difficult to crack for any comedy artist, it’s part and parcel of this profession,” the comic says. 

He insists that writing and practising your set is vital. “Many people just see the glamour side of this profession and decide to take it up. Just like a while ago, playing the guitar was cool, so everyone wanted to be a guitarist. But there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it, and one must be willing to roll up their sleeves,” he says. 

The Humoursly Yours Tour, Vipul Goyal Live will be held at Nehru Memorial Hall, Camp, tonight at 9.30pm

You can contact the author on Twitter @purplesaga

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