Ah! The desire to be funny and have people laugh at your jokes! Many a bloke (and blokess) has tried his hand at comedy at some time in their life – whether on stage or at a family gathering trying to impress unimpressed relatives. Yet, comedy star status eludes most of us like good roads elude the country of India.
Recently though, the stand up comedy circuit is up and booming with the likes of All India Bakchod and Pretentious Movie Reviews getting their crew from stand up comedians. With Vir Das becoming a film star after a robust stand up comedy career, everyone with half a joke is out at open mics to become India’s next big comedy star!
Open mics are to stand up comedy what auditions are to acting. Open mics give a chance to anybody and everybody who thinks they are funny and often ups the ante with a token competition. Comics who do consistently well in open mics, eventually go on to star in shows or even have shows of their own!
But, like everything, not everyone becomes the next big or even the next small star. Here is a list of types of open mic stand up comics you will find at every open mic!
1. The Ranji player
The very first in the list is the types that is an old hand at open mics. In fact, he has seen many generations of comics go past to stardom, but this poor fellow is still stuck here.
2. The virgin
God! It is difficult to make people laugh when they expect you to! And no one knows this better than the first time comic on stage! It is as painful to watch this guy as it is to be him!
3. The laugh-at his-own-jokes
Very often, to seem casual, this open micer will laugh at his own jokes. As if he made it up on the spot. Unless he is cute, it can be damn annoying!
4. Coming straight from office
A product of mid life crises, this lawyer/banker/HR person will come to the open mic straight from office in crumpled shirt, boring trousers and BO.
5. Sir Laughs-a-lot
This guy is the kindest guy to other open micers. Whether the crowd laughs or not, this guy will laugh at every punch line! Thank god for Sir laughs-a-lot!
6. Inside joker
This guy hangs out with stand up comics, eats with stand up comics, gets high with stand up comics and hopes to sleep with stand up comics. And then makes seemingly clever inside jokes on the mics that the audience doesn’t get at all.
7. The sandaas person
This guy is all about toilet humour. Dingle berries, sharts and pudin hara is what this guy finds funny. And the audience laughs!
8. I love my mom person
This guy never grew out of his oedipus phase. He still makes MC jokes but this time he means them! Unless he is talking about sleeping with his mom, he doesn’t feel tickled.
9. Dad joker
This guy is all about how his dad made life miserable for him. He needs the open mic much less than he needs counseling. But at least he gets to open up!
10. One Miss
That ONE lady comic who makes an appearance probably to keep the female flame of comedy alive. It is so rare finding a lady comic at an open mic as it is finding guys in a Psychology class in college.
11. The casual guy
This guy will not be caught dead without being under-dressed. He will ONLY wear shorts, chappals and a smelly T-shirt. If he is wearing more clothes, he is probably just under-dressed for a more glamorous occasion.
12. The bragger
This guy makes an appearance on stage rarely and that too so he can brag to the world that he is a stand up comedian. Technically, he isn’t unless he earns money. But logon ko yeh kidhar pata hai!
13. The break-up guy
This guy is trying to find himself after his recentest break up. Usually with a break up story, this guy usually moves an audience to tears rather than laughter.
14. The star
This guy is already a star in the making! He is brilliant with the crowd, knows which punches work and carries confidence in his pocket! More power to the star!
15. The career explorer
Another product of mid life crisis, this guy will be exploring stand up as an alternate option. He will spend more time at an open mic trying to get more info on paid gigs rather than focusing on his set.
16. The hunter
This guy is not here for the comedy. He is here to score points with chicks. Apparently they like comedy, and he likes them, so it is a win win. If you are wearing a skirt and can breathe, expect this guy to hit on you.
17. The wannabe actor from Lokhandwala
This guy thinks open mics are free stage time and that Bollywood producers are scanning these for the next big star of the silver screen. The wannabe actor is mostly from Delhi and it is clear when you finally hear his sexist joke.
18. The rich family guy
This guy probably will inherit a huge business from his family. He is absolutely bored sitting at home and a few months of open mics will allow him to feel accomplished for the rest of his life.
19. The entrepreneur
Shuck performing. This guy immediately gets into producing stand up comedy shows or starts an open mic property of his own. Why play by the rules when you can make the rules?
20. The disapprover
After doing one open mic or two, this guy starts having an expert opinion on humour from films, comedy shows, actual stand up comics and his six month old niece. Unless it is written by him, all humour is crap humour.
21. The vibrator
This poor fellow gets so nervous on stage, you start suspecting it is Charlie Sheen with a tan.
22. The Triten
Possibly the worst of the lot, this guy tells you jokes you read as a kid from email forward printouts your dad got for you from office. The sad part is, people still laugh.
Have you attended an open mic stand-up comedy show? It is great fun and you should definitely try out the next one in town! When you do, do tell us what kind of stand up comics you came across there!