You know it’s a weird time to be alive when on one hand, India is witnessing the best from its comedy circuit, and on the other hand, the nation couldn’t excel more at getting offended about anything under the sun.
But as they say, what may come, artists were created to create. Embracing and executing this very philosophy to level pro is Aadar Malik, who has been the creator of craft in the field of stand-up comedy, music and acting since day one. (Well almost, he started his career at the age of 4!)
If you’ve witnessed any of his live performances or have been following him on the World Wide Web, you would know that he graces the idea of “The joke’s on me,” like nobody else. Before you stalk him enough to learn that he is Anu Malik’s nephew and start typing a barely funny comment, he’s already cracked the joke on himself.
Creating entertaining content with the best of both worlds from comedy and music, he’s a pioneer of musical comedy India and I couldn’t think of celebrating a better artist to celebrate today on the occasion of World Music Day.
— Seema Wadhwa (@CuriousSquish) June 21, 2017
Without further ado, let me take you through my curious chat with Aadar.
We believe in doing away with the cliché question first, so tell us how did stand-up comedy come about?
I had started performing in plays when I was 19. One such play came along where I played a stand-up comic. And the exhilaration of performing stand-up stayed in my mind even after the play stopped. So I came back to it 3-4 years later and then never stopped. Couldn’t stop.
We loved it when you once said, “I am Aadar Malik. I am Anu Malik’s nephew. And that was the punch-line. “
Through your shows and podcasts we’ve known that your family tree is often used to evoke humour, but how has it impacted your life, to be a part of a fairly filmy family? (Yes, we love alliteration)
*Hat tip* for alliteration. Self deprivation humour was the first thing that I made sure I attacked. Because honestly no one can make fun of you when you’ve just cracked the best joke yourself. You’d think it’s like sacrificing your dignity when in fact,it’s like a titanium suit of armour. If you can laugh at yourself maybe others will too. And that’s the idea.
We’ve consistently watched your musical comedy videos such as She Called Me Bhaiyya and The Broker Song. The concept of a musical comedy is fairly new in India, could you tell us more about it?
There are a handful of comics even trying to attempt it in India. I am actually the only one writing my own comedy songs on a consistent basis. It’s a lonely place to be in but the advantage is I’m the first one. It’ll be tough to get the audience aware of the fact that this exists. But so was stand-up in the first place. The key is to not give up half way. It takes a lot of rehearsal to get a song ready to even try out in front of an audience and then it goes through changes depending on what’s funnier. If I’m performing a new song on stage for the first time you can bet your ass I performed it at least 80 times at home or for close friends (who end up hating you).
We had a chance to watch the trailer of your show on Amazon Prime, Stand-Up- The Musical. The trailer left us with a lot of curious questions, but we’re gonna go with the popular one, what can we expect?
It was a weird idea to try and perform a comedy special with a grand piano. Some of my favourite and most talented comedians in the world have done so. It’s inspiring to watch these comics turn this genre on its head the way they do. You can expect me to bring 20 years of music training to the stage and blend it with comedy in a way that you’ve not seen in India. You will laugh and you will be impressed. Also no auto tune.
The last few years have witnessed a boom in the Indian comedy scene creating a certain competition, how does one continue to maintain or grow his/her audience?
Thank you for that. People are watching. Trust me there is no competition. There’s enough room for everyone. That being said, you can’t let complacency set in. There is no way to keep impressing the audience unless you’re constantly trying to improve. You must keep writing, keep testing each joke, measure every word said on stage. Just because a joke gets a laugh on stage doesn’t mean you’re done writing it.
Your funniest or most embarrassing fan encounter individually or with SnG…
We had a fan run over screaming to click photos with us and after all that she called us Aib.
Fill us up on your upcoming projects or future plans….
Working on some really interesting music right now comedy and “serious” stuff coupled with a lot more effort to create back to content on SnG Comedy Youtube. You’ll see a blitz of content from me very very soon.
On closing, the one myth about stand-up comedy that needs to be busted?
That stand-up is easy and you can pull new jokes out of your ass. No! It takes a lot of time to get the words, the timing right, in order to get laughter going. Not everyone can do it. Making it look easy is what takes that extra effort. But don’t be fooled. Every line has been worked on for weeks if not months. I wrote She called me BHAIYYA after noting the idea down in my notebook 10 months before actually composing it. Till then every time I tried to write it, it was just confusion.
P.S: On that note, the next time you’re witnessing a stand-up comic act, don’t be fooled by the breeziness because it is the resultant of months’ rigorous retakes. And as for Aadar’s upcoming projects, you and I couldn’t be more excited. Before his new projects roll out, let’s indulge in ourselves in a laughter riot with his Amazon Prime special show. Until next time, #StayCurious 🙂