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When stand up comedy met lockdown

"Comedy is not only about just thinking and writing jokes but there should also be interaction with the audience which we are missing right now "- Aayush Shrestha

2021 Sep 02, 8:50, Kathmandu
Photo: Instagram/Comedy Tuk Tuk

Aadarsh Mishra, started his journey as a standup comedian in 2018. It has been four years now and he has seen many changes through his journey.

While standup comedy is gaining a lot of popularity in the nation now, it was not the same when Mishra had just started it as his journey.

Aadarsh Mishra performing.
Photo: Instagram/typicalnepali18
Aadarsh Mishra performing. Photo: Instagram/typicalnepali18

He says, “There was one open mic called ‘Mondays are funny’ for comedians before. Later came in Astra mic night, the event focused on comedians as they performed on stage or open places.”

And talking about why he chose standup comedy as his career choice, Mishra explains how getting on stage and telling his jokes to the audience is not only his livelihood but a way to take his frustration out. “It is like a therapy for me where I can talk about anything and everything,” he adds.

Aayush Shrestha performing in the stage.
Photo: Instagram/ Comedy tuk tuk
Aayush Shrestha performing in the stage. Photo: Instagram/ Comedy tuk tuk

Aayush Shrestha, a computer engineer and a standup comedian who started his journey in 2017, adds “Standup comedy is a fun activity where people performing as well as the audience are enjoying. And even though at times I have a hectic day, standing on the stage, in front of the audience and making them laugh helps me forget it.”

 They both explain how the audience laughs at their jokes because they find it relatable as well.

Logo of Comedy Tuk Tuk
Logo of Comedy Tuk Tuk

Explaining his journey, Shrestha reminisced that while there were no major Nepali YouTube comedy shows, he had a group along with Alan Jung Thapa, Yozana Magar, and Mishra.

“We had named the group ‘Comedy Tuk Tuk’ and during that time, people knew us because of the group.” Shrestha added.

While stand up comedy was finally gaining a good platform in the society, lockdown took place.

Alan Jung Thapa( left), Yozna Thapa Magar( middle), Aayush Shrestha.
Photo: Instagram/ Comedy Tuk Tuk
Alan Jung Thapa( left), Yozna Thapa Magar( middle), Aayush Shrestha. Photo: Instagram/ Comedy Tuk Tuk

Mishra says, “While we had a lot of time on our hands to get creative and make YouTube videos, it equally had a negative impact on our career.”

The Internet has brought the world together and it feels good that people from different places are enjoying the videos of comedians' posts. However, Mishra explains that there are both advantages and disadvantages of putting videos on Social media.

While the comedians were earning before the pandemic things changed drastically as the nation went into lockdown.

Mishra explains, “Comedians get the money from the ticket they sold in the stage performance. But now that the videos are easily accessible and free of cost, the audience would rather watch videos on YouTube than spend money on and attend live shows.”

“But numbers of comedians are getting recognition because of the video they post. Even I rarely got offers to shows before, but by the end of ‘Comedy Champion’ season 1, many other comedians, including me, got many chances to perform live,” adds Mishra.

However, Shrestha believes that standup comedy is not only about thinking and writing jokes.

“There should be outcomes, feedback from the audience, and interaction with them. But sadly COVID-19 completely stopped live shows. While we also did shows in zoom calls, and in the clubhouse, it was not as interactive and we couldn’t give continuity to it,” adds Shrestha.

While things are yet to get better in the nation, Shrestha still has high hopes for the standup comedy community.

“We surely will continue standup shows when things get better. And to not only keep our audiences safe but the comedians too, we will organize shows with only a limited number of audience,” says Shrestha.

Mishra believes that any artist who started as a stand-up comedian will always be recognized for his work. “But like any artist stand-up comedians also need the support from their fans. At the end, comedians just want to be appreciated and get paid to keep doing what they love,” he adds.


Stand up Comedy nepal Aadarsh Mishra Aayush Shrestha Comedian artist art Liveshows Pandemic effect
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