Far from posing a risk to Sorabh Pant’s creativity, a baby has opened up new horizons through self-discovery and insight in the artist’s comedy
Thirty -four-year-old stand-up artist Sorabh Pant was recently surprised by his reaction to Star Wars' patricide, “When Vader tells Luke, ‘I’m your father’, and Luke rejects him — I feel horrible!” Pant found himself wailing at Luke as he watched this old favourite: ‘Why are you rejecting your dad? Come on, Luke. Your dad loves you.
He may be a bit evil, etc, but, he’s your DAD!'
Sorabh's new stand-up act is the outcome of the soul-bending adventure of child-rearing after 14 months as a stay-at-home first-time father to a boy. And having offspring has changed him, "I’ve become more emotional. I’ve started empathising with everyone! I never thought I’d love anything as much as I love this little human."
He finds himself on the road a lot more, too: "I am accepting any show anywhere just so I can get eight hours’ sleep! Titled My Baby Thinks I’m Funny is about how as a society we’re all getting stupider though there is more information than ever before. I also talk about hope." It shall feature humour resulting from the comic going slightly baby-soft in the head, "it's the insanity that came with raising him," he said. But one does doubt Pant’s marbles when he says, ‘I give him free shows,’ relying on the discerning skills of his toddler for feedback on his work. “My wife is convinced I wanted to have a kid only for the jokes. She may be right!”
He shall revisit his childhood and 90s' adolescence and 'weird' things like sonographies and talking to a swollen belly. He says while people with babies will enjoy his show, those who do not want children will also be validated. And you don’t have to be a parent to like his jokes.
Pant mainly reaches and retains his following from the web — which is a younger audience, while his following from live stage shows is slightly older and responds to jokes about kids, marriage, divorce, family planning, etc.
"I’ve tested the jokes in front of 17-year-olds and they loved it. The jokes are funny and I’ve made all of them relevant and appetising. There are stories in this show about my love marriage, planning a kid and grandparents.” There is abundant 'silliness' for younger people, and physical ‘stupidity’ that babies respond to but so do, surprisingly, the adults," he believes.
"I’ve realised since my son was born that no matter what your age the essence of comedy is surprise. It’s something I always knew but, it’s helping me shape a slightly different and simpler approach to doing comedy.”
There is 'a little bit more clarity' based on the realisation that there is something now competing to be his number one priority — usurping his work, one imagines, or perhaps his wife but we don’t ask which exactly.
When: June 4, 8 pm
Where: Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point, NCPA Marg
Entry: R300 — R1,000