Catch the final Mumbai gig of Vir Das's ongoing stand-up show
He became the first Indian comic to have a show on Netflix, he performed on Conan O'Brien's late-night show, he is developing a dark comedy show with Nikhil Advani and another one with Amazon
Actor-comedian Vir Das has had a good year. He became the first Indian comic to have a show on Netflix, he performed on Conan O'Brien's late-night show, he is developing a dark comedy show with Nikhil Advani and another one with Amazon. He will feature in an ABC network dramedy, Whiskey Cavalier, as well. And all of this is in addition to touring more than 40 cities around the world with his one-man show, Boarding Das.
He has had sold-out shows in venues such as the O2 Arena in London and is now touring India with the stand-up routine. With six houseful shows in Mumbai, Das will now be giving his final Boarding Das performance in the city, a polished version that has been tested across the world, before continuing his India tour. "This show started out as something that was going to journey the world and over time, evolved into being something about a journey around the world. I performed in many tiny towns, and they alter your perspective as a human being. The last year and a half have been life-changing in terms of my perspective as an adult, on work, finances, career, and love — I have grown up a lot in this time. The big learning [experience] that I have had on this tour is that I know nothing," says Das about his journey. Thus enlightened, he adds that he now wants to spend the next half of his life gaining new experiences.
"I performed at O2 London, which was a great experience. But a week before that, I performed in Trondheim in Norway where we sold only 32 tickets. But I learned much more there. Also, there is a tiny shop that sells the world's best fish over there. I had never had fish before, which I finally started in my 30s. Comedy is not about the big things, it is very observational and about such experiences," he explains. Das makes most of his observations not just for his shows but also for his band, Alien Chutney, which will also perform in the city this week and release new songs, including one on meetha paan, The Jogger's Park Song, and Your Boyfriend is a Douchebag, which is "for every guy who is in the friend zone".
While Das loves doing the "fun and stupid thing" with his band, he equally enjoys integrating a political statement in his shows, from feminism to Modi to Trump. "We live in an era where the conversation on politics is extensive. It is inclusive of media, authors and entertainers, so it makes sense that comedians join in as well. In fact, politicians are funnier than comics when talking about politics. I get a mix of a left- and right-wing audience. We may not agree on the same things, but it can still make us laugh," feels Das.
The US or India, where does he enjoy working more though, we ask, "I enjoy being home and working here. But it's nice to go out there and learn things. Ten years is not a very long time for a stand-up artiste. The way to get better at tennis is to play with those who are better than you. It's the same [with comedians]. I get to work with experienced comedians there. I like to observe these pros and realise that I have a long way to go," Das signs off.
ON May 19, 8 pm AT St Andrew's Auditorium, Bandra West.
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