The Melbourne International Comedy festival is still on and our homegrown talent is making all kinds of impressions there. Taking over Comedy Zone Asia, which highlights Asian standup talent, are Anirban Dasgupta and Sonali Thakker from India; the Indian All-Star Comedy Showcase features Kaneez Surka, Anuvab Pal, Naveen Richard, and Sonali Thakker; and then there’s our Improv Dream Team with Surka, Richard, Kanan Gill, and Rahul Subramanian.
In the solo acts, Sumit Anand is back in Melbourne, this time with Nothing About Godzilla, while Subramanian and Gill debut and tour their new live specials, Is This Even Comedy and Teetar, respectively.
We’ll get you the full scoop in a bit, but from what’s available for us to keep track of online right now, here’s a quick glimpse into how Dasgupta and Gill have been tackling the local media there.
Besides his standup shows, Dasgupta has also been on the radio, complaining about HR, punctuated with his trademark machine-gun chuckles:
He was also on a podcast on JOY 94.9—an LGBTI community radio station in Melbourne—trying his damnedest to give Australians an insight into Indian culture through his own stories. He takes listeners through stories of being pressurised to have a kid, the online outrage surrounding his YouTube video on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the comedy scene in Kolkata, AND meeting Hannah Gadsby. (Listen from 4.30 min.)
Meanwhile, Kanan Gill’s being interviewed by wide-eyed TV presenters, equally fascinated by his switch from Computer Science & Engineering to standup comedy, and having a bagged a role in a Bollywood film.
On The Sunday Project, he’s asked why his show is called Teetar and what it means. “It was a very bad idea to name it Teetar,” Gill responds, almost sheepishly. “It’s a word in Hindi—which people who speak Hindi don’t even know—for a show that’s in English. And I just thought it would be funny. The word teetar means partridge[…] I sent the description to the Melbourne Festival and now I’m stuck with the name!”
After getting past the now-global question of Pretentious Movie Reviews that will follow him everywhere, Gill also helps clear out some confusion about what’s up with Bollywood: “Were you involved in the fake kissing?” the mildly confused, curious presenter asks Gill. “There are some dance moves that are meant to be a kiss but aren’t quite a kiss…?”
Trying to keep a straight face, Gill replies, “Um, no. We’re past that. We’re into the dance moves that don’t mean anything now.”
Two of his interviews are available so far for us to watch in India:
If you’re reading this Down Under, Kanan Gill is touring Teetar at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 19-21 April, Perth Comedy Festival on 24 April, Sydney Comedy Festival on 26 April, and in Brisbane on 27 April. Tickets available here.