Gurleen Pannu is just entering the last leg of her solo tour of India. The comedian will be performing in Chennai, Hyderabad and Vijayawada over the weekend before returning to more familiar hunting grounds in the North later in July. The Next Big Thing gives us a quick primer on her show Pannu, Yaar! and hints at an impending YouTube debut. Read on to find out more about Pannu’s life on the road and how everything changed after her Comicstaan run.
QUICK! WHAT’S THIS SHOW ABOUT?
This show is about my life till now, things that I’ve been through and my observations on my family and myself in general.
HOW MANY SHOWS ARE YOU DOING, ACROSS HOW MANY CITIES?
We’ve listed pan-India shows, mostly on the weekends. So, Punjab, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and other metropolitan cities along with a few places I’ve never been to.
HOW LONG DID YOU SPEND WRITING THE SHOW?
I’d say the show took about six to seven months to structure. I started writing more material after we wrapped up shooting for Comicstaan and it’s still a work in progress. I wouldn’t say I’ve written the show yet but yeah, it’s a lot better than what it used to be.
IS THIS ALREADY LEADING UP TO A RECORDED SPECIAL FOR A STREAMING PLATFORM?
I think solo is a little bit of a stretch for me right now. I’m very new to this. First of all, YouTube videos will come for sure. We’ll see—once I’m satisfied with the solo—if we can pitch it to any streaming network as a solo or special. Otherwise toh nahi, abhi toh sirf YouTube ke liye videos and my live shows.
WHY SHOULD WE WATCH IT LIVE?
You should watch it live because you want to, I guess? You know, if you want to listen to my anecdotes and observations and if you find me a little bit funny you can definitely come and watch, or in general, if you like comedy you can give it a try. Otherwise, I don’t have a sales pitch for my own solo. Just come and see.
ACCORDING TO YOU, WHO WOULD BE THE IDEAL PLUS-ONE TO BRING TO THE LIVE SHOW?
The ideal plus one would be your friends. And you can bring your family as well. But yeah, I prefer people come with their friends and colleagues because I don’t know what dynamics you share with your family. So, yeah, be safe; come with your friends and colleagues and also send your family members aise separately.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME ‘PANNU, YAAR!’?
It was just right there. “Pannu, yaar!” People keep [saying that to me] and I feel that the vibe of the solo is like that. And you know, if I have my last name in the solo, people just remember the comedian as well. It stemmed from there. It was very random!
ON A SCALE OF 1 – WTFAMIDOING, HOW NERVOUS ARE YOU?
I think when you are a comedian you are always at the level of WTFAMIDOING so yeah nervousness is always there. You still feel those butterflies when you get on stage. But I think it’s mostly excitement. But yeah, nervous. I think nervousness is a part of life and it stays with an artist.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT TOURING?
So, I’m not a big fan of catching flights and eating hotel room service food. So, for me, it’s still the live shows. Meeting people, getting all the appreciation and obviously those green rooms where you get to meet a lot of comics from different parts of the country. Yeah, that’s my favourite part!
HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED SINCE ‘COMICSTAAN’?
Everything has changed after Comicstaan I would say. Everything, matlab I am so grateful for that platform. It has given me everything! It has given me a platform to showcase my talent, it gave me an audience. Then the audience enabled me to perform in every part of the country and they have showered me with so much love. Sab kuch mila hai…I think friends mile hain, circuit mein ‘in’ mila hai which was very new to me. So yeah, I will always be grateful to Comicstaan for all of that.