You might know actor, sketch comedy artist, improviser, writer and director Sumukhi Suresh as Behti Naak. She’s also acted in the Office-style mockumentary Better Life Foundation and is the badass behind Pushpavalli (which was cool AF before we realised the latter was based on her real life story so now we’re just really uncomfortable).
Or you may be more familiar with Suresh as a co-host/now-judge and Abish Mathew’s ex-best friend on Comicstaan. In the last year or so, you’ve probably also caught her live act because she’s been doing shows all over the place and demanding you keep up.
And now, after several months of honing her hour, Suresh is all set with the India tour of her solo standup special, Don’t Tell Amma. We grill her, gently.
1. Quick! What should we not tell Amma?
That I do standup.
2. Stoppp it. Does your mother seriously not know you do standup?
For the first five years she didn’t. Now she sort of knows. Sort of, because she doesn’t realise the extent of it. She thought I worked at a food safety training company and… I agree with her.
3. How many shows are you doing across how many cities?
I started my tour in June. It will go on till end-August. I am done with eight cities and I think there like a million more to go!
4. How long has it taken you to come up with this material?
I have been doing some of these bits for one-and-a-half to two years. An hour finally happened this year.
5. Is this leading up to a recorded special for Amazon or Netflix?
IS IT?? You tell me, universe!! I am recording it for sure, though.
6. …Why should we watch it live?
Because I am way cuter live. Although I am funny throughout. Also, I am touring with some material that won’t make it to my recording.
7. Is it “woke”?
Nope. Just like me, it’s learning the ways of the world.
8. What are the three things you definitely don’t have any jokes about in this hour?
I don’t have jokes about being single, about airports and about Modi. I do have a bit on temples, though.
9. TMI. What’s the best response you’ve got on this show so far?
My Ahmedabad and Noida shows were the best. My audience had more women then (thank god!).
When the gates for the Noida show opened and the audience started coming in, the venue manager said, “Maine itni auratein CLC mein kabhi nahi dekhin.” (“I have never seen so many women at CLC.”) To which the sound manager responded saying, “Maine Noida mein saat baje ke baad itni auratein nahi dekhin!” (“I have never seen so many women in Noida after 7 pm!”) BEST, BEST EVER!
Also, almost all my shows have daughters coming with their mothers. It’s their date night of sorts, and I love that!
10. On a scale of 1-WTFAMIDOING, how nervous are you about Don’t Tell Amma?
On this scale, I am definitely FUCKMESIDEWAYSANDBURYME levels of nervous.
Bonus question: Do we also make you nervous?
I am so nervous I made a bot write these answers.