A few months ago, standup comic Sumit Anand released an audio story: ‘Struggling at Melbourne Comedy Festival 2017’. A LOL anecdote of how Anand got himself invited to the prestigious festival, bombed, and returned to India with temporary drug-fuelled IDGAF confidence anyway.
His disclaimer the night before he released this clip reads: “… I will release an audio story tomorrow. It will be in Audio only published on this video sharing platform. Also, it’s not that funny, actually the story is abt how one time I was not funny, so in that way, it makes sense to be not so funny. It’s like don’t you hate it when people say sorry in a boastful manner. That’s it. Go watch videos on this video sharing platform, and also, use your phone to talk to people.” (sic)
Except, it’s pretty funny. Anand recalls how he went up on stage and was met with silence after his first joke, sending him into an existential crisis. The story exemplifies the difference in comedic sensibilities of different places, and highlights how the Indian audience—still new to standup comedy—is in a very different place than audiences abroad, who’ve been familiar with the form for decades. He then talks about how he… dealt with it.
Despite the hiccups Anand suffered last time, he assures us that he’s going to return. Except “this time, I may not come back; so, relish me”.
He’s back there now for the 2019 edition of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, which starts tomorrow. Should we send backup?