In Conversation with Rahul Dua: From Corporate to Comedy and the Rise of Standup Comics in India

Read further to know more about Rahul Dua and his take on the hits and misses of being a standup comic in the current times. 

In times when the term ‘entertainment’ has encapsulated a multifaceted approach, often being derived by standup as a form of comic relief that transcends across all barriers, it becomes even more important for us to understand the journey behind writing that one great joke! 

Here’s what standup comedian Rahul Dua told DU Beat in regards to his take on the hits and misses of being a standup comic in the current times.

We’ve seen a current rise of popularity amongst standup comedy as a form of retreat, especially amongst the youth of our country. How and when do you think this change happened? 

Rahul Dua: In my opinion, standup as an alternate form of entertainment came about when the conventional forms of entertainment got saturated. When people got enough of movies and cricket, they started wanting something more real and theatrical. Obviously, no one minded a good laugh, and this is where standup came in and changed the entire landscape. 

Growing up, did you ever think you would pursue standup comedy as a career, or was it something you did for fun?

Rahul Dua: While I was growing up, standup comedy was never a career option for me. A conventional job with a multinational company was always on the cards, which I ended up doing. While working in the corporate environment, I realized that this was something I wasn’t cut out for and started standup as an alternative experiment which snowballed into something bigger and became my career. 

On a personal level, how do you try to connect with your younger audience? What makes you stay relevant to pop-culture trends and maintain the relatability factor with them?

Rahul Dua: Personally, I never tried to forcefully connect with the younger audience, and instead, just simply tried to be funny and wanted to talk about the things that related to my character. If that ended up attracting the younger generation, it is like a cherry on top for my art as they are a great market for any artist to tap on. However, I believe that if your art is true to what you believe in, it will definitely transcend across all age and language barriers and make everyone have a good laugh. Our social media plays a huge role for us to keep in touch with pop-culture trends and stay relevant by presenting a comedic take towards everything that is ‘trending’ at that point in time. From meme’s to standup comedy, we have it all covered!

Any suggestions for people who would want to take up stand-up comedy as a full-time profession? 

Rahul Dua: People who want to take standup comedy as a full-time profession, please don’t! We don’t want you to eat into our share of the pie! [laughs.] On a more serious note, people who want to make standup their career, be prepared for writing, practising, performing, taking feedback, and reworking your material every day. It might look ‘rosy’ from the outside, but on the inside, it’s an extremely introspective but rewarding process to work with, as it always feels good to make a room full of people laugh at the end of a tiring day. 

Rahul Dua is a standup comedian, actor, and content creator.

Read also: In Conversation with Shivansh Jindal: Singer, Songwriter and Creator of the Latest Hit ‘Pata Nahin’

Feature Image Credits: Rahul Dua

Hridika Rao

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