A child stuck in a man’s body! – That’s how Sahil Shah describes himself. He is one of the founding members of East India Comedy and has performed more than 1500 shows around the globe & counting. Sahil just finished a tour of his solo special Childish Behaviour (toured across 25 cities) which released on Amazon Prime in June. He has also given a TEDX talk in 2015 on the topic “Are Your Parents Happy with Your Job?” and was also one of the performers at the Global Citizen Festival in 2016 on the same lineup as Coldplay. Apart from stand-up comedy, he has written columns for Grazia, Deccan Chronicle, Indian Express and Buzzfeed. He’s also interviewed Tom Holland (Spiderman) as well as been the lead in a Narcos Promo that featured on the Netflix USA page. Sahil Shah while in an interview with Harsha Prerna, cracked her up with his crazy sense of humor and straight forward answers.
“ Keep at it. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is your best friend. Learn from it. ”
Exhibit: To our curiosity, when and where did the concept for stand-up comedy take birth in your mind? When did you first realize that you could make people laugh?
SAHIL SHAH: I was always a funny kid while growing up. In fact when I was born everyone started laughing because they had never seen a baby like me. I was born with a bowtie you know 😛
But when I was in college that’s when the wave of comedy had just started in India and I’m lucky to be one of the pioneers of comedy. In the past 8 years I have helped comedy grow in India and not only that helped pushed the wave and rode it as well. I’m a comedy surfer.
Exhibit: We all face some hurdles. What were the hurdles in the journey of becoming a standup comedian before you became a professional?
Getting money. Simple. Everyone thought I was doing this as a hobby until I got paid. That’s when people were like ‘Okay. Either he’s good or people are stupid’. The truth? Both.
Exhibit: What are the secrets for telling everyday jokes in order to get the biggest laughs?
I keep it relatable. I talk about things that I find funny. Then I laugh. Half of the times people are laughing because I am laughing at the stupid things.
Exhibit: What is your backstage routine before a performance?
Masturbation. Just kidding. I walk around, scream like a girl, have some cold coffee and then masturbate.
Exhibit: Have you had any memorable audience encounter that you could share with us?
I love making fun of audience members. I like connecting them to my jokes and bringing them back as a punchline. My special Childish Behaviour is coming on Amazon Prime Video and I have kept an audience encounter in that where I crack a masturbation joke (OBVIOUSLY) and point to a guy who was apparently only clapping with his left hand. I love being spontatneous and messing around with the people. It’s the best.
Exhibit: If given a chance, what type of a gadget would you like to invent?
Something that allows me to video record my dreams. I get some pretty bizarre dreams. Like the other day I got this dream that I was giving this interview for this magazine and I said something stupid like I jerk off before the show begins. Phew. Thank God it was just a dream 😛
Exhibit: How much influence does social media has on you? How often do you check and post updates?
Meh. I’m bored of it now. The only social media I use is Email. I’m old school like that.
Exhibit: Is the respect given to solo artists in India catching up with the respect solo artists get abroad?
To some extent yes. Actually artists in India have waaaay more respect, fame and adulation than peeps abroad. It’s only a niche crowd but it’s still a crowd.
Exhibit: If not a stand-up comedian, then where do you imagine yourself?
A writer who stays in the Himalayas, constantly smokes up and writes the best horror stories you will ever read.
Exhibit: Do you observe situations and create comedy or can you create comedy just in your head?
Both. I’m a magician like that.
Exhibit: What is one of your more embarrassing memories from childhood?
Once I was on the microphone in front of my school auditorium and I had to make announcements. The screw up? My voice hadn’t hit puberty yet and it cracked mid announcement. So I sounded like a high pitched anime girl and ended up having everyone laugh at me. (not that it’s any different now)
Exhibit: Ask yourself a question and then answer it.
Why am I doing this? Keeda.
- Favorite Gadget: My Macbook Pro
- Most Inspiring Tech Entrepreneur: Elon Musk
- Your favourite social media app and why: Instagram. CAUSE I LOOOOOOVE CAT AND DOG VIDEOS.
- One gadget you wish existed: Time Machine
- Coolest tech you’ve come across: LED LIGHT SHOES
- Best one liner you’ve heard: My own – I’m so single. My right hand fakes headaches.
- An advice to the new comedians just starting out: Keep at it. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is your best friend. Learn from it.
- Best piece of advice given to you: Don’t ever insult the audience and if you are then insult them with a smile.
- Favourite Cuisine: ANYTHING. I AM A HOWRAT.
- In a parallel universe, you’d be excelling at: Sports.