A hilarious Saturday with the founder of ‘India’s largest standup comedy network’

A hilarious Saturday with the founder of ‘India’s largest standup comedy network’

Raouf Gangjee calls himself as the “confused half-German founder of Indian’s largest standup comedy network, The Komedians”. The network now spans 23 cities across India and includes the Pondicherry Komedians. With a number of club and auditorium shows, corporate gigs and humour columns under his belt, Gangjee ‘s motto is “Don’t be tied down by mottoes….Okay, I wish I had one!”

Tickets on-the-spot on August 11, Saturday at Pelican Play House till  5.45 p.m. and Just Cakes, ECR till 8. 45 p.m.  


1. How did your career as a stand-up comedian begin?

I started the group Kalkutta Komedians at the end of 2012. It began as a hobby, but has now gone out of control like Frankenstein’s monster, and grown into India’s largest standup comedy network, with groups of comics in 23 cities.


2. Is being a stand-up comedian a full-time passion or a part-time job?

The two are not mutually exclusive. In any case, with a network of 23 cities, I don’t have much time for anything else now.

3. What do see in the future for  the ‘Komedians‘ ?

I see more cities joining the network until we take over the country and are forced to invade neighbouring nations next.


4. Describe your style of comedy in 3 words.

Funny I hope.

5. What’s the best way to introduce more people to stand-up comedy?

To take them to a good show or make them watch a good video. Or show them a Kapil Sharma episode and say: “You don’t want to be like him! Let this motivate you to be a good comic instead and mitigate the suffering of this world!” (Just kidding: I believe Kapil does regular standup too and is very good at it.)


6. What is a joke that you never tire of hearing/ saying?

The one about why the chicken crossed the road. I try to give a different answer each time though.


7. What do you do when a joke falls flat?

Accuse the audience of not being intelligent enough to understand it.

8. One thing you think is not funny.

When journalists interrogate me in the spirit of the Spanish inquisition. Come to think of it, that can be funny too.

Image courtesy of Raouf gangjee