Standup comic’s virtual show proves successful with witty audience interaction

  • 1 month ago
Harsh Gujral Standup Comedy
Comedian Harsh Gujral’s zoom show undermined the importance of ‘crowd work’ and ‘congregation come-back’.
 
A recent virtual stand-up act by popular Indian comedian Harsh Gujral organized by ONE FM 89.6 and The Punchliners proved right the dictum that most successful stand-ups have mastered the art of interacting with the audience.
 
 
A study entitled ‘The Psychology of Stand-Up Comedy’ claims that successful comedians are those who earn their living by verbally communicating with their audience during their show and invariably scored higher on “verbal intelligence” than a bunch of randomly selected non-comedians who were floundering in acquiring the art of audience interaction.
 
And professional stand-ups also scored higher for ‘on-the-     spot’ humour production ability that allows for audience members to freely announce their own punch-lines!
 
Yet another study sought to prove that actual mechanics of a successful comic show depends on a performer's ability to “work” an audience. Ethnographic studies suggest that this involves the co-ordinated use of subtle social signals such as body orientation, gesture, gaze and conversational interaction by both performers and audience members alike.
 
The term ‘crowd work’ stems from the constant impromptu conversation that a comedian has with their audience based on non-scripted dialogue and ‘congregation come-back’ deals with the magnanimous nature of the comedian who allows for onlookers to ‘come-back’ at him/her with their own repartees and witty one-liners.
 
Finally, Gujral on his own admission has learned the craft of crowd work from his guru – India’s greatest stand-up comedian to date – Kapil Sharma who sprang to fame solely due to his ability to pronounce impromptu witty one-liners on members of his august audience.
 
Unfortunately, some show organisers have still not grasped the importance of a stand-up comic (especially in virtual shows) to keep up the audience in a constant conversational tete-a-tete.
 
Fortunately, the Gujral show organisers, in spite of having finger control over the ‘mute-button’ of the zoom audience, freely allowed constant comedian/congregation conversation that ultimately proved to be the hilarious highlight of the show.
 
Coming back to the show, comedian Gujral shared his life’s journey right from being born and raised in Kanpur, a populous city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to him moving to the nation’s capital Delhi where he performed his first stage show in 2017. Couple of years later, he uploaded his first standup act on YouTube and that garnered huge appreciation among both audience and critics alike.
 
An engineer by qualification and in spite of having worked with many MNCs he continued writing jokes based on his observation of society which later became the basis for his unique style of comedy.  The fact that Gujral was born last of four siblings – the elder three being all sisters  were to play a major role is his upbringing and being a mute observer to of how parents treat the youngest member of their brood.
 
These childhood memories were fodder to his current bag of comedy coupled with his uncanny skill to work an audience proved that what started gingerly as a slow night turned into a full-blown rib-tickling comedy show with a climatic finale.
 
The usual ‘partner is time’ sponsors of the event were Daiso and HOMES R US, Associate Sponsor - 360 Realtors, Gold Sponsor - Marhaba Tourism and Digital Partner - QatarDay - Pulse of the Nation.
 
The show was supported by IBPC (Indian Business & Professionals Council) and SUCQ (Stand Up Comedy Qatar). 
 
Tickets to the show were free through online registration with Punchliners.in and Q-Tickets who are the leadership brand in entertainment space besides being the one-stop platform for movies, sports, events and leisure activities.

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