New comedy with Anne Heche! Premieres Tonight 8/7c. Preview now.
What was your first solo stand-up gig?
At the age of eleven I performed comedy while standing on top of an elephant, on the edge of a forest, near a village in Central India. I entertained the one thousand odd beaters* who had come to assist with the hunt for a man-eating tiger that my grandfather was asked to shoot. Unfortunately I had to get off the "stage" early because a rhino charged out of the forest. How's that for a first time heckle? (*Beaters are people who would beat drums to drive the tiger towards the machaan on the treetop where the hunters are sitting.)
What is your worst nightmare as a comic while performing on stage? Has it happened?
My worst nightmare as a comic is to have Camilla Parker Bowles (Prince Charles' wife) and George W. Bush nibble on my nipples while I perform. Fortunately this hasn't happened on stage yet. I just wish I could say the same for off stage. Power is such an intoxicant/aphrodisiac sometimes.
At what age did you realize you were funny? Why? Tell us the story.
I realized that wit was hereditary at the age of seven when my father was summoned to school by my class teacher. She told my dad I had been using foul language. When my dad asked her what I had said, she said I had used the word "crap." My dad instantly responded, "Oh crap, he said that?" He was never summoned to school again.
Who are your comic influences? What are your comedic influences?
My comic influences are Tinkle (India), Amar Chitra Katha (India), Archie's Double Digest, and Superman (DC Comics). My comedic influences on the other hand come from growing up in the magical and mystical city of Calcutta where woolens are worn at 30 degrees C/86 degrees F, where traffic rules are more like guidelines, and where street theatre is not an art form but a way of life.
What is the worst job you have ever had?
I once worked as a business controller at IBM. It was so exciting that zzz...
What are some of your favorite television shows? Movies?
"Two and Half Men," "Chitrahar" (Hindi), "Scent of a Woman," "Taare Zamein Par" (Hindi), and "Kuttey Kameeney" (Punjabi).
What do you hope to gain by becoming the Last Comic Standing?
Most embarrassing moment? Have you recovered?
Embarrassment is only an option if you feel shame. You forget my chosen profession. However, you should ask my parents how they initially coped with questions around what their Oxford MBA son was doing in a country where most people think a comedian is a clown in a traveling circus. Which I suppose is not too far from the truth.
Give us your best "knock knock" joke.
Knock knock. Who's there? Someone asking a professional comedian for a knock knock joke. Well then get the hell out of here before I poke you with a stick that has dog-poo on the end of it you miserable tasteless nincompoop.
What is the worst question you have ever been asked in an interview?
Give us your best "knock knock" joke!