Review: Genuine Nights-Stand-Up Comedy

Wednesday night saw Biswa Kalyan Rath and Kanan Gill perform at the Highlarious night at High Spirits Cafe. Famous for their Pretentious Movie Reviews, the duo was in town for a stand-up act. This was their first gig in Pune, and quite a hit with the young kids. My verdict? It could have been better.
I reached High spirits at 8 pm, which is way too early for a Wednesday night that starts kicking post 9 pm. I was pleasantly surprised to see the crowd already coming in. Kanan Gill and Kalyan Rath entered a little later, causing some excitement in the otherwise laid back, quiet crowd. The girls were ready with their cameras, clicking away selfies with the artistes while they tried to set up the stage. I chose a quiet little corner to observe the madness- maybe age is catching up!
The show started at 9:30 pm with Daniel Fernandez, a stand-up comedian at High Spirits Cafe. He’s a funny chap, and I love the impromptu jokes he comes up with every single time.  Observational comedy is something he is great at- the impromptu jokes on fan-girlism made us crack up hard! Though the joke on the Delhi zoo incident didn’t really go down well with many. Be careful there!
First to take the stage was Kalyan Rath. I knew this was going to be a hilarious segment when he started with “Hi, I am Kalyan, and I come from a very poor state- Orissa” The highlight of this segment was the expression on his face- he’d have a straight face and say the wittiest, funniest things and have us all rolling with laughter. He did seem a little nervous at certain points, but with a crowd this mad I don’t blame him. Also, the way in which he had the audience under his control was something worthy of applause. There was a point where we felt he’d walk off the stage (college kids who had met Kanan Gill on the way back from the bathroom were having a LOUD moment) but his sportsmanship was seen when he got over the irritation in a jiffy, involving the entire crowd to make a joke out of it. Kudos to that, Sir!
The segment with Kanan Gill was not as hilarious as Kalyan’s (ouch!) He did seem a lot more confident and more at ease on stage, and it looked like he was clearly used to the attention. His jokes were a bit dull, and there were a few low moments in the show. I doubt anyone noticed that though- the hooting and wolf whistling was pretty consistent during the entire performance.
Kaneez Surka, another stand-up comedian and improviser, was given a ten-minute segment too. The innocent manner in which she narrated the jokes had us all hooked on to her every word. Personally, I’d give her a higher rating than the rest. High Spirits, if you’re listening, can we have her back one more time?
The end of the show saw some mixed reactions from the crowd. The regulars found it average and said they had expected a performance rather than a show (I feel them!) while a good chunk of the females were heard telling each other how the show was so great because they got to meet Kanan. *sigh*
The entire experience was a little average for 2 reasons:
1. Crowd- it wasn’t the usual locals in the house that night. The crowd consisted of kids that Daniel rightly said might have been sperms when he was in school. The crowd was a little too undisciplined and unruly for my liking.
2. Expectations- After having checked out the Pretentious Movie Reviews on Youtube, most of us came with high expectations, only to realise that stand-up comedy is a completely different ball game.
The duo will be performing once again on October 29, 2014 at High Spirits Cafe. For those of you who missed them this time, you could get your tickets on BookMyShow. Good luck to the guys this time around!

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