One of the most active stand-up comedians working now is Aakash Mehta. His fan base has slowly and gradually increased as a result of his participation in open mic nights and live performances all around. Every time he releases fresh material, one of his YouTube videos quickly becomes popular.
Aakash Mehta discusses a variety of topics with Prateek Sur, including the quality of humor, the political undertones of jokes, the audience's propensity for offence, and much more. He also discusses whether or not Indians have lost the ability to make fun of ourselves. excerpts from the open discussion:
Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Vijaykar were perhaps the only stand-up comedians in India when we were children. There is now one upcoming stand-up comedian in every home. Do you believe that throughout the years, the quality of humor has increased as well?
For me, this is a challenging question. Because I think the word “level” is highly arbitrary. Additionally, I would include Raju Srivastava, Sunil Pal, and Gujarati humorists Tarak Mehta and Dinkar Joshi when I think about comedy from my youth. Also known as Pu La Deshpande in Marathi-speaking regions. We may have a long way to go if we gauge the degree of activity by how often it was done. Because I believe that their ability to create humour of a high caliber was the result of time and effort. This current comic trend is continuously developing. We'll have comedians who are as prolific after they've performed on stage for an equal number of years and hours. Some comedians now have made more money than the majority of our former countrymen put together, if we were to define the degree of comic success in terms of money. However, I wouldn't base my decision just on it. Accessibility is the main difference I see between humor now and when I was a child. Everywhere in the nation, there are comedians who have a chance to gain a following due to social media sites like YouTube and Instagram and comedy Open Mic events organized by other fans.
Since everyone in India is now prepared to take offense at anything and everything, many comedians nowadays claim that they are afraid to make jokes. Was it identical when you first arrived? Have you ever been afraid to make a joke on television or anywhere else?
The size of the audience directly affects the likelihood that someone will take offense. Even when I first began, there were clear guidelines for what was acceptable and unacceptable to say on television on the internet. It's unsettling that those borders are closing in on each other. And anger becomes less and less rational. The people who are instigating and leading these allegations also enjoy considerable influence and notoriety as a result of their deeds, which makes them somewhat similar to the content producers they are attempting to discredit.
Is this change, where individuals are afraid to even make jokes to their heart's content, a result of the modern establishment, or rather the powers that be?
“The planet goes through a lot of hardship. not as a result of wicked people's violent behavior. However, due to the decent people's quiet.
We're not really adept at making fun of ourselves, are we?
Nope. If I went on, someone would take offense and I would have to stop.
What is your main source of humor inspiration? Where do you receive the most jokes? Has it been the same when you first began, or has it evolved over time?
The main motivation for me comes from existence and the anxiety that goes along with it. One of the finest ways, in my opinion, to make sense of how crazy, fantastic, horrific, and mesmerizing life can be at the same time, is via humor. Everything in life serves just as the basis for my discussions about, well, life!
Is there any subject that you avoid addressing when you create jokes for your own shows?
Nothing, in my opinion, may be off-limits for humor. We use laughter to help us cope with a variety of emotions, including pleasure, disgust, and terror. Never do I have to consider “Whether” I should bring up a subject. When, Where, and How are the pertinent queries.
Do you believe that today's TV and advertising budgets have gotten too large and that the producers aren't only willing enough to take too much risk with so much money at stake that creativity is dying in these mediums?
This isn't, in my opinion, limited to TV or advertisements. It encompasses humor, movies, and maybe even politics. As the cost of living continues to rise unchecked, everyone is chasing their salary. Since they have spent the majority of their lives being taught that value is found in the balance sheet, I don't necessarily hold the folks in suits responsible for these judgments. However, I do fault the audience for giving up on expecting improvement so quickly.
Which would you prefer, doing stand-up comedy on stage or hosting your own comedy show on TV or OTT?
Without life on the road and in the theater, there is no life. And without trying new ideas and forms, you can only improve to a certain point. But if I had to choose, I would choose the stage.
What can we expect from you going forward?
Currently, my next comedy special, Nasty, which will air in the first part of June, is what I'm most looking forward to. It will be my second special to be published this year, however it won't be the last. I've been performing this program since 2019, and it almost seems like my child is growing up and leaving home.