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It Takes Over 15 Minutes For Me To Return To Normalcy After a Show: Zakir Khan

In an interaction with News18.com, Zakir Khan talks about how his stand-up acts, that often resonate well with the audience, are drawn from his personal life.

Kriti Tulsiani | News18.com@sleepingpsyche2

Updated:August 17, 2017, 2:59 PM IST
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With an undeniable wit, stand-up comic Zakir Khan, has often got many laughing at their own insecurities – colour bias, the divide between rich and poor, the anonymity of Hindu-Muslim issues, the angst of unrequited love, the complexities of a father-son relationship and the awkwardness one feels around someone of opposite gender among others.

However, if one’s even elusively acquainted with Khan’s style of comedy, they’d know that most of his stand-up acts are slices of his own life experiences. When asked if that makes him feel more vulnerable, Khan says, “It definitely does. All the incidents that I talk about on stage draw energy out of my personal experiences.”

“It’s almost like reliving that part of my life over and over again. So much so that it takes 15 minutes post the show for me to return to normalcy,” he adds.

Considering that his statements including “Waise toh mai sakhta launda hu, par yaha mai pighal gaya”, “Ek tarfa pyaar bhi relationship hota hai” and “Hmm.. achha.. theek hai..” went on to become chants of sorts for the youth, it’s only normal to imagine that he’d feel an added pressure on his shoulders to include a significant social message in all his talks. But Khan doesn’t agree and in fact, points out that he “doesn’t actively talk about or include issues which are socially relevant.”

zakir-khan-1Image: Youtube/ A still from Haq Se Single Trailer

Another thing that drives the comedian’s tribe is that while for any other act, it mightn’t sound funny once the punch is lost and that a pun is repeated more than twice, but for Khan’s gags, the vibe remains intact. The crowd will erupt into applauds and laughter with the same enthusiasm as they do the first time when the punch-line drops on their ears.

“It’s just that the experiences speak for themselves. And it’s a mere coincidence that the society resonates with the artist. But where I come from, as an artist, I want to be in a place where I can deliver and entertain the audience with newer nuances every time I go on stage,” he believes.

At a time when artists bear the brunt of their jokes and often face wrath under the flag names of FIRs and judicial cases, Khan makes no bones in accepting that one can’t deny or ignore that restrictions are imposed on stand-up comics in general. “More than the legitimacy, I consciously pick and choose battles that are worth fighting for. Because irrespective of how the ideal society should be, there are and there will always be certain issues and topics that will be misconstrued.”



Khan might be receiving standing ovations for his anecdotes now, but his journey to ‘stardom’ hasn’t been all gold. In fact, he gladly calls his journey bittersweet. “It’s been quite a journey if I may say. Each and every move - right from the decision to move to Delhi from Indore and to leave behind a stable job to pursue stand-up comedy full time - is thrilling and has been quite a learning experience. With every year, it’s new people and a new experience.”

While discussing the lower ratio of female to male in the comedy fraternity, Khan said that he doesn’t have anything constructive to add as there’s already enough dialogue going around it.

A trained musician, sitarist and now a comedian, Khan has recently performed a monologue for Star Network’s Hindi channel and has now been roped as one of the mentors for ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’. When asked what he feels about the current scenario of stand-up comedy in India, an optimistic Khan says, “We’ve just started off with the industry! We are yet to pull out a lot of tricks out of our hats. And we are definitely here to stay and entertain people.”


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| Edited by: Kriti Tulsiani
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