Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Sabareesh Narayanan, one of India’s top emerging stand-up comedians from Kochi, Kerala. Only 22 years old, Sabreesh has already performed at a TEDx event and is a regular at other major events in India. Here is a brief interview of this bright, young comedian whose goal is not to make money, but to remain true to his passion, and make people laugh. As he says, "You become funny, then you make money. Comedy is an art, and we as comedians represent our art. There shouldn’t be room for greed. My dream is to cross the bar of diversities.”
Sabareesh can be contacted on his mobile at +91 80752 93855.
How was your TEDx experience?
Performing in a TEDx was always a dream. The audience was very much receptive. And their response was really overwhelming.
When did you actually started doing comedy?
Back in school, every Friday we used to have a period or an hour called CCA (Co-curricular activities). I used to do skits and impressions there. I and my friends loved making the class laugh. Then realized that I loved making people laugh. So in between classes, we discussed our act and I waited for the next Friday to perform again. After school, I really missed such a platform. From college, I discovered stand-up comedy and gave it a try.
Were your parents supportive of what you are doing?
My parents also wanted me to be an engineer so that later I can secure a bank job (lol). But my parents never put pressure on me but like any other parent, they also wanted me to be in a secure job. It is those relatives who tried putting pressure. I didn’t tell to my parents when I started doing comedy. I just said that am going to watch a movie. Later they came to know about it and they left hopes on me (laughs).
What all challenges did you face as a stand-up comedian?
As the scene is slowly picking up in Kerala explaining to people what stand-up is itself a challenge. Getting ample stage time also remains a challenge. There is a need for more open mics in Cochin to improve the scene. Also, the process of coming up with new material is a beautiful challenge. But at the end of the day seeing people laugh on your jokes is worth a ride.
What are your dreams in life and stand-up?
I have crazy dreams. Am a dreamer. Need to get into more stages, to perform for many more people. Develop material and perform a one-hour special. Watch more stand-up live and Learn from other artists.
What happens when a joke doesn’t work on stage?
It is part of the process, the joke which is funny for you may not be funny for others. The failed jokes will teach you valuable lessons. Just like in life failures are part of this. We have to accept it and learn from mistakes and keep moving on.
How do you come up with new jokes and who is your favorite comic?
We have a collection called the comedy lounge. We get together to discuss our material. Vinay Menon is the one who also introduced me to comedy lounge. we all sit together and give feedback on each other’s material. My friends also give good feedbacks.
I have a lot of favorites, Kanan Gill, Praveen Kumar, Louis CK are few in the list.