- 24 Nov 2017
Whether it was at the 'all-up-in-your-business' Ungle Pranjiz (spelt f.r.a.n.c.i.s) or the socially awkward and generally "weird" Javier (spelt with an X) Pandiyan or just Naveen as himself, we couldn't help but laugh out loud for Naveen and Friends
Whether it was the 'all-up-in-your-business' Ungle Pranjiz (spelt f.r.a.n.c.i.s) or the socially awkward and generally "weird" Javier (spelt with an X) Pandiyan or the ordeals of Naveen himself from the tiger and monkey punch (sound effect included) ordeal that he had to endure while attempting to learn "Kung Fu" or his struggle and a Malayali, living in Mumbai trying to converse with his Uber driver but knowing little to no Hindi Naveen Richard has us all laughing till our stomachs hurt.
Naveen Richard started off as a theatre actor and then went on to take up Stand Up comedy in 2011. Since then he has performed at over 250 shows at venues all across the country and even lands as far away as Singapore. Richard is known for the absurd sci-fi themed web series, Star Boyz, and the mockumentary web series, Better Life Foundation (BLF) for which he wrote an entire season. Naveen is currently touring the country with his new special, 'Naveen Richard and Freinds' and we managed to catch him in the act here in Kochi on Wednesday. Here's a short excerpt from the interview we did with Naveen.
How did you go from just being the guy in your friend circle who makes everyone laugh, to doing web series and eventually becoming one of the best-known names in the Indian stand-up comedy scene?
For me, getting recognition and the upswing that came with it was never a sudden thing. There were big, gradual steps. I think that during the years that you do stand-up, no one really recognises you. After a while, I began to put up sketches on my channel, and there was a small following there. Then, when we did Better Life Foundation, and later, Star Boys, there were spikes in following. It’s always been a gradual growth.
How would you describe your life as a comedian? Is it as fun as people would expect?
Usually, if you’re around the right crowd, yes; not necessarily, if you’re just by yourself. Then it’s just normal, regular stuff like travel.
What is the most annoying question people ask you?
They usually ask stuff like, “Do you go prepared or do you do it on the spot?”, but as far as annoying goes, they’re not questions. They tend to say, “Hey, don’t make a joke out of us in your set!” I mean, don’t worry, you’re not that interesting. People assume that we’re going to make fun of anything and everything.
Is Uncle Pranjis a real person?
He’s not a real person. I created him from several drunk Mallu uncles and my Tamil uncles combined together. People ask, “Is he Tamil or Malayali?” and I say, “He’s Tamil but he’s actually a mix of everything.” I really don’t want to pin it down. He could be Tamil, he could be Malayali, but the important thing is, everybody recognises him.
Interviewed by Rheanna Mathews Featured image source