Ken-did Talks with Kenny!!!!

Partners-in-Crime: Biswa “R” Mishra and Sahil Ahmed

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

-Audrey Hepburn

As the Technical-Literary-Management fest neared its final destination, CETizens were readying themselves to be wowed by the laughter riot that was about to take place in the evening of February 2nd, 2017. The crowd was impatient to meet the man for whom they had waited for months. The brand ambassador of the “Middle-Class”, the man with a seven-year old YouTube channel that presents to us a collection of videos that spans from Indians at restaurants, airways to his Chai Time Videos that depict the scenario of an Indian kitchen or the problems that men have (that’s just shaving guys!)..He brings out laughter from the most mundane things that we can find and hence everybody relates to it. And on the 2nd of February. he arrived!!!! And what a show was that…!!! Gosh!!!

But back on the way to his hotel, we (me, Biswa R. Mishra and Sahil Ahmed) excited bunch of fans could not resist striking a conversation with the man himself. The following are the excerpts of the 30-min conversation we had on the way back to his hotel.

How did it all start?

He has this one rehearsed, he says, (so we didn’t bother to ask). As clichéd as it might sound, stand-up happened “accidently” to this kid from a navy family who instead had a passion for film-making. But winning a stand-up competition at an IIT fest changed everything, when, he declined an offer to perform at The Comedy Store. Incidentally, two years later, he performed there . He mostly performed in open-mic sessions in the interim, owning the opportunity to Sanjay Manaktala, Sandeep Rao and Praveen Kumar and his own stalking skills by virtue of which he tracked the trio on Facebook after reading a newspaper article, featuring them, about stand-up comedy hitting Bangalore. He took it as “a sign” and with the trio’s help, started doing spots. Kenneth Sebastian has since then, never looked back and has become one of the best-known faces of the stand-up genre and has held numerous shows.

With multiple shows in line, how does he prepare his content within such a short time-frame? Does he ever get a creative block?

He finds the concept of “Creative-block” to be overhyped. What he feels is that if you have the intent and the passion, you don’t get one. As for him, he never has one and continues to write great stuff as this is something that he wanted to do for a long time.

In today’s scenario, we find numerous stand-up comedians and that again results in a lesser scope for content as at times, it gets repetitive! So does it affect him?

He thinks that forming the content is a big task and even if a type of comedy is repeated, that doesn’t take away the fact that one can add his or her own flavor to it. Citing a brilliant example he says “Like you see, initially there was this app called Nokia Maps….But in spite of that, Google came up with the Google Maps. For what? To make it better, right? Same can be done with comedy!” He feels, content can always be created if you ponder over it and give time to it.

He is a creative guy, right?? So he must be smoking pot!! Hey, isn’t that just a stereotype?

He claims that he has been asked this question numerous times and people have always found it hard to believe that he is a teetotaler. He claims that he is actually a very shy person in real life and doesn’t smoke or drink. And he stays 10 yards away from the pot. (Mm…Interesting)

Most Girls would be wondering about his dating life!!! Well…Let’s find out his favourite pick-up line…

He is the typical old-school guy when it comes to all this. Says pick-up lines and dating don’t work out in the long-term. A good conversation is all that it takes to know somebody.

Was there any source on inspiration???

He has always looked up to Seinfeld who himself is a great American comedian and an inspiration. He is one of the greatest now. In India, he finds Tanmay Bhatt (whom he calls a senior) to be simply mind-blowing. Watching Seinfeld and Bill Burr live is like attaining higher studies in comedy, he thinks. He also feels he gains something or the other from every comedian that he has worked with.

So, as a stand-up wizard, does he find it easy to connect with the audience, what happens if he is unable to?

He feels, as a performer, one needs to connect to the audience. One needs to be aware who is in the audience and what they can relate to. “Sometimes stage presence can play a major role”, he says. He feels a bad joke can do wonders if it is delivered correctly yet a good one can fall flat owing to poor stage presence.

Already a stand-up wizard, guitarist, painter and what not…you are a multi-faceted person. What can we expect next from you?

He feels he needs to improve on what he has currently. “It’s time to take it to the next level”, he believes….

We Surely Hope He Does!!! :)

Well, guys! This is all we could manage to talk! Hope you enjoyed these snippets of the conversation with Kenny!!

Picture Credits: CET PhotoFactory :)