I don’t think stand-up comedy is becoming too serious, in fact, I wish it was. We are still mostly doing frivolous stuff.
— Varun Grover
I am primarily a comedian. Sometimes I also do comedy about my cats. Now unless you find metaphors in cats, there is nothing political about those and I love doing such jokes as much as I love doing political content.
I’m okay with anybody interpreting my work anyway because I don’t take it seriously.
I’ve stopped many things such as healthy eating. What’s the point? In this post-truth era, I feel increasingly powerless.
Speaking in Hindi has helped me a lot as I can tell my stories with the exact idiom in which they come to me. I think it also helps the audience when I am speaking in a language that is non-elite, so to say, as my stories are also from that perspective.
Sometimes people don’t want to laugh because it’s wrong to laugh at their own establishment.
You cannot have the same kind of character again and again in every season or every stage of your life. You change, people change.
In general, even when I'm not doing political comedy, I want to be clever and find the least confrontational way to say the most offensive things.
I don’t understand why people who have the most power, say people like Amitabh Bachchan, are silent on most issues.
Comedy as dissent or any art form as dissent is going to be our last safety valve.
I think both comedy and dissent are liberating, for the listener as well!
There’s a lot of ordinariness, and people tend to play to the same regressive tropes - sexism, patriarchy, unkindness to the oppressed. Comedy shouldn’t fall into these traps - by its very nature comedy is supposed to be edgy and anti-establishment.
Self-censorship is the most devastating thing for an artist.
I was writing stand up comedy for TV for around 5 years and just wanted to attempt it myself. Vir Das started an amateur comedians’ night in Bombay in 2009 and I went for the very first one. It was a competition and I won the first prize.
We critique all politicians who are in power, whenever there’s a talking point.
My only success is that I am alive.
When a new government comes, even the detractors want to give them a chance because they have been voted in by the people of the country.
I am Hindu, upper-caste, male, and able-bodied. So everything is on my side. That gives me the extra cushion that Swara Bhaskar won’t get.
The best jokes take something awful and make it silly.
If you start imagining an audience for yourself, you don’t do justice to the job. You fall into that trap of a self-image.
I like to dissociate myself from the person I was even three hours ago. It’s a natural requirement to be a writer.
My set on why I won’t have kids, and especially the mention of how expensive it is to have kids nowadays, always gets a great response.
British comedian Imran Yusuf is fantastic and so is Shazia Mirza, also London-based.
Revolutions can be messy but they can't be perceived as unjust.
I don't think changing minds is possible with just comedy. It's too much to expect from your own art.
In any show, not everybody is completely with us on all the topics we talk about. We talk about Hindutva, and we talk about the problems with Islam also. If there are Muslims in the audience, laughing at the jokes on Hindutva, they will have to confront the jokes on Islam too.
People who are privileged can take more risks because of that safety shield that privilege provides.