The Local Comedy Scene in Manipal

In the last decade, stand-up comedy has burst through like no other genre. Many have started to consider it as an actual career option.

Unlike other fields, your income depends purely on your ability to make other people laugh. Comedians like Zakir Khan, Biswa Kalyan Rath, or Abhishek Upmanyu deliver their jokes with a simplicity that often makes stand-up comedy look easy. However, this is far from the truth.

They try out their content at several open mics before performing at their stand-up specials. Sometimes writing and perfecting the delivery of a single joke can take several months. Stand-up Comedy is thus, an art form that requires vast amounts of patience, persistence, and practice.

Why Manipal?

Manipal stands out among other cities when it comes to stand-up as it has one of the best target audiences for a comedian. This is also the reason why many significant stand-up comedians wish to visit and perform in Manipal. It is also a great place to start stand-up comedy as a career or a hobby.

Firstly, Open mics hosted here are free of cost for the performers, unlike in other metropolitan cities that require you to pay or bring a plus one among different rules. Secondly, Manipal habituates the perfect environment for a growing stand-up comedian. The place itself is the ideal inspiration for writing jokes. Manipal’s background has given birth to comedians like Kartik Sadvij and Shubhang Yadav, who have produced and performed their stand-up specials in Manipal.

The birth of CCM

You can’t talk about comedy in Manipal without talking about the club behind it. Comedy Club Manipal(CCM) has been the main reason behind the success of the comedy genre in Manipal. Before CCM, Manipal had UnTied Laces(UTL). Though UTL organized open mics, these were one-off events that were being ticketed and were not exclusively for stand-up comedy.

Kartik Sadvij, a MIC student, who was interested in comedy since the age of 13 and began performing since the age of 17, believed that these mics weren’t enough to workshop good material. So, in 2017, he started CCM with the ideology of building a lively local comedy scene. The goals ranged from hosting open mics for newbies to giving a stage to new comedians. Since then, Kartik has graduated and taken his comedy skills to Bengaluru.

Now CCM is under the leadership of Vishal Sivakumar, a 3rd year MIT student. You might have seen him open for various stand-up comedians throughout the past year. An already growing CCM saw further growth under Vishal’s leadership, including the launch of a long under the works YouTube channel. Vishal is also responsible for bringing a comedy category to MIT’s cultural fest. It’s something that has been missing in our cultural fests compared to other colleges for a long time.

For the past few years, CCM has organized every single stand-up comedy event in Manipal. They host four open mics every week. Starting from Monday to Thursday with venues such as ChillSpace, McDonald’s, Grub Monkey, and Barista, respectively. With stand-up comedy, memes and YouTube videos under their belt, CCM aims to cover all aspects of comedy in subsequent years. They truly have reshaped the local comedy scene in Manipal.

Written by Harshaj Sood for MTTN

Edited by Naintara Singh

Images by Akarshit Nayyar for MTTN

Featured image by Google Images

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