COMEDIAN Zakir Khan says his aim as a comedian has always been to connect and entertain the audience without making any kind of commentary.
Khan is regarded as one of the popular names on the Indian comedy circuit due to his witty stand-up performances where he often uses his real-life tragic and humorous stories as a tool to evoke laughter.
The comedian said his humour may seem quite relatable to the audience but he never tries to convey any message to them.
“I just say what I want to the audience. There is no agenda when I do stand-up. I am a professional comedian and I have tickets for my show, so every penny should be worth it. I make sure I entertain the audience enough. I try to give the audience their value,” Khan told PTI in an interview.
He said it makes him happy that some of his punch lines, like ‘sakht launda’ and ‘Badal important hai’, have become popular among the people.
“My idea is to not fall for these people and be a ‘sakht launda’, someone who does not get swayed away but reacts in the right way. The concept has come from my own experiences and struggles,” he said.
Khan said he often derives material for comic acts from his interactions with unknown and random people, a habit that he has since childhood. At the same time, the comedian asserted that people are not “content” for him.
“I have this habit of talking to strangers and I remember them. I recently went to my ancestral village, stayed there for a few days and saw how people are there. On a weekly basis, I try to meet as many as 25 new people. But people are not content for me. I meet people because I like it,” the comedian said.
With a massive fan following, not only at his live shows, but even on social media platforms, Khan said he feels grateful for all the love coming his way.
The comedian, who shot to fame in 2012 after he won the title of Comedy Central’s “India’s Best Stand Up”, has over 7 million subscribers on his YouTube channel as well as 4.5 million and 1.2 million followers on Instagram and Twitter, respectively.
“I am happy being a comedian. This profession has given me a lot. I get a lot of respect and I am blessed to be a comedian,” Khan added.
The comedian now returns as a judge for the third season of Prime Video show “Comicstaan”, which premiered on Friday.
Khan said watching the contestants on the show reminded him of his initial days in the industry.
“Every time I see anybody performing, it is a pleasure to see how they are doing things on stage. It reminds you of how you have been over the years,” he added.
Popular comedians Neeti Palta, Sumukhi Suresh and Kenny Sebastian also serve as co-judges on season three of the talent hunt show, where stand-up comics from across the country compete over a span of eight episodes.
One of the key factors that Khan looks for in a contestant is the presence of mind, he said.
“You can spend a lot of time writing a script but on stage how you use your presence of mind is important as it shows your background, the life that you have lived and many other things,” Khan added.
Produced by Only Much Louder (OML), “Comicstaan” is hosted by Abish Mathew and Kusha Kapila.
The 34-year-old comic refers to himself as ‘sakht launda’, even on his Instagram and Twitter bio, and he said the idea stems from his own experiences and struggles.
“Sakht is a genderless concept. It is more about yourself and your self-respect, and not being played on by people. There are a lot of men and women who will sweet talk to get things done and they don’t mean any business after that.