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From IAS to comedy

Stand-up  comedian Balraj who will soon be seen in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi 10’ was recently in  Goa. He shares his journey with



Q. You initially planned on becoming an IAS or IPS officer. How did comedy come into the picture?

Yes, I wanted to become an IAS or IPS officer and help society, and was studying for the same. Comedy however happened by chance. ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ had started airing on Star One and many regional channels too started comedy shows. People with whom I was doing theatre got a call for auditions for a comedy programme on MH1 (Punjabi channel). I tagged along with them and got selected.

Q. What was your first performance as a stand-up comedian like?

My first performance was on MH1. While everyone appreciated the content, I was told that I did not know how to perform. Looking back, I have to agree and I feel like laughing looking at myself then. But at this point of time I feel happy to have come ahead in life not just in terms of fame and money, but I have grown as a performer.

Q. What do you consider the turning point of your career?

I did stand-up comedy for a show called ‘Comedy Dangal’ on &TV (And TV) for a long time. The production team, channel and my colleagues liked it and the content. And from there I got Entertainment Ki Raat and there was no looking back.  So doing Comedy Dangal was the turning point of my career.

Also, having gone to the same university in Punjab as comedians Kapil Sharma, Rajeev Thakur and Chandan Prabhakar, when I came to Mumbai, they introduced me to people they were working with. Hence I also credit my success to them, especially Rajeev.

Q. How has the comedy scenario changed in India since you first started?

Today people like to see and hear comedy based on real instances/situations. Observational humour is more in demand. With digitalisation, content has also changed a lot.

When I started we would do gigs where there were two or three groups of people. But today pure stand-up comedy does well which is very good.

Q. You will be seen in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 (KKK10) soon. Why did you decide to participate in this show?

I think I decided I wanted to participate even before I began comedy. ‘KKK10’ is an adaptation of the American reality show, ‘Fear Factor’ which I used to watch with excitement. I wanted to do something like that in life.

I have been following this show since a young age so I feel somewhere this show chose me.

Q. And lastly, what do you like about Goa?

I mostly go to South Goa because it is less crowded and peaceful. The beaches are clean. And if you want to go for small quick break what better than Goa as it is so close to Mumbai.

Also, there is diversity here, you get to see people from all cultures and so there is variety in cuisine too.

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