Published: 03rd November 2018
Here's what Stand-up comedian Saikiran Rayaprolu is doing for the Telugu comedy scene in Hyderabad
Woody Allen, who used to pursue stand-up comedy before becoming a director, is Rayaprolu's favourite stand-up comedian
What can one say about the Telugu stand-up comedy scene? Not much because it is still emerging but there are three prominent names that come to mind - Rajasekhar Mamidanna, Sandesh Johnny and Saikiran Rayaprolu. Most recently, 37-year-old Rayaprolu performed at Phoenix Arena in Hyderabad and the show titled Pure Veg Jokes and it is him we reached out to to understand what is going on in the Telugu stand-up comedy scene. "There has always been a culture of live art performances, meaning theatre, in languages like Kannada and Marathi. Which is why, their stand-up comedy scene is better. Whereas in the Telugu-speaking states, we mostly just watch movies," rightly observes the comedian. "It's a no-brainer that people would rather pay `150 to watch a movie of a big movie star in GVK One rather than pay that amount and watch an unknown person perform at Lamakaan," he says. The trajectory also is that because Hyderabad is home to natives who speak Hindi and Urdu too and others who come in to take advantage of the booming IT industry, Telugu shows with typical Telugu references might just be lost on the rest. And yet, he along with others continue to persevere by performing at least one Telugu comedy act a month.
Rayaprolu is an avid news reader. He has travelled to Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam. Coimbatore, Chennai and Bombay to perform
Coming to his latest act, Pure Veg Jokes, the Badruka College alumnus says that when he keeps away from jokes which are crude, he finds that a wider range of audience comes to watch his show. "Three generations of families have come to watch my show together and they all enjoyed it," says the comedian proudly, whose comedy is usually observational or autobiographical. And for him, their applause is his biggest compliment. Next up, he is working on a new show tentatively titled Unbreaking news, which is a take on the news that does not feature on page one.
For more on him, click on facebook.com/JestSaikiran