Laugh with Indian comics Kunal Rao, Sorabh Pant and Sanjay Manaktala at Indian Invasion Comedy

Six years ago, the stand-up comedy scene in India, the world's second most populous country, was nonexistent, says Mr Quill Potter, chief executive of comedy show organiser The Comedy Store Singapore.

There are now 50 to 60 comedians working the comedy circuit, by his estimation.

He will be bringing to Singapore three of the better-known names internationally - Kunal Rao, Sorabh Pant and Sanjay Manaktala - for Indian Invasion Comedy.

The show, featuring Indian and India-based performers, will take place on Dec 4 and 5 at Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel.

Mr Potter, 45, says: "Indians are a lot looser and they are able to laugh at themselves... this lends to the comedians from there creating content that isn't just about India, but also anything and everything in a dark and smart style."

Pant and Rao are the founders of East India Comedy, a collective of seven Indian stand-up comedians who perform comedy shows and regularly put on sketches on their YouTube channel, which has amassed 27 million views in the last three years.

Pant, 34, who will be making his fourth trip to Singapore, attributes the growth in India's stand-up scene to the rising popularity of social media there.

He tells Life in an e-mail interview: "The big contributor was probably YouTube - the online presence and paucity of good content in India have helped comedians immensely."

His content for the upcoming show here, he adds, will be tongue-in-cheek and about Singapore, "especially the Indian diaspora in Singapore".

Rao, 36, prefers to keep his audience guessing and discusses everything during his gigs to better gauge which topics his audience laughs the hardest at.

What is his take on an Indian style of humour? He does not buy into that and cheekily quips: "Because it's funny to watch a brown person being silly."

Mr Potter emphasises that this is a show for everyone. "They will cover universal topics that are funny in any part of the world. You don't have to be Indian to enjoy the jokes."

Sixty per cent of the tickets to the event have been sold. One eager stand-up comedy fan who has bought his tickets is video developer Gary Ow, 32.

He says: "I'm interested in other cultures and I like stand-up, so I thought, 'why not?'"

Referring to the Indo-Canadian comedian, he adds: "Everyone knows Russell Peters, but there are many others out there who are just as funny too."


WHERE: Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel, 15 Hoe Chiang Road

WHEN: Dec 4 and 5, 8.30pm

ADMISSION: From $78 (includes a drink). Tickets from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to

This article was first published on November 27, 2015.
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