In real life, he is one of those people who are silent at parties and just observe things happening around them. He cracks a lot of dad jokes on which nobody laughs. In reel life, he is one of the few stand-up comics who managed to get his own show on Netflix. The New Delhi-based comedian Amit Tandon has a one-hour-long special on the streaming platform titled ‘Amit Tandon: Family Tandoncies’.
How did he get the opportunity? “Netflix had approached me three to four times, first, they approached in the year 2017 but things didn’t work out. Then they were working on a show called ‘Comedians of the World’ and they were featuring three different comedians from India and I was one of them and each one of us did a slot for half-an-hour and that show did very well, especially for me,” shares Amit.
“They liked my work and they wanted to do a full one-hour show with me on Netflix as they believed that there will be enough audience for me. They felt that it would probably be a good starting point for them in Hindi stand-up comedy and that’s how it just happened,” he adds.
Initially, stand-up comedy was just a hobby to Amit. He was restructuring his company that had grown pretty fast. His business coach had referred him to a book called The 4 Hour Work Week, which had this amazing phrase that said ‘if you want to run your business working four hours a week what would you do with the rest of your time, list down your hobbies’. That’s when Amit listed down stand-up comedy. “I wanted to try stand-up comedy as I used to be good at dramatics during my college days. I used to write a lot of funny scripts. I read about comedy, researched how to go about it and be out there, and started applying to get myself a spot,” reminisces Amit, who switched seven careers in total.
He worked with HR marketing companies that dealt with mortgage outsourcing services for the US. “I ran my HR consulting firm for ten years. I have also been a part of a few hospitality chains and got into opening up a salon part-time. And after years of an adventurous journey in several industries, now I am a stand-up comedian for nine years. Additionally, I have been exploring to build a career as a writer, and already wrote three series, and a few more are yet to be out there. I am also working on a podcast, so, in simple terms, I love doing a lot of different things — that’s why I have changed so many careers, I just can’t stay with one thing,” he says.
What is he currently working on? “I am working on quite a few projects for different OTT platforms, a couple of fictional and non-fictional shows. A movie that I am writing is in the process and my next stand-up special is almost ready and will be out tentatively at the beginning of April or May,” he says.
Amit has a lot of audience outside India, well-settled Indians in America, Europe, or the UK. Although, he says he loves Hyderabad because of the kind of response he gets in the city. “The audience is crazy. Hyderabad surprised me the first time I did my show as I was not expecting to sell so well. Earlier, I used to think that Bengaluru audience is fantastic, but then the response of Hyderabad was just like three steps ahead of Bengaluru,” he feels.
Talking about the rise of digital platforms, he says, “In the beginning, you feel very uneasy performing in front of the camera and talking to people virtually. But slowly I realised there is a different warmth to the virtual shows. When I am performing on a zoom call, I perform as if I am talking to my friends sitting in a drawing-room and not like I have to perform in front of 500 people watching me and I am on stage.”
Amit doesn’t have too many interests in addition to comedy. He likes watching a lot of television and spending time with his family.
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