I Quit My Job For Creative Satisfaction: Comedian Kunal Rao

A chartered accountant by profession, Kunal Rao quit his lucrative career and chose to follow his passion of being creative. Today being a comedian is not that easy until and unless you think twice before making fun of yourself or of topics of utter importance. He has had a long journey from filing taxes and tallying balance sheets to penning down jokes like none other. His comedy ranges from CAs to marriage and from hospitality to Technology; he leaves no stone unturned to make you burst into laughter. We spoke to the comedian on his journey from the ‘C’ of Chartered Accountant to the ‘C’ of Comedy, on his idea behind ‘Dandy March’ to his relationship with good friend Sorabh Pant. Here are the excerpts from the interview:


1. As a CA you have to be good at numbers. What made you get into a field where the numbers (income) are so bad? 

We deal with figures all the time in comedy too.


2. How has the journey been from a cubicle in London to the stage? Take us through your journey from filing taxes and tallying sheets to penning down jokes.

I quit my high paying job thinking I would get some creative satisfaction. Sorabh Pant, a college friend, put me up on to an open mic and then hired me as his opening comedian. Then we kept gigging until it became profitable. The journey was long and great, with lots of late night philosophy and mid-afternoon motivation.


3. How did you get together with EIC and Sorabh Pant? 

After gigging a while for Sorabh’s first solo, Pant on Fire, we decided to expand something other than our waistlines. We started hiring a comedy writing and improv team. We launched as a brand when we signed deals with 2-3 pubs and auditoriums for monthly comedy shows.


4. Top three upcoming comedians of India we should be watching out for?

Angad Singh Ranyal, Rahul Subramanian and Siddharth Dudeja.

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5. As a comedian what’s your take on being ‘Secular’ and ‘Tolerant’? 

Do and be what you want.


6. How important a role does a crowd play for a comedian? 

Crowds are important, no doubt. I mean, that’s who we perform for! Over time I have found the differences in crowd is reducing. At the end of the day, you have to give it your best, and if you do that, it doesn’t matter where or who you perform for. I like any crowd that laughs heartily, and doesn’t hold back showing their appreciation.

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7. What was the idea behind ‘Dandy March’? 

Three-fold:

A – I am hoping by the end of the month I’ll be a different comedian. Gigging every day changes your personality, confidence, and abilities, and I’m hoping to make it better.

B – I wanted people to know I exist. In the chaotic online space, comedians become irrelevant quite quickly. I was hoping this would help my online profile a little. I feel it already has, a little.

C – I wanted comedians to know it’s possible. You can gig every single day if you try hard.


8. Where do you see comedy in India two years down the line?

It will still exist! 


9. What comedy is taboo for Indian audiences? 

Nothing! You just need to know how to say what you want to say.

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