COVID 19 has impacted our lives in the most unpredictable ways. The comedy industry is also not left unaffected and it is dealing with the changed scenario due to restrictions. While most comedians have moved to the digital space and have curated their content according to the platform, the energy that the audience brings to a live set, is missing.
Adnan Nalwala, an entrepreneur, a comedian, and co-creator of an interactive card game, ‘spill it’, is also working to keep his audience engaged and help them feel better through his comedy.
Stand-up comedy is one of the most popular forms of entertainment for Millennials today. In a time when most stand-up shows would be sold out and house full, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought everything to a sudden standstill. While most comedians have gone completely digital with their content, Adnan Nalwala, entrepreneur cum comedian talks about engaging his audience while coping with a pandemic. “A lot of work goes into preparing a set, but when you perform it in front of an audience, and you hear them laughing and having a good time, it feels rewarding. The energy of the crowd and their participation in the act makes it all the more entertaining. However, digital platforms restrict that.”
It’s amidst such trying times that cracking jokes and sharing laughter with our loved ones will help mask the dark face of COVID. Stand-up comedies, Memes, Comedy shows can be the brief pause we deserve in the horrors of this pandemic. Binge-watching late-night comedy shows or re-running episodes of our favorite stand-up comedians can be an instant mood changer. Many Stand-up comedians have embraced online platforms to entertain their audiences. Laughter indeed is the best medicine, so let’s laugh out loud with Adnan Nalwala.
Talking about the change that the comedy industry has gone through, Adnan Nalwala says, “The timing of jokes and also the style of delivery had to change as the attention span for the audience members is shorter when they tune in on a digital forum. So, the comedians also work on their scripts with utter promptness. Since few of them have also initiated online comedy videos/live sessions they have also cut down on the timelines of the show. A show which would ideally be a period of 2 hours is now moderated down to an hour to not lose our audience’s attention and to maintain the interaction with them.
Crowd work took a whole new spin and the background interference of spouses and children was a fun and challenging aspect to deal with. While the art form has been challenged in these times, I have spent a lot of time writing new material. We are amid a pandemic and it has been difficult for everyone, thankfully I have the means to add some joy in someone’s life. Through my set, I try to ensure that the audience momentarily takes a break from the hardships around them and laughs with me.”
About Adnan Nalwala
Adnan Nalwala, who was born in Oman, has lived in eight countries, has done over 500 comedy shows, and is one of the most popular comedians in the Middle East. He is an entrepreneur, a comedian, and co-creator of an interactive card game, ‘spill it.’
Adnan has been a part of various shows online to keep his audience entertained. “I have been part of several performances on platforms that allow video conferencing. I am fortunate to have been part of shows which were conducted across 3 different continents and three different time zones. It was an amazing experience as we had people share things they had to deal with during the pandemic and how they have coped with it.”