Comedian Anubhav Singh Bassi has been on a month-long tour across India, performing his two-hour special show Kisi Ko Batana Mat in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Bangalore. The response to his performances has been overwhelmingly positive. And adding to his joy is the fact that he managed to sell 10,000 tickets within two days for the same, a remarkable achievement for many comedians, especially considering that comedy wasn’t widely recognised as a live art form before the COVID-19 pandemic. Bassi attributes his success to the “changing landscape” brought about by the pandemic.
He elaborates, “Things changed for me as several other comedians after COVID as ours was the first industry to reopen. I had started organising shows keeping my audiences’ safety in mind. And since people did not have many options (for entertainment) as the film industry was also shut, they came to the shows and realized that it’s worth their time and money.”
He goes on, “Unko realize hua ki ye live art hi form hai aur ye Youtube par dekhne wali cheez nahi hai. And sheerly through word of mouth, we have reached to a place where we are organising these events at such grand venues with capacity to accommodate more and more people.”
Some time back, talking on the same lines, comedian and Emmy winner Vir Das had also shared on Instagram that comedy wasn’t considered a “theatrical art form” until two years ago and auditorium owners would not give their place to comedians. Bassi also agrees with Das’ comment and goes on to point out how there is another reason behind comedians finally being able to perform on bigger stages and are given the due respect.
”Comedians earlier were not able to afford the cost of these auditoriums. But now, as people want to come and witness the live performance, I could increase the ticket prices. People are willing to spend money to watch my show. Cost of my VIP tickets (for Kisi Ko Batana Mat) is ₹3500 approximately and people don’t mind paying for it. I am able to afford the expenses of the sound recording, the stadium and more. Auditorium owner don’t mind anything as long as they are paid,” shares Bassi who was seen in Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar recently alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor.
While he is at the top of his career, enjoying the brighter side of the showbiz, is he ready to face the downfall as and when it comes? But Bassi has no fears about it. Confidently he tells us, “I am not afraid of it because I understand that it will happen…that time will come…one day or the other. I know mera waqt khatam hojaaega aur naye artistes aajaenge. But jitna maine life me achieve kara hai, agar wo chala bhi jaaega toh mujhe ye satisfaction rahegi ki maine apne time acche se jee liya. I will be content and happy.”
“So I am grateful for all the love and appreciation coming my way, but I cannot become greedy and expect to get the same level of it throughout my life,” Bassi ends.