If we had to quote Rebecca Romjin, “Making people laugh is the greatest experience.” Have you ever wondered what the feeling is like to be in a room full of people, and just make them laugh for 50 minutes straight? Well, it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is something Rohan Joshi (Co-founder, AIB) nails! Listening to him talk about his professional journey left us awe-struck and we’re sure it’ll do the same to you.
Here’s something too many people don’t know about him, before joining All India Bakchod (AIB), Rohan worked as a journalist. Alongside his job, he started doing stand up comedy only because he enjoyed it. However, he only quit his job when stand up started paying his bills. Rohan and Tanmay also worked as television freelancer writers for a long time. They wrote scripts for Flimfare, TV shows and also Channel [V]. Soon enough Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Khamba (Gursimran Khamba), and Ashish Shakya came together and decided to join the success they’d all individually seen in the comedy space, under one name called AIB.
“I still remember the first ever open mic I did. It was sometime in 2010, it was a really good feeling. There were 10 performers, and I was the 7th person on stage. The first 5 people that went on stage before me didn’t do too well and so I thought that even if I make the audience laugh once, I’ll do well. But the person who went 6th had a great set and that’s when I thought, today is probably not going to be my day. But I did go on after him and I had a really good time and as did the audience. It was just that feeling of 300 people laughing at you, when that wall of laughter hits you that’s the point I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life,” says Rohan.
Rohan remembers this one ‘dreadful’ incident during his second or third show, which sounded a lot like a corporate show. It was going to be a music awards night and he was thrilled to be doing a show like that so earlier on in his career since it was going to be in front of the entire music industry. However, when he got there is when he realized that it was a DJ award night, for local DJs and he was told all his jokes had to be about DJs and he had none! And just before he got on stage, they’d announced the award, and the organizer came on stage then saying that the award belonged to someone else (Oscars recap 2.0). In an atmosphere like that he got zero laughs, whatsoever. He still managed to finish his set, left the stage, took his bag, and just continued walking till he saw the nearest taxi stand and went home. Probably his worst show experience till date, and well, do we blame him? Although, something we can all take back from this is that you may have horrible days, but if you keep going, nothing can ever stop you.
We’d assume that the only business opportunities within the industry would be live shows, YouTube and now hosting or judging reality comedy shows. Rohan however told us that there’s a lot more than just that. AIB today is a full-fledged cross platform content generation company where they do projects and work for brands, digital videos, they’re producing their first film very soon and there’s a lot more coming up. The MBA way of describing AIB would be a 360 degree, holistic content platform.
Relatable content always sells and AIB is a classic example. They don’t just cater to Gen Y (Millennials) but also Gen Z (the Homeland Generation). Rohan says “someone who started watching AIB at the age of 16 is probably 21 today, and for that user to continue being loyal to us it’s very important for our content to also evolve with them and feel like they’ve grown up with us.”
We asked him about a message for the audience that watches his content, and he took a 2 second pause and said, “It would be really arrogant for me to think that I have a lot of wisdom to impart,” as we laughed to it. However, he does have a message. Pro tips if you’re going to be in the audience of a show: Please put your phone on silent and please do not record any part of the show. We laughed as he said this, but let’s all try and give this an attempt.
Here’s a message for aspiring comedians, “Get used to failing. There are way more bad days than good days. The good days will always make the bad ones worth it. You’ve got to grow a thick skin. You’re going to get on stage and you will fail; there’s a possibility nobody likes a joke that you like. You can get off stage thinking that people just don’t get my art and I’m not going to do this or you just go back rewrite, pick yourself up and do it again. Lastly, please do not quit your day job until comedy starts paying your bills for 6 months straight because it is a fickle business.” AIB to Rohan is, “A place where we want to do epic stuff, for what we believe is this country’s most epic generation.”
May the magic of Christmas help us all get a little closer to where we want to be.
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