Kenny Sebastian talks about comedy, marriage proposals and over-sensitive audience
It's hard to not laugh at Kenny Sebastian's everyday comedy. He started doing stand-up seven years ago, but is still surprised at his success. Kenny's latest one-hour special, Don't Be That Guy, is currently being aired on Amazon Prime. mid-day caught-up with the comedian to find out more, while he was still Bangalore, gearing up to go for rehearsals in 45 minutes.
For Don't Be That Guy, Kenny did a 15 city tour all over the world and ended it in Mumbai. "We did almost 22 shows. This is my fifth one-hour special show and it's exciting."
According to popular belief, stand-up comedy is only about writing jokes and saying them with confidence. But, Kenny claims, that there's a lot that goes into making successful show. "If you notice, there are a lot of light cues that you cannot do without preparation. I worked on it for six months from writing to performing it on open mic, to testing the material, touring, hiring a crew to travel with me to 15 cities, rehearsals, pre-production, till deciding the look of the art of the stage and design," he says, adding that it took him six months to culminate a one-hour show. "There's a lot of rehearsals we do before the final shoot. Jokes are all about timing, you practice it over multiple shows. Unlike films or web series, you cannot stop the shoot and re-shoot if something goes wrong," he says.
The comedian who has been an internet sensation for a while now, says that he doesn't intend to hurt anyone. But a comedian has to gauge the audience and make jokes accordingly. Having said that, he is not too cautious about his jokes. "There are two types of comedians, one is the social comedian and the other one is the entertainment comedian. I consider myself the entertainment comedian. Neither am I trying to change minds nor am I trying to make people aware of anything or say anything. I don't have an opinion," he says. Sebastian, however, admires social comedians who influence people with their work. "I don't have the smarts to do it. For me, I am very entertainment focused. If I feel my audience is getting offended then I won't do it. So if they are young and they like me swearing I will do it. If I am with an older audience and they don't like sex jokes, I won't do it. I want people to get their money's worth. Some comedians don't agree with it, they feel you need to get a point across I agree with it, but that's not my scene."
So is he under pressure to be funny all the time? "Not, at all. I have an outlet on stage, which is fulfilled. I have nothing to prove to anybody off the stage." His next step is to delve into direction and make movies. "I want to get into directing more. I love stand up and I'll be doing it for the rest of my life. I am working on a web series for Amazon. It's at a very nascent stage."
On the personal front, Kenny says he has received dozens of marriage proposals. "I get very flattered when that happens. And it happens very often . I don't want to give a number really," he concludes.