Being a standup comedian is hard but performing for children, doubly so. While it may be disappointing to be stonewalled by adults who don't find you funny, children maintaining an awkward silence (or screaming at you to shut up) can be infinitely disheartening.
On the other hand, if you're successful, the sound of their laughter feels far more rewarding.
Five Indian comedians (Kanan Gill, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Abish Mathew, Zakir Khan, and Abhishek Upmanyu) zeroed in on a bunch of school kids, as part of NGO Teach For India's project to spread awareness throughout the country on the importance of education.
They claimed that the experience changed their perspective on stand-up comedy for good. Not only were they surprised by the children's intelligence, they also gained a new-found respect for teachers who could control the unruly classes with a simple command. "The audience comes to listen, right," said Rath who had to resort to a quick shout, and flapping his hands betwixt jokes to quieten the kids. "They (the children) come to speak."
The kids also took to loudly expressing their disapproval for cheating (they quickly caught onto the comedians trick of writing their jokes on their hand), unconsciously proving that at an innocent age their morals were far higher than adults who had seen a lot more of life.
The comedians also found that the punchline didn't necessarily appeal to the children, but the images of a few things (like falling, and bald men) achieved excellent results anyway. Abish Mathew took a huge risk by simply winging it, but brought home the most number of laughs and claps.
The video ended on a pretty potent message about the importance of educating children in India. To volunteer as a teacher for children across different parts of India that require education, click here to sign up.
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