Though she has been performing stand-up comedy shows in various cities, a show in Chennai always remains special for Anu Menon. “It is something I always look forward to — it’s homecoming for me. Chennai is where I grew up and doing a show in front of my people will be something special. That said, the pressure is more because of the expectation,” she starts the conversation on a positive note.
The show titled Wonder Menon is Anu’s first one-hour special. “I’m more of a story comedian and I love to talk about stuff that happens in my life. There will be elements from my marriage to a Gujarati, birth of my son, life as a kid in Chennai and so on,” she reveals.
There is a notion that comediennes prefer female-centric jokes and want to play them safe. “That’s wrong. Whether you are a male or a female, you will be talking about subjects that make people laugh. I am not a politically-inclined comedian (it doesn’t come naturally to me), but I admire people who do political comedies. Speaking from an audience’s point of view, they laugh at my jokes because there is an element of truth in what I say. Though exaggerated with a dash of humour, the underlying factor is truth and that’s where I win,” quips Anu.
We are living in exciting times where there are a lot of female voices in standup comedy. “It has become a relatable profession now and am glad to see women taking standup comedy as a primary career option. Unfortunately, a barrage of questions like — Why am I talking about my personal life in public? Is this a matter of joke for you? — was thrown at me. I was criticised for the content. Men get a lot more leeway when it comes to jokes, there is a difference between the nature of what we say and what men say,” she remarks.
Wonder Menon will be held on March 17 at the Music Academy.