Sudipta Dey

He makes fun of his own sexuality and the consequences he had to face when it finally came ‘out’ that he was the first gay Indian stand-up comedian. But that doesn’t deter Vidur Kapur from laying himself bare before his audience to amuse them. Vidur performed at Roxy, for The Park Festival, with a bit of apprehension that the Kolkata crowd is ‘a bit too intellectual’ but in the end he left the crowd in splits.
Being a stand-up comedian is anyways a difficult proposition but Vidur gave up his white-collar job to take up what he calls his true calling. “Comedy is a means of self expression. Through it I make an attempt to express myself to the world and share my thoughts, feelings and emotions through the medium of jokes and laughter. Laughter breaks barriers. Stand-up comedy is an ideal way to address controversial issues that might be very difficult to hear otherwise,” says Vidur, adding, “You can actually say anything and get away with it making your audience laugh at the same time.”
Vidur has managed to tickle the funny bone in the audience, in his treatment of social issues. “In India, as well as in the US, being gay is still an issue. So I talk about it, I talk about my sexuality, and I talk about my personal relationships as well,” says Vidur, who makes fun of himself, his partner’s Jewish family, as well as his own Punjabi grandmother. Though most of them are not true, some of it is truly hilarious. “The trick is to take real-life characters and make them larger than life,” he adds.
A graduate from London School of Economics, Vidur went to University of Chicago. But he was never at peace doing a recruiter’s job in one of the top notch companies in New York. He took stand-up comedy classes as a hobby, but in 2007 took the “most difficult leap and became a stand-up comedian.”
He has opened for Russell Peters, did shows for the Indian communities abroad, took part in Just for Laughs in Montreal. The MTV awarded him the Brink of Fame award — just to name a few of the accolades he received. But what changed his career was one show at a university, which had nearly 3000 students as his audience. After the show, he received 150 bookings, which sustained him for the rest of the year.
It was never an easy thing to choose. “Being an immigrant, that too in New York, you can’t be unemployed, not receiving regular paychecks at the end of the month. But I took that risk, and it has paid off,” he says. “However, I have managed to overcome the challenges. The advantages of the honesty and openness are that it makes me stand out and be unique,” he adds.
After touring the country, Vidur will be off to West Asia, where he will be performing for the first time, as well as another six shows in Trinidad. “I don’t even know what I am going to put on there,” says Vidur, who has realised after touring almost half the world that all jokes don’t make you laugh.