Stand Up for Dave


As the world's third largest comedy festival comes to town, Australian comic Dave Callan promises to gag the Delhi audience with Bollywood numbers and observational humour about India.

Unlike most foreign tourists in India, who spend their time exploring the bazaars and soaking in the chaos and colours here, Dave Callan — the 38-year-old stand-up comedian from Australia — has locked himself up in his hotel room in Bengaluru. He is busy understanding the country through its most obvious and definitive form — Bollywood. "I am hooked to Bollywood music and I am learning dance steps for songs such as Choli ke peeche, Discowale khisko and Dabangg — the belt song," he says with a laugh. "I am going to perform a medley of these numbers," he adds.

Callan, one of the most sought-after stand-up comedians in Australia, is in India along with three more funnies — Matt Okine, Cal Wilson and Harley Breen — as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) Roadshow. The four have been touring India, and after causing laughing fits in Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai, they're headed to the Capital this weekend.

"During stand-up comedy acts, people just expect the artiste to stand on stage with a mic in hand, but I like to surprise the audience. So I get attacked by ninjas, zombies and fight pirates, and shake a leg with burlesque dancers," says Callan, about the entourage that accompanies him on stage. After travelling to Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, the Melbourne-based funny man has gathered enough material to tickle the funny bone of the audience in Delhi. "The water bottles here have a little note on them and I find that really funny — it's like water talking and remembering being a cloud. I haven't read such notes before. Also, in Australia if you have a baby on the handle bar of a scooter, the cops will stop you and ask 'what is wrong with you?'. In India, they'll say, 'what is wrong with you? Adjust more'," he says.

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