Another week is here with yet another Friendly Fridays edition. We are unfolding a new chapter from our search for individuals who have a great story to inspire our readers. We have successfully completed 20 weeks and promise to bring forth stories you surely wouldn’t want to miss.
Today for this 20th edition of Friendly Fridays we have the young, the talented and the extremely funny (well that is a given) (drumrollsssss) Daniel Fernandes (applause)! Wondering where you’ve heard this name before? Daniel has been one of the prominent faces in the stand-up comedy scenes the past few years. Leaving behind his career in advertising, he entered the field of comedy and there has been no looking back ever since. He has performed numerous shows including gigs in the well known Canvas- Laugh Club, The Yellow Experiment, Weirdass Jukebox, The Comedy Store besides many others.
He is the founder of Microphone Entertainment that holds popular comedy shows like Freakin Highlarious! In addition to this he is also the producer at Weirdass Comedy. This year he hosted The Forbes India 30 Under 30! Woah! He does gigs all year round and has established a name for himself in the comedy field here.
On his twitter he defines himself in a rather accurate manner: Stand-Up Comic | Musician | Producer | Weirdass Comedy | Founder – Microphone Entertainment | Angler | Snake Enthusiast | Politically Indifferent.
Welcome to Friendly Fridays.
Team ED: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Daniel Fernandes: Umm, that’s a tough one! The three words would be brat, unfunny and offensive.
Team ED: Unfunny, haha sure! How did comedy happen to you? We heard you gave up a career in advertising for the same.
Daniel Fernandes: True, I was pursuing my M.B.A from a college in Pune. For the first time I performed at one of the college events, I did short stints on the radio as well, that’s when I found out more about what I really saw myself doing. Comedy for me started to shape up then, I shifted my base to Mumbai soon and started performing on a regular basis after that.
Team ED: Who has been your inspiration in this field? Anyone in particular who’s style your work is influenced by?
Daniel Fernandes: There have been many comedians both from India and outside that I admire. Two comedians I specifically would want to mention are John Allaway and Bill Walsh.
Team ED: What’s your take on stand-up comedy in India? Are people considering taking up stand-up comedy as a profession?
Daniel Fernandes: I feel that we don’t have many comedians in our country. However with time I feel the scenario is changing, comedy is becoming more and more of an acceptable art form. With time, the status as compared to before is improving and I truly believe that it has a bright future in the country.
Team ED: Should comedians have a no-go zone? Like is it okay to make jokes on account of colour, caste or religion (this is in reference to The AIB: Roast)?
Daniel Fernandes: No, absolutely not! Until you are the creator of life, you have no right to instruct people about what is right and what is wrong. See, if there are people who don’t like my show, they don’t need to buy my tickets, simple! For comedians the objective of each gig is to make the audience laugh and think; if a particular set of audience disapproves of the jokes, that doesn’t make it a no-go zone as you can’t make everyone happy. However I do believe that there are certain comedians who are new to the profession and aren’t necessarily ready to take up heavy issues, so then such issues must be avoided.
Team ED: On the same lines, in one of your videos you mentioned the words “Responsible Entertainers”, do you think there should exist something like a responsible entertainer?
Daniel Fernandes: I will again say there’s no such thing as “responsible entertainer”, we all must be responsible human beings. We all need to take collective responsibility for important social issues. Also one must remember that once someone buys a ticket to a comedy gig, he/she must take full responsibility of it and should know what comes along with it.
Team ED: Do you experience stage fright? How do you overcome it?
Daniel Fernandes: Yes, I experience stage fear all the time. Every time I go up on stage I have butterflies in my stomach. This fear is more out of the respect for the stage and the privilege of being able to perform on it. And then I just switch on my game and try to make the audience laugh.
Team ED: English comedy is coming up and getting very popular especially amongst the youth who are going for comedians like Neeti Palta, Vir Das, Russel Peters etc, what is your take on that?
Daniel Fernandes: I think english comedy is here to stay. India is a young country, with young audience appreciating talent in all its form, shows, gigs and even videos on YouTube. It has welcomed english comedy with open hands and I see a bright future for it here.
Team ED: What role do sitcoms play in moulding one’s sense of humour?
Daniel Fernandes: I believe that a person’s sense of humour is moulded by their upbringing. What you choose to laugh at and what you choose not to laugh at depends upon the way you have been brought up over the years. Sitcoms or any other forms of comedy, I feel are more like catalysts rather than being moulders of a person’s sense of humour.
Team ED: You call yourself a snake enthusiast, I am sure the readers would love to know the story behind this?
Daniel Fernandes: I have worked very closely with wildlife, particularly reptiles and I am specifically fond of snakes. I used to rescue and then relocate any snakes that were there in my campus. So I often get involved with such rescue programs.
Team ED: Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Daniel Fernandes: To be honest, right now I don’t know. Five years ago I did not know where I would have been. But if in the next five years I am making someone laugh, making someone think or pissing someone off, I will be at my happiest.
Have a look at what Daniel has to say about…
Team ED: Best piece of advice you have ever got?
Daniel Fernandes: I derive my inspiration from art forms, mainly music. There is this song called ‘ sunscreen’, its full of advises. Also there is a philosopher named Alan Watts, he talks about advices and that makes me think.
Team ED: What would be your mantra for life?
Daniel Fernandes: Be a brat, be unfunny and be offensive.
Team ED: So you’re truly following your life mantra to the fullest. What do you think about Friendly Fridays?
Daniel Fernandes: Well all I have to say is that why should this be restricted to just one day of the week.