Comedian, writer, actor and internet sensation Neel Kolhatkar spent the first half of the year performing his new stand-up show across the country to sold-out crowds at all the major Australian comedy festivals. Now it’s the Gold Coast’s turn to enjoy his particular brand of scathing, provocative commentary when he hits the stage at Southport Sharks in August. We got to know the young comedy superstar a little better ahead of the gig.
Were you a funny kid? Did you always see yourself as a performer?
I was just a massive attention seeker to be perfectly honest and as a result ended up being a little bit funny. I’ve been on stage and performing since I was twelve and have wanted to do it ever since.
What’s more challenging: writing comedy, or performing comedy?
For me it’s probably writing. I’m not one of the comedians who can sit down and just write. I have to have a thought or idea come to me naturally first.
Do you think it’s easier for comedians of colour to play with race and cultural stereotypes than it is for white comedians?
Yes if you’re in a minority that’s always going to be more prevalent and thus it’s definitely easier to use it in comedy.
At 22 you’ve already been around the comedy traps for ages. Is this something you see yourself doing for another ten, or twenty years?
Absolutely. I can’t see myself doing anything else in life.
Can you tell us about a couple of things on your bucket list?
Hmmm I’d live to perform at Carnegie Hall in the US one day. Probably have kids, maybe go skydiving too… quite a range.
Do have a favourite Comedy Festival to perform at? If so, which one and why?
I can’t go past Sydney Comedy Festival. Sydney is my hometown and has great crowds.
The current state of world affairs must provide endless fodder for your style of observational humour. Have you ever started to write something and stopped because you thought it was “too soon” or cutting “too close to the bone”?
Very rarely. I only ever stop myself if I think the joke isn’t worthy of the gravity of the subject matter but almost never because it’s too soon or may offend people.
Are you ever surprised by a person who appreciates your comedy?
All the time! People from all sorts of demographics are into my comedy which I would never expect. It surprises me every day, the extent and diversity of people messaging my Facebook page.
Catch Neel at Southport Sharks for one night only on 25 August. Tickets via Moshtix.