Comedic talent is often found in the most unturned corners of New York City. This weekend, I had the delight of finding it in Pranav Behari, a comedian who performed at the monthly Comedians on the loose show at Gotham Comedy club. He started off the show with high energy. He was the first comic up on stage, but his confidence and hilarious material would have left him better suited for a spot closer to the headliner.
Behari began his set by charming us, sharing that he recently gave his kidney to his mother, an act otherwise known as, “the hardest way to get morphine.” Immediately, the crowd loved him. He gave us sarcastic and funny facial expressions as dramatic pauses before his punchlines, and we found ourselves laughing before he could even spit them out.
Behari also addressed race, and the fact that he’s often mistaken for a Muslim even though he isn’t. “I do, however, get the benefits of LOOKING Muslim in America,” he says dryly, and proceeds to tell the audience about the wonderful ball massages he’s afforded by TSA agents. I thought Behari effectively harnessed what he knew about the likely predominantly white crowd—their assumption of his ethnicity and thus religious background—and threw it right back in their faces. The whole crowd was still laughing about it through his next joke.
Finally, Behari admitted to the crowd that Indian people are typically bad in bed, ironically so, since they created the Kama Sutra. He then revealed that the book is actually a detective novel about finding a woman’s clitoris. I hollered. I’m still hollering.
Be on the lookout for Pranav Behari. His presence is strong, his jokes are intellectual and biting, and he commanded the crowd, arguably better than most, at this weekend’s Comedians on the loose comedy show.