Alexander Babu: “Through every show, I want to spread kindness”

Popular Chennai stand-up comedian Alexander Babu returns to music and humor with ‘Alexperience’ premiering this weekend in Chennai

Popular Chennai stand-up comedian Alexander Babu returns to music and humor with ‘Alexperience’ premiering this weekend in Chennai

Alexander Babu climbs the stairs of his brand new villa at Navalur in Chennai singing Ilaiyaraaja’s ‘Pon Vaanam Paneer Thoovuthu’ ( Indru Nee Nalai Naan). As he descends, after retrieving an extension box to plug in his keyboard, he playfully tries out the high notes of AR Rahman’s “Vennilavae” ( Minsara Kanavu).

With the popular comedian, there’s always music in the air. And the jokes that go with it.

After the hit musical Alex in wonderlandthe comedian is back with another live music special this weekend in the city. To the experience has already created a buzz among stand-up fans, with plenty of tester shows over the past few weekends. “Because of the lockdown, we suddenly had so much written material, but we didn’t know what would work with an audience,” he says.

He describes To the experience more experimental than Alex in wonderland, so the ability to have test shows — where he was able to pitch his material in front of a live audience and adapt it accordingly — was a godsend. “It was a relief to see the response you imagined during the writing phase itself,” he says.

So what will be the difference To the experience to be from his last show? “I decided to let go of my previous material and let my art guide me. When you do this, you will be open to new possibilities”, is all he is willing to declare.

Alex interacts with the audience, but his main strength is presenting comedic material that he has honed time and time again, so much so that the joke and the storytelling become second nature. “I think it’s important. On my first try, it was obvious that I was thinking of the following lines when I was speaking. The more you rehearse, especially in front of an audience, the more consistent it becomes.

He looks back on the resounding success of Alex in wonderland, which he has played across cities and countries more than a hundred times, as a “blessing”. Especially since third grade when he quit his usual IT job to go into stand-up full-time. “My wife and I saved money on our office jobs and thought I’d dive into stand-up full-time for two years and see. We extended it to three years later. So, I had to be successful that year, otherwise I would have had to go back to a regular office job,” he says.

Alexandre Babou | Photo credit: Johan Sathyadas

He made it big, because Alex in wonderlanda show in which he talked about the legends of the Tamil film fraternity, not only made him popular with live audiences but also reached fans with his subsequent release on Amazon Prime.

Although he has comedic content for the next two years, Alex is determined to focus on one thing going forward: delivering the right experiences to audiences. The motto of Anba Arts, his production company, is “work hard, be kind, spread joy”, inspired by the motto of his former employer Amazon, “work hard, have fun, write history”. “Through every show we do, every five minutes of comedy, all we want to say to the audience is: be nice. That’s what I would like to pass on”, says Alex who, in addition to being a certified yoga teacher, is trained in classical music with Monali Sanyal Balasubramaniam.

Next, Alex has a few tricks up his sleeve, including mixing aspects of science, literature, and history with music, and presenting it on stage. “The history of the Tamil language or the Chola dynasty, for example, is so fascinating to read. I try to create material where I can tell stories about these topics, filled with fun lines and connect them to the music. »

Graphics: Albert Francis

Graphics: Albert Francis

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