Celeb Speak

Tanmay Bhat of AIB fame: Being funny is a push-up bra for your personality

Funnyman Tanmay Bhat of All India Bakchod talks about love, relationships and everything in between in an exclusive interview
Tanmay Bhat

Being a comedian, is it too much pressure to be funny during a date, or say, with a potential girlfriend?

I think there’s a basic expectation to be funny – but then again, my natural personality is to be funny. So, it’s never any kind of pressure as such. Also, I realise that, while being funny creates an instant attraction for both genders, more often than not, being real and connecting on an emotional level is usually what leads to more attraction between people. To put it simply – being funny is a push-up bra for your personality. It’s the whipped cream to your brownie. It’s the 20% extra in Kurkure. Okay, now I’m hungry.

Still… how important a role does humour play in a relationship?

I think an ability to make each other laugh is always a bonus. Also, being a funny person usually extends to having a generally playful personality. So it seeps into romance, sex, social life and your ability to bond with your significant others’ friends and family. Being funny rarely has a downside, I think.

Do all funny people have the same experience? Read what comedian Sahil Shah has to say about his relationship

What’s the funniest and most spontaneous joke you’ve cracked that has had your partner in splits? Any fond memory?

I don’t want to divulge anything in particular, but every relationship has had a lot of in-jokes that just we’d understand and the outside world didn’t. I’m sure this is true for a lot of couples. You’re in a group with friends and somebody uses a random word like ‘ball bearings’ and both of you go LOLOLOL BALL BEARINGS HAHHAHA in your head.

Has it ever happened that you wanted to be taken seriously by a woman, but because of your stand-up comedian image you were not? Is it a constant challenge?

In my experience, being serious is something that has always been a pleasant surprise to most dates I’ve been with. It’s unexpected and shows that you have another side to you. If anything, it works against me sometimes where people think they can get away by saying anything they want to me because I’ll just laugh it off. This one time, this girl kept making fat jokes at me and I was like, this beats the point of the dating app if you’re constantly going to tell me that I’m ugly! (Laughs)

What does love mean to you?

I honestly don’t know. I’ve been through a few heartbreaks and some rough patches. And after being in therapy for the last 10 months, I’ve started looking at people, their need for love, their behaviour – all in a much more detached way.

Everybody is a product of their experiences and this means even the idea of ‘love’ is merely fulfilling some desire that has arisen because of said experiences.

In fact, I’ve been reading about polyamory recently and I find it fascinating. I don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever be able to do, but the concept is fascinating to me.

What is AIB’s approach towards love and relationships, if you’re making a video on that subject?

AIB is generally very cynical so I know if we do a video called Honest Relationships, it will be fairly brutal (Laughs). Although we’re also wired to think of what will resonate with an audience and I know a huge chunk of the audience is hopeful about love. So maybe we’ll try to find a balance. But deep, deep, deep down, I think we’ll still end up being cynical about it.

Sex is not always a serious business. Sometimes sex can be seriously funny…

What does ‘giving space’ in a relationship mean to you?

Giving someone space can mean different things – in some cases it means ‘leave me alone’ and in other cases it means ‘I’m going to be a d*ck to you right now but you have to just take it – just shut up and take it – I know you love me and I’m misusing the f*ck out of this love right now – but it’s okay – I really need this and I know you understand, so just shut up and take my sh*t thanks’ – and the other person says ‘You got it. I’ll take it. Do what you want.’

What do you think are the biggest relationship challenges that a couple face in urban India?

I think it’s hard to make out in cabs and theatres. Especially once you reach third base – it can get ridiculously tricky.

How difficult is it to maintain a relationship in the social media era; especially when you’re always in the public eye for being a known face?

Relationships are fine but I think social media can really make your relationship more fun. However, break ups can make things REALLY difficult. You can open your Facebook chat months after a breakup and see old chats and basically relive your whole relationship through it. It’s the worst.

Ushnota Paul

Published in Celeb Speak

1 Comment

  1. “I think it’s hard to make out in cabs and theatres. Especially once you reach third base – it can get ridiculously tricky.” – spot on Tanmay. Keep up the good work.

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