Gangtok: Sikkim‘s stand-up comedian Bkey Agarwal has taken his comic acts across the border to Nepal and is now among the top 4 of Nepal’s popular reality show ‘Comedy Champion Season 2’.
The show airs on Fridays and Saturdays on Kantipur Television. Audience can also watch the show on the OSR Digital channel on YouTube. The televised version of the show had 24 shortlisted participants.
Born and brought up in Mangan, North Sikkim, Bkey Agarwal is also the co-founder of Hasais Kalte Stand-up Comedy Club and an independent filmmaker. One of his short films has been screened in international film festivals as well.
The 29-year-old youth, however, describes himself as a storyteller. “Rather than being called a stand-up comedian or a filmmaker, the right term to describe my profession would be a storyteller. I just tell stories,” said Bkey.
Bkey had come across an advertisement of Comedy Champion. The contestants were asked to send a stand-up video of themselves.
“I sent the video around November last year and received a call after a couple of weeks when the organisers asked me to come to Kathmandu for a physical audition round. From the over 8,000 videos submitted in the digital audition round, 180 were shortlisted for the physical audition in Kathmandu. The top 24 comedians made it to the television round. I was also the first to receive the Golden Key among the three who received the recognition,” said Bkey Agarwal.
“I have been performing as a stand-up comedian for the past three years. I wanted to take stand-up comedy as a hobby, but never a profession, though,” said Bkey.
“I was a huge fan of stand-up comedy clubs for a very long time and always wanted something to come up in Sikkim. I came across many individuals with high sense of humour but there was no platform for us. I came up with an idea to organise the first-ever open mic stand-up show in Gangtok,” he added.
Bkey Agarwal shared his views with Nirmal Sharma, who seemed excited about the concept, he said. “We included Biswas Timshina, who is famously known as BT Kancha. Biswas himself had some experience beforehand. We named the club ‘Hasais Katle’. We approached Naresh Shrestha from Gangtok Groove for the venue, who welcomed our concept,” he added.
The first season of ‘Hasais Katle’ was a massive hit and Bkey discovered Saroj Kharel, who later became an integral part of the club. From there on, there was no looking back, added Bkey.
Commeting on his filmmaking side, Bkey said: “Filmmaking has always been my passion. I like creating things that has never been done before. So far, I have directed three short films, of which ‘The Forbidden Gumpa’ was selected for an international film festival in Los Angeles.”
Bkey’s recent short film Mohan Ra Madan is Sikkim’s first film based on queer relationship. “The film is close to my heart. It is yet to be submitted in film festivals as some final rectifications are to be made,” he said.
Balancing between stand-up comedy and filmmaking, Bkey Agarwal said, “I call myself a storyteller; so, for me, stand-up and filmmaking go hand-in-hand. When I narrate the story in a humorous way, it is a stand-up comic act, but when I narrate the story in an artistic way, it becomes a film. Balancing the two has never been a problem for me.”
The winner of Comedy Champion Season 2 will receive Rs 25 lakh (Nepalese currency) and a new car.
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