Stand-up comedian Papa CJ talks about the people he looks up to in the comedy business
A young boy once asked me, ‘Can I become a comedian when I grow up?’ I replied, ‘The secret to becoming a comedian is to NOT grow up’. That being said, here are my heroes who I aspire to be like when I grow up – comedically speaking at least!
In my book, he was more a philosopher than a comedian. I admire him for his irreverence, his social commentary and his use of language and logic to get across his point of view, and for his sheer bloody genius! You have to listen to his piece on the environment – “The planet is fine, the people are f*cked.” And I know no one else who has been funny for over 40 years and released 15 comedy specials!
Russell is the nicest guy I know in stand-up comedy. I respect him for the human being he is. They say it takes you ten years to ‘find your voice’ in comedy. He’s a guy who has found his. There isn’t a single time when I’ve hung out with him and walked away without having learnt something new. I admire him for his ability to speak the truth, the fact that he carved out his own path and for the relationship he shares with his family.
If I had to pick one comedian in the world I’d want to be like, it would be Chris Rock. His attitude, stage presence, the way he prowls the stage and the issues he talks about… each of these elements make him my number one comedy idol. The biggest compliment I ever got was from a reviewer in
Manchester who said that I had “the energy and attitude of an Indian Chris Rock”. Hopefully in a few more years I’ll acquire some more of his traits!
He isn’t a comedian but I got inspiration from his passion for what he did and his commitment to keep learning and becoming better no matter how good he already was. And then of course there is his best trait: humility.
The only comedian in the world I know whose show you walk out of feeling warm and fuzzy all over and with a desire to be a better human being. Nobody I know can be that nice and that funny at the same time! And to top that, he is a great guy who also does a lot of charitable work.
Here are a few of his performances
A recent performance from a visit to St. Xavier’s, Kolkata
A charity fundraiser for his own NGO called One Child
Performing at The Comedy Store, London
Volume 3 Issue 10