On Friday, the auditorium in New Delhi’s JLN stadium heard echoes of Trevor Noah’s name as stand-up comedy enthusiasts turned up to watch his maiden show in India. Soon, the echoes of applause turned into laughter as the South African comedian took to the stage. Trevor’s Off The Record Tour has officially started in India and he made quite keen observations about the capital city on just his first day.
The opening act was performed by New York-based stand-up comedian Wilner Sylvince, who started off with the usual ‘Indians’ love for raising their kids to be doctors and engineers’. Within a few minutes, Trevor got on the stage and was welcomed by the packed theatre with whistles and “I love you Trevor” screams.
On New Delhi’s traffic and Tuk Tuk Rides
The comedian revealed how he visited the Taj Mahal on his very first day of arrival but the actual rib tickler for the audience was his observation of the Delhi traffic, especially the Tuk Tuk vehicles on the road, who according to him were the real rulers of Delhi roads. Every time Trevor said a Hindi word, the amused spectators cheered for him. He then waltzed through the set as he talked about the weather in New Delhi, Indian immigration, and international politics (one of his favourite topics).
Open to arranged marriages
The most impressive section of the gig was Trevor’s onstage improvisations after some crowd work. The comedian spoke to several people sitting in the audience and made everyone laugh with his interpretation of their responses. He was both shocked and amused to know that New Delhi has a “wedding season” and how dates are set keeping the star alignment and weather in mind. Trevor also said that he is considering an arranged marriage for himself and was suggested by an audience member to meet Sima Taparia in Mumbai.
On missing The Daily Show
When someone asked him to do an impression of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he declined the request. He was also asked by the audience if he missed hosting The Daily Show, to which he said, “I miss the people at The Daily Show. Roy probably the most because he was with me from day one.” and added on a lighter note, “What I don’t miss is reading the news every day”
On Rishi Sunak’s appointment
Trevor seemed to know his audience all too well. Jokes on China definitely got a favourable response. He asked the audience if India was happy about British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s appointment and received a loud “Yes”. He said, “Do you know how angry some people were in the UK? I was like this is the best day ever! Talk about flipping the script”.
The 39-year-old, who will be performing in New Delhi for two more days, before moving to Bengaluru and then Mumbai as part of the tour presented and produced by BookMy Show Live, closed the set by commenting briefly on his take on turning India’s name to Bharat and joked about how it’s going to tough on Indian tourism for a while, “A lot of American women come here for yoga.” implying that pronunciation of the new name would be tough for them and can change their mind. While sounding optimistic about this change, he did remark, “Decolonisation is more than a name”.
He then swiftly touched on the topic of Bollywood’s song and dance routine, and the similarities between India and South Africa and complained that he had to end the show because he was told to. He even received a reminder from one of his team members who came close to the stage to tell him to wrap it up. Trevor finished his almost two-hour-long set with the audience clapping and cheering for him till the end.