Degree Kaapi with Alex
(Exclusive interview for British South Indians by Sharanya Bharathwaj)
‘ParthaSarathySwamySabha’ – if you hear this expression at a breath-taking speed of 1000 words per minute, followed by incessant laughter; or listening to rhythmic music accompanied by thunderous applause from the audience, it means you are in one of Alex’s stand-up comedy shows!
Alexander Babu, a prolific stand-up comic discovered Comedy as the spice of his life, after working as a software engineer for several years! He has a unique capability to Hum-Our favourite songs while delivering exceptional Humour.
He makes you explode with laughter, be it his Hillary-ous take on Hillary or his speech about TamBram Mama or his ode to Michelle Obama. From Jesus Christ to Harris Jayaraj, he spares none. Alex also manages to stay on the beat when he plays his percussions, besides maintaining harmony while playing the Harmonium.
Alex, the aficionado comedian associated with Evam Standup Tamasha, will soon be in the UK (May 11 – May 20) to present ‘Alex in Wonderland’ in Tanglish, hosted by Bluefeather Studios. This 7 + age show is sure to be a power-packed entertainment, juxtaposed with Humour and music.
Here’s an ALEXclusive conversation with him!
Greetings from British South Indians!
BSI: Alex in Wonderland has been a blockbuster and has received rave reviews. What made you select this title?
Alex: All credits to my friend, RJ Shyam Renganathan, who first proposed the name ‘Alex in Wonderland’ a few years back. This title instantly captivated me as there is an inert positivity hidden behind it. It subtly conveys that the audience can expect to travel in a time machine, where they can experience ‘wonderland’.
BSI: This is your second visit to the UK. What do you think is special about the UK?
Alex: Though the country is much smaller geographically, UK’s vintage spots are always special. It reminds every Indian of the days of yore, pre-independence memories and the epoch of colonisation. The Indo-Brit history in our textbooks is something which we can relate to instantly, while in the UK.
BSI: You have toured across the globe. If you were to name one country to be a ‘Wonderland’ in literal terms, which one would you name, and, why?
Alex: (after a deep thought) It’s Malaysia! Though every country has its own charm and beauty, I was fascinated and flabbergasted by the love they have for Tamil literature, especially, the clarity and depth of Tamil knowledge possessed by Gen Z Tamil diaspora. Certainly, their determination to preserve the ancient form of Tamil and diction while speaking Sangam Tamil gave me the feeling of being in a ‘wonderland’.
BSI: How long do you take to write your scripts? What do you do when you have the writer’s block?
Alex: It’s like delivering a baby. Once the idea is conceived, it goes through several checks and scanning of data, till the content develops into a concrete shape. The process consumes almost a month for a 10-minute performance. So, it takes around 6 whole months to deliver a 60-minute content material.
And when I get into writer’s block, I would simply adjourn the writing for another day! (Laughs…)
BSI: Don’t you get bored in delivering the same content? How do you avert monotony?
Alex: Jokes can be read aloud too, but to perform a joke, calls in for a whole load of challenges. The challenge lies in creating an illusion that we are conversing one-one with every spectator. It’s important to strike the rhythm of intimacy with the audience, every single time. So it’s essential to be ‘in the moment’ as there is a lot of uncertainty associated while performing in front of live audience. In a way, there is no monotony. It’s like living with your spouse- you got to live with the same person every day, yet try to bring spice to life to make it interesting and exciting!
BSI: From being BOLT-OUT from your IT job and to now witnessing SOLD-OUT boards everywhere, your journey has been phenomenal. You quit your serious job humorously and took up humour seriously. What kind of emotion are you going through when you recount your journey?
Alex: Just feeling extremely ‘grateful’!
BSI: What are your future plans?
Alex: I would like to explore humour in various forms. Acting in movies has always been my passion and I am always open to opportunities from the silver screen film industry.
BSI: We (Indians) are basically God-fearing, sentimental and emotional. But you seem to take a dig at religions, Gods, leaders at ease and yet make the audience happy. How did you manage to strike the right chord?
Alex: It’s important to be true to oneself. When we are fair and genuine with complete conviction, things become palatable. Art should reflect life and vice-versa. I deliver jokes which I should be comfortable sharing with my kids. Sometimes people may dissent with my opinion, however, they just laugh at it, as they are aware that it’s just a joke.
People who watch Live shows hardly have complaints as they are aware of the context and situation in which a joke is delivered. Only those who watch few sections of the videos in social media tend to raise objections as they are completely unaware of the entire picture.
BSI: We all know that you are a sincere Yoga teacher, a skilful musician and a creative writer. Is there any other hidden talent in you, like drawing/painting, cooking etc.?
Alex: Yet to discover! However, I like to read a lot!
BSI: Any advice you would like to give to Rahul Gandhi?
Alex: I admire him for his ability to stay calm, in spite of being trolled and mocked for everything he does. It’s a huge blessing to be able to face criticisms without getting offended.
My advice to him: You don’t have to necessarily be a leader and get into politics, just because you are born in the Nehru clan. Just be yourself and enjoy what you do!
BSI: Hypothetical situation: The flight in which you are travelling has been hi-jacked. The terrorist agrees to release the passengers if you make him laugh. So, how would you do that?
Alex: Simple! I would just tickle him!
BSI: What draws you towards philosophy? What brought you the inclination?
Alex: Right from my childhood, I have been exposed to Tamil literature and always had a great interest in understanding the verses of the magnum opus ‘Thirukkural‘. Yoga has been a way of life for me and that could be a reason too.
Rapid fire questions:
Your favourite food: Sambar Rice
Your favourite Raagam (except Naata Kurunji): Mohanam
Your favourite actress: Jyothika, Nayanthara
Your favourite Indian scriptwriter: Mysskin, Bala
Favourite Quote: ‘Be good, do good’ – a simple yet powerful quote by Swami Shivananda.
To book your tickets, please follow this link: