Amit Tandon Amuses Houstonians in a Live Comedy Show!

Amit Tandon at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Friday, September 22

Amit Tandon at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Friday, September 22. Photos: Biyani Photography

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

STAFFORD: Houstonians looking to escape the gloom of the hurricane Harvey gathered at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Friday, September 22. It was the first USA tour of the award-winning Indian stand up comedian Amit Tandon, and also the first show for Har-preet Chawla-Suji of Paani Poori Productions. The past few years have seen a rigorous expansion of comedy programming and Tandon is one of the talent’s who is a package of wit coupled with a fiery stage presence. Tandon, a gifted and renowned stand-up come-dian in India, has performed and hosted over 700 comedy shows across the globe. His USP is that he does not veer into comedy that’s too blue for the audience, and is known for his clean comedy image in the corporate field. It wasn’t a surprise that the buzz for this show had begun weeks before the event and everyone was discussing Tandon’s com-edy stratosphere. Tickets to this show were getting sold out so quickly that the organizers had to start assigning the Balcony section and yet, it was declared a SOLD OUT, a day before the show.

Like a thorough professional, Amit Tandon arrived at the venue an hour before the show timing, helping to kick-start the event at the scheduled time of 7:30 pm. The much antici-pated show unfolded with the Houston based writer and a fair weather stand up comedian Malay Vyas, who shared his take on the life in America, and his learning’s and adaptations to the culture here. Malay has catapulted as a stand up artist and has unfolded sev-eral fundraiser events for veterans like Paul Varghese and Raj Sharma. He is an emcee who comes with a strong background of unconventional humor. He believes that life is nothing but an Improv on steroids.  Malay was truly marvelous in his opening act and had the audience in splits.

The super cherished show received continuous applause and a stand up ovation.

The super cherished show received continuous applause and a stand up ovation.

Amit Tandon, known as ‘The Married Guy’ in the stand up comedy circuit, simply rocked the show with his amusing observational and hugely relatable anecdotes, from marriage to politics to road traffic and even women in general. Switching effortlessly be-tween Hindi and English, Tandon’s humor was outstanding and he could so very well connect with all segments of audiences; the middle class, middle aged, young-at-heart and the young college going crowds. Such was the impact of his insane performance that people from the audience were complaining of their jaws hurting from laughter. Though Tandon is popular for some of his interesting and witty Indian middle class rou-tines, he had composed fresh scripts for his US trips, based on his observations of life around Indians in the US. Most of the audience chuckled and nodded in agreement on his views on visit to malls and whole foods market. His content was fresh and never heard of and led to contagious laughter’s spread across the hall. His take on the habits of Punjabis and Gujaratis was so apt that it literally had the audience up in splits. His rib-tickling ca-maraderie has now become a point of conversation, especially his jokes like, “Yoga for white people is like wine for brown people – don’t understand it much, but we still love to do it” or his comparisons between life in India and life in USA, or his take on the pollu-tion levels in India being so bad that his lungs could not believe the air can be so pure in the USA. He did evoke laughter when he picked on a member of the audience, before moving on to speak about today’s generation. Quoting his own kids, he joked that Fathers days is more of an obligation than being an enjoyment, as kids buy expensive gift for their father with his money, and then they even ask for a return gift.

Amit Tandon with Harpreet Chawla-Suji of Paani Poori Productions.

Amit Tandon with Harpreet Chawla-Suji of Paani Poori Productions.

Amit Tandon had 3 super hit back to back shows during the last weekend, the first one being in Houston on September 22, which was one of his longest performances with well over 1 hour and 40 minutes, the second in Dallas on September 23, and the last one being in Austin on September 24. Paani Poori Productions organized the Houston and the Dal-las shows and also helped in managing the Austin show. Their name was quite an eye-brow raiser and there is a little story behind it. Mumbai born Harpreet Chawla-Suji created this company to introduce a new genre for entertainment, besides the regular concerts. In Mumbai, other than vada-pav the mouth watering paani poori’s are a favorite hit and we can safely assume that your mouth is watering as you read this. Though the poori always remains constant, the usually chilled paani comes in multiple palatable flavors. Similarly, Paani Poori Production’s objective is to provide entertainment of various flavors, and undoubtedly this name will justify the khatta-meetha desi entertainment provided to Houston and its surrounding areas.

The show was a hit and was loved by the audience that ranged right from 15 to 75 years of age. An elated Harpreet mentioned, “The show would not have been possible without the faith shown by the sponsors, supporters, family, and friends who helped with the show. Thank you Houston, with your support I hope to bring more khatta -meetha desi entertainment in the near future”. The backbone of the show, the sponsors and sup-porters included Sanjiv Khanna & Viral Patel of Bombay Pizza Express, Dr. Gagandeep Khallon of Smile Profile Family Dentistry, Sameeta & Roshan of Sameeta’s Beauty Lounge, Amirali Dodhiya of New York Life, Devesh Pathak of Devesh Pathak CPA, Vyomesh Patel of Vishala Grocery, Umang Mehta of Deep Foods, Vanshika Vipin of Indo-American News, Arzan Gonda of Rhythm India, Kaushlesh Biyani of Biyani Pho-tography, SEWA International volunteers, Jabali Patel and Yaksha.

  Backstage, during a brief meeting with Amit Tandon, he seemed to be an extremely unas-suming, witty and a down to earth personality, with absolutely no hang-ups around him. His transformation from a corporate career to a full-time comedian is an interesting story by itself and it goes by this. Out of sheer boredom one night, Tandon took on the mic at stage for just five minutes. Two-and-a-half years of open mic nights later, he decided to become a full time comedian. His Hinglish shows are about his middle-class upbringing and perceptions and aspirations towards luxury, and they simply makes one enjoy with his beaming positive energy. The super cherished Houston show received a continuous applause and stand up ovation. He mentioned that he truly enjoyed performing here and that he was touched by the overwhelming response received from Houstonians who are still coping with the aftermaths of Harvey. To support Harvey victims, Harpreet Chawla-Suji donated 10% of the ticket earnings from September 1-22 to Sewa Houston for Har-vey relief.
For further information about Paani Poori Productions and about future shows, like them on Facebook at

-Malay Vyas contributed to this article