YouTube star Kanan Gill was NOT popular in school
He wasn't quite as popular with the ladies in school, and here's why
Kanan Gill lives to make people laugh, and no, we aren’t saying that metaphorically. While studying IT (because “that’s the default thing to do in Bangalore”) Gill often performed with his band. “You have to get the crowd’s attention. So while most other bands did heavy metal, we wrote songs on menstrual cycles.” Stand-up comedy was followed by YouTube glory; Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath’s Pretentious Movie Reviews series are cheeky post-mortems of truly awful old movies; never new ones — “No, that would be too useful.”
He can handle rejection, too. He’s popular with the ladies now, but Gill “yearned to be cute” in school, when he was 5’3” and overweight. “All comedians have a dark void they’re trying to fill with the laugher of people,” he says. The experience is holding him in good stead; take his big-boy view on rejection: “It should hurt. That gives you incentive to make your material better,” he adds.
He’s also willing to change. “Either you’ve come in with a closed mind, or I haven’t told a joke properly. But that doesn’t mean an area should be off limits,” says the Eddie Izzard fan. He’s begun to question his material, following a few strongly-worded emails after using an expletive at a corporate show once. “If you can’t get by without swearing, you might need to re-evaluate what you’re saying.”
Photograph: Bikramjit Bose