Comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath performs at laugh-a-thon at ductac Photo Arshad Ali

When a comedian tells a crowd to shut up and it roars, you know you’ve got yourself a winner.

In his defence, when Biswa Kalyan Rath took the stage last night at Ductac, he had no choice, for the cheers were almost deafening.

The YouTuber, known for his series Pretentious Movie Reviews, came out in a plain grey T-shirt and jeans. And then, he owned the stage.

This was just as well, for his opening acts, UAE-based comedians, fell a bit to the wayside.

Rath drew the focus back.

He told “three stories” from his life, where he had tried to act cool and failed miserably to comic effect. He transported you to his home, school and college quite effectively by taking on various characters (father, teacher, friend) and using the stage for perfect storytelling; the effect was akin to an old friend talking about an odd incident.

These tales had stomach-cramping consequences — the laughs were uncontrollable.

Rath has an almost physical sense of humour; he modulates his voice and contorts his body while delivering punchlines in a way that would make most comics envious, pantomime artists proud and the audience sick with a severe case of the giggles.

The best part about Rath, however, was that the incorrigible funnyman interacted with the crowd, thus keeping his material fresh and engaging. He spoke to the latecomers (welcoming them in), to foreigners (whom he nudged to “just try to understand the joke”), and a boy who came to the event with his dad (which baffled him).

His jokes were littered with cuss words but this was one time the audience didn’t seem to mind. The night ended with a standing ovation and a promise for more laughs when the last of the Laugh-A-Thon series returns, on May 13 with comic Abish Mathew, who will be joined by Zakir Khan.