Nitinn R Miranni’s brand of humour is observational, so when it came time to perform for incarcerated men in Dubai, it was a tad daunting. However, he says, he was pleasantly surprised by the reception he got. “After a few briefings and a Zoom call with Corporal Amer Miran, Educational Program Coordinator, I started deciding on what I would say and how it needs to be said, but also kept in mind that I would keep it fluid and react on the energy of the room. As I got up to perform to a room that had approximately 30 male inmates I decided to keep it simple and interactive. This initially surprised the inmates but we all ended up laughing together and I was amazed to see how welcoming they were and willing to give me a chance to make them smile and laugh out loud,” he tells Gulf News ahead of another show in the city.
The idea began with a brush with a similar gig that stayed in the back of his mind. The comic, who was named the fourth funniest man in the world in an American comedy contest, explains: “A few months ago I came across a video of one of my favourite comedians, Jeff Ross, performing for inmates in the US and subconsciously put out the energy in the universe that I would love to do something like that, so when it happened I did have a smile on my face knowing that the universe was listening.”
A few moon cycles later, the opportunity for the gig arose. The ‘City of Life’ actor recalls: “So I was visiting Dubai as I was hosting the Filmfare Awards’ red carpet and we were having a celebration dinner at Danube Founder and Chairman Rizwan Sajan’s house and I got chatting with his wife, Sameera Sajan, and sister, Shabnam Kassam.
“Shabnam suggested performing for the inmates and it took me a few seconds to think about it, but I felt it my duty as a comedian and entertainer was to be the reason for a smile and I jumped on the opportunity.”
And so there he was, making everyone laugh again. At the end of the show, the inmates got up and clapped. “The standing ovation from them in the end was a big surprise but also the fact that most of them were fans of comedy and a few had actually seen my work. Many also came forward to ask me questions, and I spoke to them about the importance of the spoken word and writing and expressing oneself in any form. Looking at the success of the first session I offered to do more whenever I fly into the city and will plan another one soon,” he adds.
On December 16, Miranni is bringing some more signature jokes to the city’s PUBG Sports Lounge in Occidental Hotel. Here he will take a dig at his life ever since his big move from Dubai to India. His routine will zig-zag into the potholed road of sensitive content as he talks about everything from geopolitics to mental health to parenting. The idea is to leave you thinking…
Admission to see ‘Thinking Aloud (Allowed)’ by Nitinn R Miranni at PUBG Sports Lounge in Occidental Hotel, Dubai, is Dh76 and comes with a free drink. Only those over 21 are allowed.