This month I was able to travel to Mumbai, India and perform at Canvas Laugh Club - one of the few bonafide comedy clubs in India. I was able to meet some other great local comics and talk to them about what its like being a comedian in India. It was crazy to learn that many of them are able to be full time comics despite only being in the game for just a few years (between 3-6 years). One comedian I spoke with had already quit his full time job as a programmer to become a full time comedian and he had only been in comedy for a little under three years. The demand for comics in India is that high and the supply is endemically low.
Most comics from the United States have to work extremely hard for many many years in order to become full time comedians, or national headliners. Not to mention that most require TV credits in addition to having strong fan bases, which takes years to build. They say you don't really even 'find your voice' in the states until the 5 to 10 year mark. But here in India, you can easily build up your time and start working full time as a comedian because there is a lot more stage time and stand up comedy is still a relatively new art form here in this country.
Being a comic in the United States is not easy. It takes years of struggle and you are treated like shit for many many years. Now here I am speaking with comics from India who are treated much much better than the way comedians in the US are treated and in a fraction of the time and thinking about how fucking ironic the whole thing is. My Indian-born parents immigrated from India in order to have a better life in America for themselves and their family. How odd now that one may need to move to India in order to have a better life as a comedian because life as a comic in America is so hard and shitty!!