Alingon Mitra: Comic shares world view without histrionics
Comedy fans looking to be entertained by histrionics, ranting and raving might want to give Alingon Mitra a pass.
If, on the other hand, a reasoned, fairly calm, but humorous, assessment of the world is what appeals, then by all means give him a try.
Mitra, a Harvard University graduate and former writer for the oft-quoted Harvard Lampoon, plays his “backyard” on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 25-26, at Comix comedy club at Mohegan Sun.
“Known for his sharp jokes, original thoughts and affable presence” is how Comix staff describe the 29-year-old who was born and raised in Worcester, Mass. Now based in New York, Mitra will be visiting his folks in Massachusetts for the holiday prior to his Connecticut three-show stand-up gig. (His parents, both born in India, own a tax counseling/financial planning company.)
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to stand-up,” said Mitra during a recent telephone chat. Mitra had taken a break from the stage to be a writer for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah and “Adam Ruins Everything,” created by comic Adam Conover for truTV.
His brand of comedy, he said, does not involve “yelling or speaking down” to his audiences. Rather, he said, he presents his cultural, political and social observations in a measured manner. “I am passionate about many issues ... delivering the medicine with honey.”
A psychology and economics major at Harvard, Mitra initially considered going on to law school after graduation. (His older brother is a lawyer.) “But I had been a huge fan of stand-up for years. I began watching on TV as a kid ... and caught the bug. (Open mic nights) was something I enjoyed doing, and so when opportunities” to perform came his way, “I jumped on board.”
Mitra made his television debut on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” finishing “first in the public vote five weeks in a row to win the comic comeback contest and perform on the finale,” his bio notes. Subsequently, he has appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Conan,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and Adam Devine’s “House Party” on Comedy Central. He also is a past winner of the Boston Comedy Festival and the Funniest Comic in New England.
Does he ever think about giving up comedy for a more stable law career?
“Funny you should ask,” he said, laughing. “I consider it after every third bad show.”
In fact, he has no intention to leave comedy. “There is a thrill on stage every time a new joke works. It’s an outlet to convey my thoughts, a fun and enjoyable way to get my ideas across.”
And if you were wondering: His name, Alingon, means “embrace” in Bengali, he said.
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