One of the brightest prospects in the comedy world, Neel Kolhatkar boasts a CV rivalling many seasoned professionals. With a subscriber base that had previously garnered him millions of hits on his YouTube and Facebook videos, Neel sky-rocketed to Internet stardom at just 19 years old in 2013 with his viral video Australia in 2 Minutes. This runaway hit has been supervened by numerous noteworthy videos- ranging from song parodies to political short films including his 2015 global hit #Equality, which was featured on the primetime American talk show Stossel (FOX Network) and has over a million views and counting.
You’ve risen to prominence for your impersonations of many different groups of people, including university students. What’s your favourite thing about the student lifestyle?
For the very limited time I experienced it I loved how relaxed it was. Sleep-ins and something like 3 tutorials a week for me. Suited my personality very well. I hardly even went to lectures to be honest. The freedom of it all was great!
You’ve visited UNSW in the past under the persona of “Weldon Chau”. What was your inspiration behind this character?
This character was based on one or two people I went to high school with. Growing up in Hurstville and having gone to an academically selective school Weldon Chau was the product of all my experiences with the second generation Chinese “bro’s” that I came into contact with. I actually love the character so much, I love playing the characters that if you met in real life you would hate (don’t ask why haha) and Weldon was exactly that. Thing is he’s such a niche character that only certain people from particular multicultural suburbs in Sydney or Melbourne could identify with and as a result I’ve had to do less of him.
What are the major differences between producing comedy videos on YouTube and doing stand- up? Which do you prefer?
I like them both equally. Stand-up is live, it’s in the moment and you are being yourself on stage. It’s all about creating a rapport with the audience and focusing on one show at a time. Making a video is an entirely different process. You can refine the content, do multiple takes, work on the script for a while but then once it gets out there thousands, sometimes even millions of people will have a reaction – at that point it’s entirely out of your hands.
You recently collaborated with Allday and KYA on the song Netflix and Chill? How did this collaboration come about and what was it like filming together?
I have known Allday as a friend since his comedy days (believe it or not) and he is the most chilled out person I have ever met in my life. I pretty much knew KYA from her radio airplay and got in contact with her through social media. She was also very easy to work with but you could tell she was an incredibly hard-working and passionate person very dedicated to her career. Both were so different but incredible to work with.
The theme for O-Week this year is ‘Immerse Yourself’, an underwater theme. What’s your aquatic spirit animal?
Ha, never been asked this before. Ummmm, I’ve heard some pretty good things about dolphins, I’m going to go with a dolphin – the gentle and smart creatures of the sea.NEEL KOLHATKAR
NEEL BEFORE ME
Presented by Frontier Comedy & More Comedy
General public tickets on sale now
Thu 21 Apr (7.45pm) Factory Theatre | Sydney, NSW (All Ages)
Fri 22 Apr (7.45pm) Factory Theatre | Sydney, NSW (All Ages)
Sat 23 Apr (7.45pm) Factory Theatre | Sydney, NSW (All Ages)
Sun 24 Apr (7.45pm) Factory Theatre | Sydney, NSW (All Ages)
ticketek.com.au<http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NEELSYD16> | 13 28 49
This event is recommended for patrons aged 15+
facebook.com/neel.kolhatkar94<http://www.facebook.com/Neel.Kolhatkar94> | YouTube: youtube.com/neelk<http://www.youtube.com/neelk>