Krish Mohan, a self-described socially conscious comedian, will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Dimensions Gallery.
The show, titled “Empathy on Sale,” was created to be entertaining and thought-provoking, Mohan said. In his performance, he uses storytelling and comedy to discuss how race, identity politics and other issues he said have led to the widening divide between certain groups in America.
“I’m trying to dig a little bit deeper in my stand-up about these issues, so it’s not just surface level, and trying to address it from different points of view,” Mohan said. “The show is about the current state of political divide we have in this country.”
“Empathy on Sale” won the Audience Choice Award at the 2018 Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.
Mohan began doing stand-up comedy 13 years ago when he performed in a high school talent show. Before the show, he had only planned out 10 minutes of material but had to somehow fill a 15-minute slot. He chose to imitate an Indian accent for five minutes.
“It was the only time I’ve ever gotten a standing ovation,” Mohan said.
After that, Mohan spent most Friday nights performing at open mic nights in his local area and opening for his friends’ bands in high school and college. Eight years ago, he began traveling around the country.
Mohan has since performed at various Fringe Festivals in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C., as well as small theaters, DIY venues and house shows nationwide.
One these venues is the New Brookland Tavern in Columbia, South Carolina, where he performed in a show hosted by touring comedian John Gibson. Mohan has since returned three times to perform.
“Krish is an intellectual and a creative wrapped up into one lovable human,” Gibson said. “His comedy is a style that needs you to pay attention, and will have you leaving the room laughing. What Krish does is different, and a breath of fresh air in comedy.”
Mohan said he decided to create a show that explicitly addresses certain issues because he believes comedy can be a great way to break down these barriers.
“In my opinion, comedy is the great unifier,” Mohan said. “It brings people together.”
Mohan said if people come to his show ready to laugh and listen, they will enjoy it and hopefully learn something new. He wants his comedy to be a starting point for those deeper conversations.
“There is a system in place that doesn’t care about any of us and that’s the problem,” Mohan said. “We’re not gonna fix that system and create something better if we’re not going to work together.”
Tickets for the show are $5 online at ramannoodlescomedy.com and $10 at the door.