Nepal doesn’t have many stand-up comedians. And when you take away ‘mimicry’ out of ‘stand-up comedy’, the number is even less. Don’t even talk about the number of female comics — it would be hard to name even half a dozen of them.
While the stand-up comics from the neighboring country are getting signed with Netflix and Amazon Prime; and touring around the world for solo shows; ours are limited to opening for bands and singers. This needs to change and there’s someone who makes us hopeful – Shailee Basnet.
The 34-year-old mountaineer turned comedian is all set to perform at Gotham Comedy Club, one of the finest comedy clubs in New York, this month. “My interest and studies have helped me in landing this opportunity”, she told in an interview.
Basnet was a leader for the ‘Seven Summit Women Team’, a group of women mountaineers that climbed the seven highest peaks of the seven continents. While Basnet climbed Mount Everest in 2008, along with three other peaks on three continents; her team mates did scale all of them, creating history of becoming the first all-female group in the world to achieve the feat. Basnet was the logistical lead for the team that conquered the highest peaks on each of the continents — Vinson Massif in Antarctica being their final climb in December 2014.
While mountaineering has always been her passion, she always had a thing for comedy as well. She performed her first standup act in 2011 in Kathmandu during an event called ‘Thattai Thatta’. The response from the fellow comedians and the audience encouraged her to do even better.
Basnet who got married to Tyler McMahon, a native of Colorado, in 2010 was at her husband’s home for a couple of months in 2013. She took the opportunity and did a gig at Bohemian Biergarten in Boulder in an event called ‘Boulder Comedy Show’; and was appreciated by the audience.
She then had to take a break from her comic career for her team’s mission until 2014. After the team successfully scaled Vinson Massif, she could get back to comedy; and did a show in India. As Basnet was enjoying what she was doing, she decided to take formal training and hence completed a six-week comedy course in New York. During the course, she met the founder of the school, Andey Engle, who also is one of the producers at Gotham Comedy Club. Their conversation led Basnet to land an opportunity to make her Gotham debut in September this year.
According to Basnet, her act will revolve around the social and political issues in the third world countries, her life experiences so far and the lifestyle of Nepalese.
Gotham Comedy Club that is located on 23rd Street in the building adjacent to Chelsea Hotel has hosted some of the top names in comedy, including Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Robert Klein, Colin Quinn, Lewis Black, among others; since the club opened in its original location in 1996. Shailee Basnet’s ‘Top Shot Comedy’ show will be taking place on September 20th at 9:30 PM. The tickets cost $12 and can be bought online from HERE.
Cover Photo: Broadway Comedy Club/NCA
h/t: voiceofny/Everest Times