Comedian Daniel Sloss on his controversial special ‘Jigsaw’, and performing in India

During a particularly rough week in 2018, when I was recovering from the flu, I discovered a Scottish comedian named Daniel Sloss. I dived into his two stand-up specials (DARK and Jigsaw) on Netflix. His dark, blunt and honest sense of humour kept me hooked.   

In the second special, Jigsaw, he dwells on what love is, why we love and what it means to be truly in love. This unexpected comedy special, shattered my idea of love, and it turns out I was not alone. Soon after the special released on Netflix worldwide, word started reaching Daniel that couples were breaking up following his words of wisdom.

Daniel Sloss

Daniel Sloss
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Daniel’s bio on X reads “SPECIALS Daniel Sloss: X, SOCiO, DARK, Jigsaw (breakups 500K+ Divorces 1000+)”, and the comic has autographed several divorce papers as well! “Jigsaw was quite culturally important for a lot of young Indians, because it’s talking about not settling and looking for the best. I did not know it was going to have that impact. That’s not why I wrote it,” he says on a Zoom call from home in Scotland , from where he will be flying to India with his next stand-up special Can’t. It touches upon subjects like cancel culture and the birth of his son.

This is Daniel’s second tour to India. His first India tour in March 2023 covered only three cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi — and sold out tickets for all three shows in under an hour. “Two months after the Netflix special came out, I said to my agent that we have got to do India. We just couldn’t find the right people,” he says. In 2022, Daniel performed in Mumbai as part of the Laughing Dead Comedy Festival by DeadAnt. 

Once he left India, his fans hounded him on social media, asking him to come back and perform in more cities. Ravina Rawal, the founder of DeadAnt says, “He was whinging and moaning on social media about wanting to come back to India, so we reached out to him and asked what he had in mind. Daniel is an ambitious man and wanted to do everything”. 

Ravina Rawal

Ravina Rawal
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The eight-city tour in India, hitting Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, will be the biggest comedy tour by an International comic in India so far. This tour is organised by DeadAnt’s new initiative Loop, which facilitates bringing big international comedy stars to India. Daniel Sloss will be the first comic to put this to test. 

“Performing in India was brand new but still familiar. The response was electric when I met fans, but then on stage, it felt like performing pretty much anywhere else in the world. Most of the jokes were understood, and my accent wasn’t as big an issue as I thought it would be,” he says.

Daniel Sloss

Daniel Sloss
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Travelling to different parts of the world and performing in places with varying cultures sets a challenge for a comic with a dark sense of humour. Sometimes the jokes land, and sometimes they offend and hurt the audience. Freedom of speech, in the context of stand-up comedy, in India, is infamously fussy, but Daniel takes that as a challenge. “I’m trying to do at least five minutes of local stuff because otherwise it would be a missed opportunity. I try to go to new places and offer my own view, because the one thing that is true for audience everywhere in the world is they like when somebody holds up a mirror in front of them and says ‘this is what you look like to me’. Sometimes that’s what offends people, but 99% of what I say comes with love.”

Daniel Sloss in a still from his Netflix special ‘Dark’

Daniel Sloss in a still from his Netflix special ‘Dark’
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Daniel filmed his special Can’t in Turkey last weekend, where, he says, one of his closing jokes did not land as expected. “Sometimes that is one of the difficult things to happen, but I like the challenge of proving that everything can be funny. You just have to picture it.” 

Speaking about his return to India, he reminisces about the last time when he was greeted with boxes of home-made biriyani from loving fans. “This time I am going to trust Ravina. Unfortunately, I am a white boy and I have a white boy stomach so we’re going to be sensible, but on the last day we are going to destroy my stomach,” he says and laughs about being a very happy person if he could eat vada-pav the entire time!

Daniel Sloss will be on tour in India from March 15 to 24. Tickets on insider.in starting ₹999.

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