Sumukh and Golak’s Two Man Show,’ featuring (left to right) Justin Golak and Sumukh Torgalkar, is scheduled to be performed Oct. 13 in the Green Room at the Short North Stage’s Garden Theatre.
It was his last year at Ohio State when a then 22-year-old decided to put his sense of humor to the test at an open mic night near campus.
“It’s always been something I wanted to do. So when I got the opportunity, I figured I might as well give it a shot,” said Justin Golak, an OSU alumnus and Cleveland native.
Golak said stand-up comedy was always something that appealed to him as a kid, so when the chance presented itself at the mic night he couldn’t pass it up.
Sumukh Torgalkar, a friend and high school classmate of Golak’s, said he shares the same passion for comedy.
The duo had a shot at performing comedy for the first time six years ago and have been performing around Columbus ever since.
“Comedy Tonight: Sumukh and Golak’s Two Man Show” is scheduled to be performed 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday at the Short North Stage’s Garden Theatre.
“I always had an interest in comedy, but I never thought about doing stand-up and actually performing,” Torgalkar said.
Torgalkar attended Miami University where he wrote humor columns for the student newspaper in an attempt to get his work published but said he got frustrated with the rejection he kept facing. After trying stand-up for the first time, he said it felt like the perfect fit.
“With stand-up I had the opportunity to write comedy, perform it right away and get an automatic response,” Torgalkar said. “It was a nice combination of my interest in performance, but also my interest in writing.”
Although the two comedians generally perform separately, they occasionally perform together, and for the past two years have put on a show that consists of video and live sketches.
“It’s called the ‘Two Man Show’ because it’s the both of us collaborating on a show that we wrote together that is completely new material,” Torgalkar said.
Zack Baird, a promoter for Short North Stage, said he’s known Golak and Torgalkar for a while now and they helped launch the Columbus comedy scene.
“I remember feeling kind of intimidated by them because in my opinion, they were the first ones to spearhead comedy in Columbus, with regard to booking shows, promoting themselves and really taking the idea of a local comedy scene seriously,” Baird said. “They are hilarious, unique, and I feel like they have a brand of comedy that everyone can appreciate regardless of age (and) educational background.”
Golak added they have different types of humor, so bringing the two styles together gives the show its own twist.
“We work together while writing because we find the same things funny,” Golak said. “We approach things differently, so I think that makes it a very interesting show.”
The show provides a full spectrum of humor, Torgalkar said, because he offers a dry sense of humor and Golak is more conversational.
“I think if people have been out in Columbus to see stand-up comedy they’ve seen both of our acts, but this is a nice opportunity to see completely new material from us,” Torgalkar said.
Each comedian writes his own sketches, and then they find ways the sketches can be integrated into the show together.
Outside of the show, the comedians have had mentionable accomplishments in their careers. Golak was named one of Columbus Alive’s 2012 People to Watch, and he said he is the first comedian to receive this honor.
Torgalkar was given the chance to open up for comedian Reggie Watts, who is often featured on Conan O’Brien’s late night show, “Conan.”
Torgalkar said despite their earned achievements, the most rewarding benefit they receive as comedians is being able to provide an audience with a good time.
“We want people to be entertained and to have an hour-and-a-half to step away from whatever might be going on in their lives,” he said.
Torgalkar compared perfecting the art of comedy to learning a sport.
“The easiest way to learn is to keep going up on the stage and finding your voice and finding the way to write jokes,” he said. “It’s like any sport, you have to get out there and practice.”
Tickets to the show can be purchased for $8 on Short North Stage’s website or $10 at the door. The Garden Theatre is located at 1187 N. High St.