Mandar Bhide used to sell chocolates for a living. Then he discovered stand-up comedy. He quit his job, took to the stage, and has since then made a career out of making people laugh in different languages – English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati.

A huge influence on Bhide has been P.L. Deshpande (popularly known as Pu La), Maharashtra’s literary gem whose vast oeuvre needs no introduction. In this edition of  Centrestage, he talks about discovering the comedian hidden within his sales manager persona, his failsafe joke, doing regional stand-up and the influence of Pu La on his work and humour.

Bhide’s next show Aalas – A Marathi Stand Up is on Sunday, September 8 at Music Cafe, Mumbai.