An Indian-origin stand-up comedian died on stage due to a high level of anxiety while performing his act in front of a packed audience here, according to a media report. Manjunath Naidu, 36, suffered a cardiac arrest while performing his routine on stage on Friday. He complained of the high level of anxiety, sat down on the bench next to him and collapsed onto the floor, with the audience thinking that it must be a part of the show, Khaleej Times reported.

He was born in Abu Dhabi but later shifted base to Dubai. “He was the last act in the line-up. He went on stage and was making people laugh with his stories. He was talking about his father and family. And then he got into a story of how he suffers from anxiety. And a minute into the story he collapsed,” Miqdaad Dohadwala, his friend and fellow comedian, was quoted as saying in the report.

People thought it was part of the act. They took it as a joke as he was talking about anxiety and then collapsed, he said. Dohadwala said that the paramedics could not revive him. “His parents passed away and he has a brother but no relatives here. All in the arts and comedy circle are his family,” he added.