Things are about to get funny in Wine Country. That’s the plan, at least, for the latest Crushers of Comedy show taking place Saturday, Aug. 13 at Muscardini Cellars. This time the yuks will be courtesy the Desi Comedy Fest, which bills itself as the “largest South Asian Comedy Festival in the Country.”
Many of the women are all impressively accomplished comedians. Monrok has appeared on HBO and is the winner of the funniest female comedian in California. Mona produces “The Minority Reportz” at the World famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Mirza has appeared on the BBC. Irene Tu was recently named one of KQED’s Women to Watch.
It’s still a man’s world in the standup comedy. There’s no joking about it. Then factor in being South Asian. What’s the immediate image that comes to mind? If you are in America, which we are, it might be a nerdy computer engineer who speaks English with a heavy accent. Yeah, no. Mix up the gender what image do you have now? You draw a blank, well you used to until Mindy Kaling arrived in American homes through television shows, “The Office” and then her own show “The Mindy Project.”
They’re using the festival to debut “Meditation in Virtual Reality,” a two-minute video that gives the viewer a series of audio and visual cues to look around a living room where a shady yoga teacher is trying to persuade her student to ignore the fact that he’s being ripped off. (They’ve also posted a 360-degree version on Facebook.)
Head to San Francisco’s preeminent comedy club this week for a night of laughs. The 3rd Annual Desi Comedy Fest features stand-up comics of South Asian descent offering a perspective not often heard in the Bay Area.
Mercury News - South Asian Comedy Festival Includes Berkeley Show
August 10, 2016
The idea for the festival grew out of shows produced by comedian Samson Koletkar for Pakistani and Indian independence days in August 2013, which grew into the concept of the Desi (described as “a term for the cultures and products of the Indian subcontinent or South Asia and their Diaspora”) Comedy Fest. It is now the largest festival of its kind in the United States, say promoters.
Times Herald - Desi Comedy Fest mixes laughs with cross-cultural perspective
August 10, 2016
Samson Koletkar is living a dream. And this time, it’s his. After the Mumbai native raised on matzoh carved a South Bay career in technology to satisfy his parents’ wish, he’s finally dancing to the beat of his own sitar by gaining ground in the difficult world of comedy.
Hoodline - 50 South Asian Comics Bring Laughs To San Francisco
August 1, 2016
When she last performed in San Francisco, Shazia Mirza, who lives in London, told screamingly funny (if eyebrow-raising) jokes about shotgun weddings and terrorism. It's all in a day's work for the Muslim comic, who's of Pakistani descent.
SF Weekly - Wringing Laughs Out of Truckers in Boise
August 10, 2016
When he started working as an IT consultant, Sanjay Manaktala traveled a lot. He would find himself in Iowa or Wisconsin, and bored in the hotel, he would head out to perform at comedy clubs.
Now Manaktala is one of 50 comedians featured in the Zee TV Desi Comedy Fest, 11 days of South Asian comedians from nine countries who will appear in cities around the Bay Area, including San Francisco,Berkeley, San Jose, and Livermore.
SF Examiner - Doctor helps kick off South Asian comedy fest
August 10, 2016
Priyanka Wali’s résumé would gladden the heart of any stereotypical South Asian parent: She’s a University of Southern California graduate and a successful doctor, even appearing in Women’s Health magazine.
But by night, the Glen Park resident leads a shocking double life. Or at least a funny one.
Huffington Post - San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond
August 8, 2016
The largest South Asian comedy festival in the US will take place from August 11-21, 2016 in 9 Northern California cities (San Francisco, Berkeley, Mill Valley, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Union City, Livermore, Kenwood, and Sacramento) and feature 50 South Asian comedians from 9 countries including the US, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Yes, there’s a comedy scene in Bangladesh.
India West - 50 Comedians From Nine Countries to Come Together
August 4, 2016
San Francisco Bay Area-based Indian American comedians, Samson Koletkar and Abhay Nadkarni, are back with the third annual Zee TV Desi Comedy Fest, an 11-day stand-up comedy extravaganza to be held at comedy clubs and theaters in nine cities throughout northern California.
India West - Marriage, Math, Masala All in the Mix at Desi Comedy Fest
August 17, 2016
Samson Koletkar and fellow Indian American comedian Abhay Nadkarni bring to you the largest South Asian comedy fest in America – which features a rotating line-up of 56 comedians from across the U.S., India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Koletkar and Nadkarni conceived of the show in 2013 after noticing there were more South Asian Americans doing stand-up comedy, and produced the first Desi Comedy Fest in August 2014, with four shows in four cities.