Abhay moved from South-India to South Central Los Angeles for grad school. "But Why?" would be an obvious reaction. Maybe he had a death wish or maybe he wanted to see if Training Day was legit or maybe USC was the only school willing to give him an education. Dodging bullets en-route to grad school armed him with plenty of stories and stand up was his only catharsis for combating culture shock. His act is an eclectic mix of his experience as an immigrant in the US.
Creator/Producer/Performer - Desi Comedy Fest SF Sketchfest Comedy Festival
Adam Mamawala is a stand-up comedian and actor based out of New York City. His debut album One of the Good Ones, released through Comedy Dynamics, debuted at #1 on the iTunes Comedy Charts in December of 2017. Named one of Funny or Die’s "Top 30 Under 30: Comedians to Watch", Adam has appeared on MTV, BET and SeeSo and has headlined over 200 colleges across more than 35 states. Adam's festival appearances include the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, Boston Comedy Festival, and New York Comedy Festival. He has been featured as Time Out New York’s “Joke of the Week”, has been a Freelance Contributor to Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update and Someecards, and recently headlined Carolines on Broadway, one of NYC's preeminent comedy clubs!
Ahmed Bharoocha was born into a Irish Catholic/Pakistani Muslim household. He discovered his passion for entertaining at a young age making home movies with his older sister and his best friend. During college Ahmed got a job as a dishwasher at a comedy club in RI. He eventually made the move from dishwasher to the stage and hasn’t washed a dish since. Ahmed has performed stand-up on TBS’ Conan, Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party and at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival as part of the New Faces Unrepresented showcase. His sketch comedy group, Dead Kevin, has been featured on Comedy Central Studios, Funny or Die, Huffington Post UK, BuzzFeed and shown regularly at Comedy Meltdown.
Akaash earned his first television appearance in 2011. He was one of a small handful of comedians selected to be a panelist on MTV's "New Year's Bash 2011", making light of the celebrity news we all take too seriously.Then he piloted for a series with MTV Desi has been approved for a full season, and is set to begin in 2012. In 2013, He was chosen as a cast member on MTV2's "Wild N Out". In 2014, it was HBO's "The Leftovers", as well as MTV2's Guy Code. And more recently, he has just finished filming for the second season of MTV2's "Joking Off".
Alingon Mitra (New York City)
Alingon Mitra is a stand up comedian known for his tight jokes, original thoughts, and affable presence. Making his television debut on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Alingon finished first in the public vote 5 weeks in a row to win the comic comeback contest and perform on the finale. He has since been invited to do stand up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central. In addition, he wrote for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Adam Ruins Everything. Alingon went on to be named one of the "New Faces of Comedy" at Montreal's Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. He also won both the Boston Comedy Festival and the "Funniest Comic in New England" contest in the same year. Alingon was a writer for the humor magazine The Harvard Lampoon and can now be found on Twitter, on Facebook, or in bed.
Last Comic Standing The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Andrew Orolfo has been named one of the country’s "top knot" comedians by... don't even ask, just go with it. An established staple in San Francisco comedy, he has been featured in SF Sketchfest and Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Andrew was born and raised in the Bay Area to Filipino parents. Stand-up comedy may not have been the career option his family hoped for, but like many of us, he's still trying to figure this whole life thing out, which you'll see reflected in his comedy. Listen to his stories, follow his journey and maybe figure things out with him along the way.
Sacramento Punchline Comedy Club Rooster T Feathers Comedy Club
Azhar Usman is a Chicago-based standup comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He has toured over 20 countries, on five continents. His comedy has been profiled/reviewed by over 100 major world media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, BBC, The Guardian, NPR, TIME Magazine, Al-Jazeera, USA Today, and Fox News. Besides appearing regularly on television, and in numerous documentary and independent films, he served as executive producer of Mo Amer's new one-hour standup special "Legally Homeless", and most recently, served as a creative consultant on Hannibal Buress' 2016 Netflix comedy special, "Comedy Camisado."
America's Funniest Muslim (CNN) 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World (Georgetown)
Dauood Naimyar (San Francisco)
David Naimyar was born Dauood Mohammad Naimyar, but at a very young age he knew the value of assimilating. Because of this, he tried his best to not be different but failed at every encounter. Once he embraced his eccentric point of view he saw the humor all around him. David’s humor and comedic perspective is shaped by the duality of his constant need to fit in and be different. His search for being relatable and yet controversial has brought audiences joy for the last four years and will probably continue until he finally figures out who he is, which we hope he doesn’t cause bills need to be paid.
Dave Nihill (Dublin)
David is the author of the best-selling book Do You Talk Funny? and the Founder of FunnyBizz Conference. His work has been featured in Inc., Lifehacker, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Forbes, NPR, The Wall Street Journal,The Irish Independent, TV3, Newstalk and The Irish Times.
“One of the best speaking coaches out there” according to Forbes.com, David’s program with over 29,000 students has been featured by Prezi as one of the best training courses for presenters. His book remains one of the highest rated in the world on the (usually not so wildly exciting) topic of public speaking and his content has been read by over one million people.
A sought after international business speaker, David has also performed standup comedy at leading clubs including Cobbs, the Comedy Store, the Improv, and the Upright Citizens Brigade. As a storyteller he finished runner up in NPR’s the Moth’s largest US story telling competition. As a lecturer he has taught at Stanford Graduate Business School, US Berkeley, Hult Business School and University College Dublin.
A graduate of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School he calls San Francisco home when immigration officials permit, and was named on the 2017 Irish America 100 List, which recognizes the accomplishments of the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders.
A big fan of travel and languages David has lived and worked in 12 countries and visited 73 and counting
DHAYA LAKSHMINARAYANAN (SAN FRANCISCO)
Dhaya Lakshminarayanan is the 2016 winner of the Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award (previously awarded to Samantha Bee, Wanda Sykes and satirist/humorist Mark Russell) presented by the National Women’s Political Caucus. KQED named her one of the twenty “Women to Watch” a series celebrating women artists, creatives and makers in the San Francisco Bay Area who are pushing boundaries in 2016. The SF Weekly named her one of the “16 Bay Area performers to watch in 2016.” She was named one of “The Bay Area’s 11 Best Standup Comedians” by SFist. The San Francisco Bay Guardian named her Best Comedian 2013 in the “Best of the Bay” Readers’ Poll. Comedy Central Asia crowned her the Grand Prize Winner of “The Ultimate Comedy Challenge” filmed in Singapore.
DJ Sandhu (Sacramento)
Buried deep within the most luxuriant beard in comedy lives DJ Sandhu’s silver tongue just aching to get out and spread its diabolical thoughts. From Sacramento, CA, Sandhu decided to break his parents’ hearts by sharing his absurd opinions with strangers rather than going to med school like a responsible, well-adjusted adult. From the World Series of Comedy to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and everywhere in between, Sandhu has worked with some of the industry’s legends including Bret Ernst, Dat Phan, Carl LaBove, Tommy Davidson, and Godfrey…all of which leave his mother incredibly disappointed that he didn’t choose a better life path.
World Series of Comedy Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Ehsan Ahmad (San Diego)
Ehsan Ahmad is a Bangladeshi-American comedian who is based out of San Diego. He’s been a finalist on the SF Comedy Competition and has a fantastic podcast called Spoil The Beans.
Ellis Rodriguez (Sacramento)
Joe Ngyuen (San Francisco)
Subtle but sharp, laid-back yet engaging, Joe Nguyen is the smart slacker beloved by audiences for his easygoing delivery and good writing. At home in all venues from clubs to cafes, Joe is a regular at the Punch Line and other Bay Area clubs as well as a member of local group Nightlife on Mars.
Imran G (San Francisco)
Imran G hits the stage with intensity and clever quips that keep his audience enthralled and roaring with laughter. The Seattle native has performed from coast to coast and honed an act to entertain audiences of all sizes, shapes, and tastes. Imran is now based in the Bay Area and has performed around the country at Comedy clubs, Theaters and Festivals as well as the NBC Standup for Diversity Showcase.
Kabir "Kabeezy" Singh is Fresh off his "Comedy Central" Debut on the hit comedy show "Gabriel Iglesias's Stand-Up Revolution," A high-energy, crowd-pleasing comic with an in-your-face attitude and razor-sharp wit, Kabeezy's won numerous comedy competitions, including taking first place two years in a row at the Bay Area Stand Up Comedy Competition, but most importantly won the 2014 39th Annual "SF International Comedy Competition"by coming in first place in all 5 shows in the Final Round which was the first time that happened in It's rich 39 year history.
Comedian Kazu Kusano is a playful Japanese imp. She is also a good dancer – in her opinion. Kazu moves like a child in a playground, and her silly, yet dark comedy makes everything laughable, from her accent to Geishas, and even Nagasaki. She shatters the stereotype of the demur Asian woman. Her comedy is not only about culture, but brutally personal. Born in Japan, raised by a schizophrenic mom and an oil-tanker crew dad, Kazu shares the humor she found in her dysfunctional family. Married to a Jewish computer nerd and mind-reader, she currently resides in Los Angeles.
Kiran Deol (Los Angeles)
Kiran’s work tackles difficult topics with intimacy, poignancy, and humor. She has created projects for HBO and Sundance, been nominated for an Emmy, shortlisted for an Oscar, has hosted a series for VICE, and more.
As a performer, Kiran has acted on a number of TV shows, like Modern Family and How to Get Away with Murder. She tours regularly as a stand-up comedian and loves ice cream.
Melissa Shoshahi (Los Angeles)
Melissa Shoshahi is an Iranian-American stand-up comedian, actress and writer. She tours all over the country and world, bringing her witty personality to the stage and knows no limits when it comes to comedy - culture, politics, race and gender are all fair game. Famous for her spot-on Kim Kardashian impression, Shoshahi originally hails from Seattle, Washington and has been doing stand-up comedy for 9 years. She has been featured on Laughs on FOX, All Def Digital, Fusion TV, Nickelodeon and has acted in a myriad of independent films. She can currently be seen touring with comedian Max Amini and K-Von, to name a few. Shoshahi has accumulated millions of views online with sketches and stand-up clips that have gone viral. She also uses her platform to raise awareness about epilepsy.
Mohanad Elshieky (Libya)
Mohanad has recently made it to the Top Three Funniest People in Portland in an annual contest held at Helium Comedy Club, and been named by the Portland Mercury as an undisputed Genius of Comedy. He has opened for comedians such as Colin Quinn and Hari Kondabolu, and has been on the award winning show, Live Wire.
Road From Libya Live Wire
Mona Shaikh (New York City)
Mona Shaikh is a Pakistani American comedian from NYC based in Los Angeles. She recently graced the cover of Newsweek and has been featured in The Guardian, LA Weekly and Huffington Post to name a few. She tours domestically and internationally and has her own show at The World Famous Comedy Store.
Minority Reportz-Comedy Store Opened for Patton Oswalt
MONROK is synonymous with one word and one word only, MONROK. Daughter of immigrants from India, her father an eccentric and award winning math professor, her mother a gay rights activist (who according to Monrok doesn’t know any gay people) Comedian, writer and actress Monrok has a unique take on life. She was born in Sydney, Australia, then moved to the suburbs of DC, and currently resides in Los Angeles. She has also spent a lot of time in Europe and considers herself “Australian by Birth, American by location, French by cold, judgmental heart.”
Paul Varghese (born January 1977 in Dallas, Texas) is an American comedian and actor of Indian descent who appeared on the hit reality show Last Comic Standing 2, where he made it to the semi-finals. He taped his first full set for national television on March 8, 2007, for Comedy Central's Live at Gotham which aired July 13, 2007. He was a regular on the Pugs and Kelly radio show, noon-3 p.m. weekdays on Live 105.3/Free FM in Dallas when that radio station and show was still on the air.
Varghese, who began doing stand-up in 2001, opened for Canadian-born comedian Russell Peters in a short theater tour through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and New York in 2005. That led to his headlining a 16-city Gurus of Comedy tour in the spring of 2006. In 2007 he was named "Best Stand-Up Comic in Dallas" by the Dallas Observer and won the 2009 "Funniest Comic in Texas" competition. Varghese was also featured on Showtime's "Russell Peter's Presents", Telemundo 2's "Loco Comedy Jam", Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham" and "Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution". On June 18, 2012, Varghese was given the opportunity to open for comedian Dave Chappelle at the Dallas House of Blues and the following night in Austin at the Paramount Theatre. On May 31, 2014, Varghese opened for Joan Rivers at IP Casino Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. This was followed by several more openings for Ms. Rivers in June 2014.
Omar Qureshi (San Jose)
Priyanka Wali (San Francisco)
Priyanka Wali is a stand up comedian, writer, actress, and physician. She started performing stand up in San Francisco, CA. She is also a board-certified Internal Medicine physician.
Featured in Women's Health Magazine Burbank Comedy Festival
Rajiv Satyal is a Los Angeles-based comedian/host. Satyal has some interesting claims to fame: he opened for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of 17,000 people. He made the massively viralI AM INDIANvideo, which was shared by Bollywood stars and used to introduce the Indian Prime Minister in Shanghai and Dubai. He has opened for Russell Peters more than any other Indian comedian. Rajiv even hosted Dave Chappelle’s very first show after his much-publicized African hiatus.
Satyal performs weekly at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. He has garnered 50 million+ online views and been featured on/in NBC, NPR, Nickelodeon, Fx, Netflix, Times Now, Zee TV,Pandora, Spotify, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, Advertising Age, The Times of India, and The LA Times.
Satyal wrote No Man’s Land, a 100-minute one-person show about his dating life that sold out all performances from LA to NY to San Francisco to Cincinnati. This show actually led to Satyal’s marriage, which itself had a comedic arc: Rajiv proposed to his girlfriend while opening for Kevin Nealon, and at his wedding, Russell Peters finally opened for him.
Richard Sarvate (San Francisco)
Richard Sarvate is a San Francisco based comedian with an alternative sense of humor. He is Indian, though his last name was butchered during an immigration debacle. He is a programmer by day and also a programmer by night. But he also finds time to talk about weird stuff on stages. His act consists of quirky observations, impressions, and surreal one-man sketches.
Lebanese-Palestinian-Syrian-Italian-American, born in Oakland, California, Sammy Obeid (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) is best known for his 1,001 day streak of consecutive comedy performances. It began on December 26th, 2010, and concluded on September 21st, 2013– four days after an appearance on TBS’s Conan. Breaking the old world record on Day 731, Sammy set the new one at 1,001 Arabian Nights of Comedy.
Over the course of the streak, he appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and advanced to the Las Vegas round, and became the first comedian to perform on The Food Network in Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Splitsider conducted an extensive interview with him entering the home stretch. LA Weekly praised Sammy’s “sheer force of will” in performance and lifestyle, and LA Mag recommended his show highly. He was profiled in TIME Magazine, followed soon after by an article in the New York Times. Published on his final day, it describes his material as “full of wordplay” and “clever misdirection.”
Chunks of his streak were spent as youngest member of both the CoExist Comedy and Axis of Evil: New Generation national tours. Capping the streak, his debut album, Get Funny or Die Trying, was named a Best Comedy Album of 2013 by iTunes.
Sammy has founded his own comedy enterprise, KO Comedy, and enjoys giving unsolicited advice on his blog.
Samson Koletkar (San Francisco)
Samson Koletkar (aka Mahatma Moses) was born in Mumbai and raised Jewish. Growing up in the world's most crowded city, he spent most of his childhood years burning the midnight candles for earning a Masters Degree in Computer Software, thereby fulfilling his parent's dreams. He then moved half-way across the world, to the technology headquarters and a hotbed for emerging comics - San Francisco. Samson brings a refreshingly new approach to cerebral, witty, thought-provoking, clean humor with a first-generation immigrant perspective. Driven by personal trials and tribulations, his subtle satire addresses religious and political hypocrisies, social issues, and day-to-day absurdities of human nature.
Creator/Producer/Performer - Desi Comedy Fest Mahatma Moses Comedy Tour
Honolulu, Hawaii comedian, actor and personality, Shawn Felipe is known for his laconic and clever real-life stories as they expand internationally. His Live, Stand -Up Comedy stretches around the globe from the USA to Countries overseas such as Singapore,
Canada, Japan, Korea and the Middle East. He is no stranger to colleges and university’s Nationwide along with adding color to an array of corporate industries. Performance has earned him a nomination for Best New Artist in the Hawaii Music Awards; Best Take Out Comic in Hawaii; And the Most Recognized Comedy Competition in the USA. Shawn was also noted the Top 7 Comic at the World renowned 36th Annual San Francisco International Comedy Competition.
Shawn’s Stand-Up Comedy has been featured on various international networks including WorldAsia TV, AZN TV, IA TV, TFC Channel, Sprint Comedy, Time Network, and National Lampoons Comedy Radio. Shawn has also been a guest star on NBC’s cop TV series “Hawaii” and has been on several national commercials. Not to forget mentioning, Shawn was a part of a team to win first place on Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race!” He and his team, Aloha Plate, won $50k and a State of the Art Food Truck that is now in operation.
SUBHAH AGGARWAL (New York City)
Subhah's parents immigrated from India to small town America so their children could live the American dream. And by American dream I mean pursue stand up comedy and become an Indian parent's nightmare. She has since become a headlining comedian who has appeared on Comedy Central, Tru Tv, and MTV. She is currently writing on The Jim Jefferies Show for Comedy Central.
Suraj Dutta (Sacramento)
California grown, Suraj Dutta has unique perspective on life. Raj's comedy specks to the common person. His raw edgy style covers a wide range of topics. The comedy rhythm he brings to the stage commands your attention. Raj has performed in most of the clubs in California Bay Area Comedy Scene, and has monthly New Talent Showcase at the Sacramento Punchline. With a high energy stage presence and set-up punch style Raj Dutta will make you laugh.
Sacramento Punchline Comedy Club Rooster T Feathers Comedy Club
Tushar Singh has been performing comedy since 2004. He has performed at top clubs in NYC and LA, including the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Westside Comedy Theater, Punchline SF, and Gotham Comedy Club. His dark, self-deprecating, storytelling approach to stand-up brings out the uneasy laughter in everyone