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.
Aiko studied theater in college but realized that she did not understand its language well. As she was still very much into performing, she started to dance at clubs in Boston. It wasn’t long before a talent agent from LA scouted her and Aiko moved to LA to become a dancer on live TV. She secured her first TV gig on the “The Grind” with MTV. Soon after, she was featured as a main dancer for “Soul Train,” a popular dance show in which many talents (namely Carmen Electra, Jody Watley, and Rosie Perez) were discovered. Aiko received many modeling offers through the show. She appeared in over 20 different calendars and was eventually invited to attend a car show to sign autographs.
At the first car show she attended, Aiko was selected to appear on an “Import Tuner” cover. She also appeared on the covers of many other auto magazines such as “D-Sport” and “Super Street.” She was actually the first Japanese/Korean to ever appear as the cover model on these major magazines. As her popularity grew, Namco signed her to be the voice of a character in the video game “Street Racing Syndicate.”
Aiko has also appeared in many music videos for Destiny’s Child, Afroman, Far*East Movement, Jin, and more. Her film and television credits include: “The Howard Stern Show,” “Late Night with Jay Leno,” “Malcolm and Eddie,” “My Wife and Kids,” “Numb3rs,” and The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift. You can see her in the upcoming indie film, Finishing the Game.
When she’s not on a film/TV set or at a photo shoot, Aiko enjoys cooking, taking care of her mother, and reading books.
Akaash Singh (New York City)
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
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)
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)
Gibran Saleem (New York City)
Gibran has been featured on MTV, TV Land, Popcorn Flix, PBS, CUNY TV, VOA, Elite Daily, and Cosmopolitan and performed his stand-up television debut on Gotham Comedy Live for AXS TV. He was the focus of an international documentary on NHK TV called Asian Dreamers: Brown is Funny and has been featured in festivals nationally across the states as well as winning 1st place in the Hoboken comedy festival. Gibran is a staple among college campuses and travels throughout the year. He can be seen on the next season of Better Things on FX by Louis CK and Pamela Adlon.
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.
Ismael Loutfi is a sweet boy with a kind face. He’s been called “gifted,” “quick-witted,” and a “neurotic toe-rag” by numerous friends’ parents. Underneath that sweetness lies a deeply acerbic sense of humor- the sort of thing you might develop growing up a Muslim in rural North Florida. Ismael’s take on Islam, racism, and his own shallow insecurities quickly made him a favorite all over the Southeast. In 2016, he placed 4th in the competitive Laughing Skull Comedy Festival. A month later, he went on to be a New Face of comedy at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and was the critic’s pick for “Best Comic on the Verge of Super-stardom" by Atlanta’s Creative Loafing magazine. He can be seen on the VICELAND series Flophouse. He now lives in LA.
JR DE GUZMAN (SACRAMENTO)
Born in the Philippines and raised in California, JR De Guzman began performing comedy while working as a music teacher, which he quickly learned just meant teaching Taylor Swift songs to teenagers. He has entertained all over the world, having performed for Stand-Up Tokyo and ROR Comedy in Japan, the Jokers Ball in Indonesia, the Badaboom Comedy Series in Amsterdam, the Edmonton Comedy Festival, and countless other international shows. Combining music and comedy, JR serenades the audience into laughter with songs, jokes, and stories of traveling the world, life after college, and family. He has shared the stage with Tim Allen, Margaret Cho, Daniel Tosh, Jerrod Carmichael, Iliza Shlesinger, and more. Winner of 2016 Stand-up NBC & named as a prestigious "New Face" at Just for Laughs 2017, you can catch him on Coming to the Stage Season 2 on Hulu, Comedy Central's Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City, and MTV's Acting Out. Also, check out his debut album on Sirius XM Radio's Laugh's USA which debuted #1 on iTunes and Billboard.
Kabir Singh (San Francisco)
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.
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
Raj Sharma started his career in Dallas, Texas and soon began performing all over the country. He was the co-founder of Indians at The Improv, a wildcard finalist for HBO's The Lucky 21 and is currently touring with Ahmed Ahmed's Next Generation of Evil Comedy Tour. His daily observations, childhood stories and lightning fast crowd work make him a must see for every audience. Tom Rhodes calls him "head-crushingly funny." Bryan Callen says, "He's funny in 3 languages: English, Punjabi and the Future."
HBO The Lucky 21 Laugh Factory, LA
Rajiv Satyal (Los Angeles)
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.
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
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