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
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.
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
Arish Singh is a Chicago-based comedian who has opened for national acts like Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric), Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show) and W. Kamau Bell (Totally Biased). Singh has been featured in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Chicago Comedy Exposition, and the Crom Comedy Festival. In Chicago, Singh co-produces SolidHilarity, a comedy show that raises money for activists and labor unions, is a producer for Woke-Up Stand-Up, and is a contributing writer for the progressibe talk show Good Evening with Pat Whalen.
Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2017 Chicago's Comedians You Should Know
Armando Anto was born and raised in France. He began studying classical violin at the French National Conservatory at the age of 5. After earning his BA in Finance, he turned his virtuoso talent into a business, embarking on a world tour of violin concerts. Performing and teaching his art for over a decade, Armando began implementing more and more comedy in his performances. Armando believes that in order to be successful, you have to surround yourself with successful people. This explains all the mirrors in his home.
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 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.
Comedy Central Asia The Bay Area’s 11 Best Standup Comedians - SFist
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.
Fizaa Dosani is a stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. She is a first-generation American of Indian descent, born and raised in south Florida. Fizaa graduated from the University of Miami before relocating to Los Angeles. She tours regularly and performs all over America. These stages include the World Famous Comedy Store, Improv, the Laugh Factory, Ice House, M.I.'s Westside Comedy Theater, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, Comedy Palace, Mad House, Nerdist Stage, iO West, the Pack Theater, and many more. Fizaa has opened for headliners Bill Burr, Joe Rogan, Dave Attell, Whitney Cummings, Howie Mandel, Adam Devine, and more.
Comedy Store's Roast Battle with Jeff Ross CBS Diversity Showcase
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.
Jaffer Khan was the runner-up in 2014 's Funniest Person in South Texas and winner of 2013's Laughtown's Funniest competition. He has performed on the Oddball Comedy Festival. He likes to keep his stand-up honest and personal, and his bio concise and mysterious.
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.
Motor City native Karinda Dobbins was born into a politically active family of skilled storytellers and sharp wits. Dobbins moved from Michigan to California’s Bay Area and responding to repeated dares from a girlfriend who challenged her to try making the crowd laugh at an open mic, Karinda finally took the stage at Woody’s Café. To date, she has appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival; featured at Bay Area comedy clubs the Punch Line and Cobb’s; opened for Hari Kondabolu, Trevor Noah and toured with W. Kamau Bell. Karinda made her primetime national television debut on Coast-to-Coast Episode 1 on NickMom Night Out.
Karmen Naidoo is the fastest growing young female comic hailing from South Africa. A former model, entrepreneur, current mechanical engineer and stand up comedian is nothing less than ambitious in following her dreams. Born into a mixed heritage backrground , Indian, Scottish and Zulu, she identifies closely to her Afro- Indian culture. Featured as the only female finalist on Comedy Central’s Grab the Mic, she also hosted monthly shows at the prestigious Joburg Theatre.
An avid traveller and a Standup Comic, Kritarth takes pride in being an engineering drop-out, who later went onto become an arts graduate because his dad wanted him to do a degree. A confused soul, a Brahmin, and a defence brat, his comedy is a combination of all these factors brought to life on stage.
Masala Mayhem Comedy Festival Sold out standup special "Identity Crisis"
I was voted one of Chicago Reader's People to Know in 2016. I grew up in Hyderabad, India and then moved to Worcester, Massachusetts when I was 7, very short, very brown, and had a thick accent. Then I peed in my pants because I didn’t want to interrupt a class discussion. Thus began my life. In high school I brought tears to the eyes of my parents by winning a math award but pursuing a career in writing. I graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Business Marketing & Entrepreneurship from College of William & Mary, where I led ad campaigns, learned how to work in good and bad teams, and tripped on all the brick sidewalks (it's a thing).
Chicago Reader's People to Know in 2016 The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival
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.”
Starting comedy in Atlanta, GA and now based in Los Angeles, Neel Nanda has performed all over the country with some of comedies’ biggest acts. Aside from just performing standup, he currently produces a few shows in LA including "Unnecessary Evil" at the Westside Comedy Theater, which was recently named one of LA Weekly’s top 10 stand up shows. You can catch Neel every week at his show on the Westside where he has shared the stage with comedians like Hannibal Buress, Demetri Martin, Laura Kightlinger, and even Yakov Smirnoff.
Comedy Central's Adam Devine's House Party Viceland's Flophouse
Nik was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Phoenix, Arizona before fleeing west for college. He's now an actor, comedian, and activist in Los Angeles. He has appeared in Comedy Central's Idiotsitter, FreeForm's Kevin From Work, NBC's The Player, HBO's The Comeback, Kasra Farhani's The Good Neighbor, and in commercials for Verizon, AT&T, Liberty Mutual, and Wendy's. Nik is also currently a design and production activist with Art Not War.
Paul Varghese is a Dallas, Texas, comedian 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.
Rajiv Satyal is a standup comedian originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. His TV-clean act has made him one of the most versatile comedians working today. He hosts his own weekly show at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. Rajiv has garnered 4 million+ YouTube views and been featured on NBC, NPR, Nickelodeon, Fx, Netflix, Times Now, TV Asia, and Pandora, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, The Huffington Post, India Abroad, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Los Angeles Times. In August 2014, Rajiv released a video, I AM INDIAN, that went massively viral. He co-created the world-touring Make Chai Not War, a Hindu/Muslim stand-up show that traversed seven Indian cities, sponsored by the U.S. State Dept. This LA-based pocket pundit challenges people to see a new point-of-view. Most of all, he talks about what it’s like to be Rajiv. And we all have some Rajiv in us, even if we don’t want to admit it.
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.
Rima Parikh is a St. Louis based comic and Chicago-based unpaid intern. Despite being dubbed “unapproachable” and “downright scary” by the community at large, she is basically a microwaved stick of butter on the inside. She is part of the Chicago based comedy collective, "Simmer Brown". Other credits include writing for Reductress and handing Tim Meadows a luke-warm cup of coffee that one time.
Awarded 2nd place in the ‘Funniest Person In The World Competition’, Saad Haroon is a world-renowned comedian, writer and performer. A comedy pioneer, he created Pakistan’s first improvisational comedy troupe ‘BlackFish’. Saad was the first stand-up comedian to tour Pakistan and has written five critically acclaimed solo shows. He has also performed in prestigious venues all over the world including the Southbank Centre in London and the world famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood. He created, hosted and was head-writer for ‘The Real News’ Pakistan’s first English language comedy show on television and recently had a video featured on Conan!
Laugh Factory Funniest Person In The World Competition The Real News - Play TV
Lebanese-Palestnian-Syrian-Italian American born in Oakland California Sammy Obeid is best known for setting a world record of performing stand up comedy 1,001 nights in a row. The nearly 3 year long streak, which ended with an appearance on TBS’s Conan, was chronicled by both The New York Times and Time Magazine. Recently a semifinalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Sammy was invited to be one of the first ever comedians to perform on the Van’s Warped Tour in 2015, following an extensive college tour, in which he was voted "Fastest Rising Star” of 2014 in Campus Activities Magazine.
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
Sumukh Torgalkar was born in Cleveland, Ohio to two Indian people. It’s a simple statement but covers the adventure that is Torgalkar’s comedy. Focusing on such varied topics as his Midwest upbringing, his Hindu faith, his friendships with the elderly, and the Insane Clown Posse, Torgalkar weaves his personal experiences and observations via his dry but engaging sense of humor.
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
Short and brown, and no we’re not talking about a Samosa, we’re talking about the delicious flavor of comedian Sureni. Currently suffering a parentally mandated college sentence at UC Berkeley, she combines her puppy-like heart with the void where her soul should be to write material ranging from lighthearted banter to ruthless, dark jabs that shed light on cultural dilemmas. You can catch her spicy set on stages, like the Punchline and Mad House Comedy Club, all across California.
As a female scientist and Indian dancer, Trishna Saigal spent the first 30 years of her life making her hard-working immigrant parents proud. But now, she’s making them a touch uncomfortable by pursuing stand-up comedy! In addition to searching for her long-lost lover (see image to right), she is bringing the funk, she’s got her Jersey attitude, and she’s laying down her femme-power goofy wit.
Usama Siddiquee is a Bengali-American stand-up comedian and actor based in New York. His act is an energetic (bordering on frenetic) and intelligent (bordering on genius) romp through his own life experiences. He was most recently the 1st place winner of the 2016 Laughing Devil Cup Comedy Festival in New York; the 1st place winner of the 2015 Yonkers Comedy Festival as well as the 1st place winner of the 2015 Make Me Laugh Albany Comedy Festival.
Zahid Dewji is a stand-up comic of East African/Indian descent currently residing in Houston, Texas. Zahid actively features in clubs around Texas and is the current host of the popular monthly showcase BAD IDEA and producer of the weekly $2 Bill Show at The Secret Group. In addition, Zahid has been on Oddball Comedy Fest (Houston), Hell Yes! Fest, Come and Take It Comedy Festival, & Houston Whatever Fest and has shared the stage with great acts like Mark Normand, Myq Kaplan, Eric Andre, & Tom Segura.
Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival Funniest in Houston 2016 Finalist
Zahra is a comedienne by night and techie by day. She can be seen performing all over New York and LA. When she is not on stage or nerding out in front of a laptop, you can catch her at a taco stand near you.