Rajiv Satyal jokes about his ‘Indianess’ at IP college for women


Rajiv Satyal, the Los Angles based Stand-up comedian was hostel by Indraprashta College for women in association with the American embassy, on February 20, 2018. The principal of the college, Dr. Babli Moitra Saraf, welcomed the guests and expressed her gratitude and privilege and reminisced about the college’s more than a decade long association with the American embassy.

He instantly lit the room with his charming presence and the audience had to gasp hard for breath as he shared his perplexing and funny experiences he had during his tour to India. His account of ‘Indian toilets’ set the audience roaring. Unsurprisingly, he dealt with topics ranging from the politics of the two nations, Donald Trump and the world, Indian Gujrati weddings, Indian community (Uncles and Aunties) in Ohio, his hometown.

Mr.Rajiv is an Indian origin American comedian, who loves to call himself Free speech square as he believes that he is the product of two of the world’s biggest democracies, hence the name.

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 viral ‘I AM INDIAN video; Satyal performs weekly at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood.  He has garnered 50 million+ online views and been featured on/in NBC, NPR, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Bob & Tom, Times Now, Zee TV, Pandora, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, Advertising Age, The Times of India, The Huffington Post, and The LA Times.

Rajiv has performed on three continents.  He co-created the world-touring Make Chai Not War, a Hindu/Muslim stand-up show.  The U.S. State Dept. sponsored it,sending it to seven cities in India. He famously says, ‘If we can laugh together, we can love together’!

A true ‘desi’ at heart, he had done a great job at picking some of the local vocabulary and made the audience burst into laughter every time he imitated the Indian accent, ‘Aree Beta’ during his performance.  He joked about his ‘Indianess’ being reflected from the fact that he is 41 years old and travels with his parents. His parents were also present at the event. He even turned around one of the racist phrases, ’fresh off the boat’  because he solemnly believes this makes no sense as firstly no one from India travels to America on a boat, and also you don’t smell fresh when you get off the plane, hence an appropriate version would be ‘stale off the plane’!

Rajiv was exceptionally delighted to perform for an all-women audience and wittingly remarked that ‘Y’all don’t look that old!’ (IPCW is the oldest women college of DU).

Later during the interaction session, he was asked about issues such as Racism, immigration, life as a comedian but steal for the show was when he pretentiously mentioned his biggest comic enthuse was MK Gandhi! He also shared that Smart comedy, which involves dealing with issues larger than jokes, is the responsibility of the comedian.

About the Author:

Rasleen Kaur (IP College for Women, Delhi)

I am a student of Political Science(hons) at IP college for Women. A voracious reader, I have deep rooted interest in politics and International affairs and am seeking a career in Public Administration. I harbour a myriad of interests, writing being one of them. A self-proclaimed Fashionista with leadership qualities and a strong powerful voice, I have been an orator all my life and also possess the ability to talk to anybody about almost anything. I am an optimistic individual whose heart is immersed in unknotting the complexities of life. Bhangra and baking cakes are my muse.


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