Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Interview Q&A with comedian Rajiv Satyal
Rajiv Satyal is a talented Indian-American comedian who has played in Toronto and all over North America. He hosts the Funny Indian Podcast which can be heard on his website.
What's the most common response when you tell people you're a comic?
"Tell me a joke. Say something funny. Make me laugh."
Do Indian-American audiences have a different sense of humor?
It all depends. My parent's generation still prefers heavily Indian jokes because they're hungry for content that reflects the South-Asian/Indian diaspora. Must always use the word "diaspora" when describing Indian things. My generation wants something different. Like the phrase, "All the great paintings have been painted", I think all the best material about being Indian has been done. Not saying there's no more but the well is dry and the audiences' collective up has runneth over. Overall, though we all have more in common than different so whenever I perform I see people as people.
Which comedians do you get along with best?
I'm friendly with a lot of comedians but my friends tend to be non-comedians, AKA civilians.
What's the funniest show on TV?
Louie and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Let's see if they do a 9th season of the latter. Once you realize Louie is not a comedy, it approaches brilliance. That's the best review I've read of that show. Because I wrote it.
Do you like watching Comedy Central Roasts?
Yes. I just met Jeff Ross, the Roastmaster General, and told him what a fan I am.
Have you met Russell Peters or Aziz Ansari and how did that go?
Yes, I'm good friends with Russell. I'm still the Indian comedian who's opene more times for him than any other...I've been in the same room with Aziz Ansari, standing around in the same circles, but we haven't formally met.
Is stand up one of the most under-appreciated art forms?
No. It gets its due. People recognize it's the most difficult of all performance. Why? Because it's "live" plus "comedy". Making people laugh is universally acknowledged as the toughest skill and you only get one shot to do it.
Is the best part of your job making other people laugh and smile?
Absolutely. Further, since I'm a freelancer with no boss, I can choose to be as more or not as I want to be. I've never been asked to do anything unethical or illegal. And I don't know if you can say that with most jobs. You can have as much integrity as you want.
Learn more about Rajiv Satyal at RajivSatyal.com