From the scripted risible shows that are performed by more than one person, to the slapstick comedies in TVs, the way people perceive humorous content has changed a lot. Though stand up comedies had its origin in Western countries centuries ago, the art form gained traction almost in the beginning of the last century in India.
Today, India has a new flock of comedians churning out creative content to sway the minds of the public, with a steady rise in its acceptance. Among them are ingenious and artistic Indian women comedians marking their footsteps in the lush sector of opportunities, tickling the funny bones.
Here, we have picked five of Indian Female Stand-up Comedians who are quick witty and clever in counting pauses in intervals.
One of the promising comedians in the circuit, the 22-year-old Urooj Ashfaq has been winning hearts and smiles with her offbeat humour for the past two years. Her way of addressing important points accompanied with jokes make people hooked to the performance. Ashfaq speaks of different topics from mental health to religion, but with the flair of not crossing the boundaries that offend anyone or any particular group’s interest in a happy-go-lucky vibe that glues everyone to their seats.
A domestic helper by the day and a standup comedian by night, Deepika Mhatre is one among the most popular stand up comedians of India. With her intrinsic ability to crack timely jokes, Deepika takes the audience for a fun ride over the open mic events at cafes and restaurants in Mumbai. Becoming a familiar face among the stand-up comedy artists of the country, she was shortlisted as the contestant of India’s Got Talent, an Indian reality television show. Deepika still continue to do her daily job as a domestic worker along with performing standup comedies.
In the brief time after giving a chartered accountancy exam and its results, Sonali Thakker discovered her ingenuity for humour. She hosts a one-hour special performance ‘Almost There’, which is performed across various cities in the country. Sonali first set her stage for standup comedies with open mic platforms in the meantime working as a freelance writer. She believes that rather than putting up the content in YouTube for the sake of gaining fans, insisting the viewers and the people to come and watch the shows enlightens them in giving a visual treat of comedy.
Meet Sejal Bhatt who got into comedy by accident after watching standup shows for a long time. Being a former tax analyst at Goldman Sachs, it was during 2014-15 standup comedies started making an impact on her. Her acts revolve around subjects like growing up in a conservative Indian household, being a Kashmiri Pandit, and womanhood. Centered on self-deprecating humour, Sejal depicts harsh realities of life from examples from her own environment.
Being a South African born comedic actress, Kaneez Surka has immensely contributed in shaping Mumbai’s burgeoning Improv comedy environment since 2009. Her career towards becoming a theatre artist took a giant leap when she became a part of the CNN-IBN show ‘The Week That Wasn’t.’ After collaborating with many theatre groups, Kaneez started exploring further areas other than her niche in Improv comedy. She believes that comedy is all about being oneself. Kaneez opines that the comedian community has been open and friendly that her gender has never come in the way of her work.
These women stand up comedy stars have started claiming the spotlight and their audience’s hearts with relatable and witty realities. Meredith Kachel, Illustrator & Comedian in Chicago, says, “It is nice to have a little positivity for women. When producers have a half split of women and men, or women and gender-nonconforming people, there will be more people represented who look like the producers: people of color, LGBT people, and women. It is important to surround yourself with people who aren’t like you. Everyone benefits from that. They'll stand out more. It's a beneficial system for everyone”.