Rajiv Satyal

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Rajiv Kumar Satyal
Hamilton, Ohio, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film, radio, web
Years active2002–present
GenresObservational comedy, Improvisational comedy, Wit, Satire, Puns, Monologue, Corporate Comedy, Clean Comedy
Subject(s)Dating, Relationships, Politics, Race, Indian Culture, Office, College, Technology
Notable works and rolesNo Man's Land
Rajiv... Left to His Own Devices
Indian Invasion

Rajiv Satyal (born 1976) is an American comedian.

Early life[edit]

Rajiv Satyal was born in Hamilton, Ohio.[1] He graduated Fairfield High School in 1994.[2] Satyal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Cincinnati[1] in 2000.[3] During college, he interned on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, for Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH).[1] Satyal did two co-op terms at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.[4]


Procter & Gamble[edit]

Satyal worked at Procter & Gamble from 2000 to 2006.[5] He started in purchasing at P&G but switched to marketing in 2004.[6] Satyal began an MBA at Xavier University in Cincinnati but did not finish it. He gained admission to New York University Stern School of Business after fewer than three years of full-time work but did not attend.[7] Satyal co-led branded entertainment strategy for all brands in North America for Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser.[7] While at P&G, Satyal created content for Home Made Simple, a site visited by 15 million people per month.[8] He was named P&G’s Funniest Employee in 2005.[6] Satyal performed stand-up routines at corporate events.[9] Satyal left P&G and moved to Los Angeles in 2006 at the age of 30. He was Brand Manager of FIJI Water for 12 weeks.[1] He is the third comedian to come out of the Cincinnati offices of Procter & Gamble.[10]


Satyal started doing standup comedy in 2002.[4] He got his start in standup comedy at Go Bananas Comedy Club in Montgomery, Ohio.[1] Satyal was a UC College of Engineering student when he started doing comedy. His brother, Rakesh Satyal, saw an article about the Funniest Person in Cincinnati contest and encouraged him to enter. Rajiv had some material written for a book he was thinking about, but instead, used it at his tryout. He made it to the semifinals his first time around in 1998. The next year, he won. For the next three years, Satyal teetered on whether he wanted to do comedy. He’d do a few shows one weekend, then shy away from it the next. He got serious about comedy in 2002.[11]

In 2005, Satyal entered the Funniest Person in Cincinnati contest, this time in the semipro/professional division, and won it.[2][9] Satyal has worked with Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Tim Allen, Kevin Nealon, and Russell Peters.[1] As of April 2008, Satyal had opened for Peters over 15 times.[8] Satyal and Nealon met in 2005 at the Cincinnati Funny Bone and saw Batman Begins together and had dinner. Since Satyal moved to LA, Nealon has asked Satyal to open for him often.[2]

Along with fellow comedian Azhar Usman, he co-founded "Make Chai, Not War" in 2012, which was sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The tour spanned 7 cities in India. The tour was covered by NPR on their program All Things Considered, as well as being recognized on Capitol Hill.[12] Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) grilled U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about it. “I can understand that maybe you're not aware that your department spent $100,000 on three comedians who went to India on a promotional tour called ‘Make Chai, Not War.’”[13]

Satyal was hired by Velvet Suite Marketing to speak to NFL players about personal branding. He spoke to the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills.[14]

Satyal puts together comedy shows for corporate innovation sessions.[5] He runs a consulting business called Standpoint Agency,[1] an agency that helps marketers generate insights for their businesses.[15] Brands such as Dannon, P&G's Herbal Essences and Gillette have signed up.[5]

He hosts a podcast entitled, The TanGent Show, formerly known as The Funny Indian Show. He has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Kevin Nealon, Seth Godin, Russell Peters, Kumail Nanjiani, and others.[16]

He has been actively blogging on his website since 2002.[17] Satyal has over 50 million views on YouTube.[12] He has stated that his career goal is to host the Oscars.[18]

Satyal developed a 90-minute one-person show, No Man's Land, which sold out shows in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Cincinnati.

Satyal named University of Cincinnati's radio-station-turned-media group "BearCast".[1]

Comedic style[edit]

Satyal's TV-clean act resonates with Middle America.[13] Satyal did not do any ethnic humor at all during his first few years.[4]
It was Pete Sampras, then World No. 1 men's tennis player, who told Satyal to start doing Indian jokes.[19] Satyal has described his performance style as alternatingly self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating.[15] "I feel like growing up in Ohio, it made me kind of more of an everyman being able to relate to people in the heartland of the country. I think people on the coast have their own sensibility, but it's hard to know what works inland. A lot of comedians are like hurricanes; they knock it out on the coast, but when they come inland they die."[1] Actress Eva Longoria once told Satyal she thought he was "hilarious."[20]

Current work[edit]

Satyal opened for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of 17,000 people in San Jose, California.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Satyal's mother immigrated to the US in 1970 and his father in 1971. They are naturalized citizens.[6] He has two brothers who are fraternal twins - Vikas and Rakesh.[6] Rakesh Satyal is the author of Blue Boy.[22] Satyal is friends with SNL and Weeds star Kevin Nealon. Satyal's favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye.[23] He is Hindu[23] and Punjabi.[8]

Satyal proposed to Harsha Mistry, a Texas pharmacist, onstage at The Funny Bone in Newport, Kentucky, as he was opening for former Saturday Night Live star Kevin Nealon. Satyal and Mistry were married in Austin, Texas, in July, 2015. Several of Satyal's friends from the comedy world were in attendance, including actor Ed Weeks from "The Mindy Project" and superstar comedian Russell Peters, who did a set, and even took over the turntables to DJ. Satyal joked during his wedding speech, 'I finally got him to open for me.[24]



Year Title
2014 No Man's Land
2013 Rajiv... Left to His Own Devices[25]
2007 Indian Invasion Comedy[26]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Indian Invasion Comedy Lead [26]


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Big Time Rush [26]
2012 Actors Entertainment Guest [26]
2010 Last Comic Standing Co-Star [26]
2008 Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes? Comedian [26]
2008 Desi States of America Host [26]
2007 Bollywood Fashion Awards Host
2007 Asian Variety Show Host


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Instacurity Therapist Dr. Jeeves [26]
2013 Top Guys Lead 2 episodes[26]
2008 Customer Service Sucks Customer Service Rep, Lead [26]


Year Title Role Notes
2014 The Bob & Tom Show Guest [27]

Awards and recognitions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hemmerle, Amber. "Q&A with Rajiv Satyal". CityBeat - Cincinnati. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Kiesewetter, John (20 Nov 2008). "Comedy's in his Bones". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  3. ^ Rajendran, P. "Desi stand-up comedian Rajiv Satyal conquers new lands". rediff. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Epple, Aaron (17 Apr 2014). "For local-born comedian, ethnicity is liberating and limiting". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Neff, Jack. "What You Can Learn From the Funniest P&G Marketer Ever". AdvertisingAge. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Beckman, Wendy. "Rajiv Satyal Calls Himself the "Funny Indian"". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b "What made a P&G brand manager say "F" it and go full-time as a stand-up comedian, how he told his parents, and how he keeps his sanity and stays focused every day". CareerHoot. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Vaidya, Harsid. "Rajiv Satyal, The Funny Indian". EventCombo. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Budzak, Gary (7 Apr 2007). "Stage replaces sales meetings". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Comedy: Rajiv Satyal". citybeat.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  11. ^ "Engineering grad makes Cincinnati laugh" (PDF). rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  12. ^ a b "Rajiv Satyal, Comedian on StandUp Going Viral with I AM INDIAN". www.scottbonnie.com. January 10, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "State Department Sends 'Chai' Comedy Tour To India". NPR.org. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  14. ^ "Rajiv Satyal". Dare To Be You!. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  15. ^ a b "Comedian Rajiv Satyal Comes Home to Ohio, 10/5". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  16. ^ "05 Listen | Rajiv Satyal - Funny Indian Comedian". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  17. ^ "06 Read | Rajiv Satyal - Funny Indian Comedian". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  18. ^ "Calling SNL, have you met Rajiv Satyal?". eventcombo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  19. ^ "A minute with . . . Rajiv Satyal". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  20. ^ "Q&A with the comedian Eva Longoria found hilarious | NAAAP Cincinnati". naaapcincy.org. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  21. ^ "Silicon Valley welcomes Modi with song, dance - and a Shazam joke". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
  22. ^ "In conversation with Rajiv Satyal". Le Loop. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  23. ^ a b "Rajiv Satyal | ATOD Magazine: A Taste of Dawn". atodmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  24. ^ Broadway World http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwcomedy/article/Watch-Comedian-Rajiv-Satyals-One-Man-Show-NO-MANS-LAND-20150812#. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "09 Buy | Rajiv Satyal - Funny Indian Comedian". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Rajiv Satyal". IMDb. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  27. ^ "The BOB & TOM Show - Pages tagged with 'Rajiv Satyal'". bobandtom.com. April 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  28. ^ "Said with a punch:" (PDF). rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  29. ^ "10 Scoop | Rajiv Satyal - Funny Indian Comedian". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  30. ^ "DesiClub.com's Top 50 Coolest Desis of 2007". eventcombo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.

External links[edit]