Rajiv Satyal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rajiv Kumar Satyal
Rajiv Satyal in 2022
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. He is the first person ever to perform standup comedy on all seven continents.[2]

Early life[edit]

Rajiv Satyal was born in Hamilton, Ohio to Indian parents.[3] He graduated from Fairfield High School in 1994.[4] Satyal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in materials engineering from the University of Cincinnati[3] in 2000.[5] During college, he interned on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, for Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH).[3] Satyal did two co-op terms at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.[6]


Procter & Gamble[edit]

Satyal worked at Procter & Gamble from 2000 to 2006.[7] He started in purchasing at P&G but switched to marketing in 2004.[8] Satyal began but did not finish an MBA at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He gained admission to New York University Stern School of Business after fewer than three years of full-time work but did not attend.[9] Satyal co-led branded entertainment strategy for all brands in North America for Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser.[9] While at P&G, Satyal created content for Home Made Simple, a site visited by 15 million people per month.[10] He was named P&G’s Funniest Employee in 2005.[8] Satyal performed stand-up routines at corporate events.[11] 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.[3] He is the third comedian to come out of the Cincinnati offices of Procter & Gamble.[12]


Satyal started doing standup comedy in 2002[6] at Go Bananas Comedy Club in Montgomery, Ohio.[3] He was a UC College of Engineering student when he started. 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 would do a few shows one weekend, then shy away from it the next. He became serious about comedy in 2002.[13]

In 2005, Satyal entered the Funniest Person in Cincinnati contest, this time in the semi-pro/professional division, and won.[4][11] Satyal has worked with Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Tim Allen, Kevin Nealon and Russell Peters.[3] By April 2008, Satyal had opened for Peters over 15 times.[10] Satyal and Nealon met in 2005 at the Cincinnati Funny Bone and saw Batman Begins together and had dinner. Since Satyal moved to Los Angeles, Nealon has asked Satyal to open for him often.[4]

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 visited seven cities in India. The tour was covered by NPR on their program All Things Considered, as well as being recognized on Capitol Hill.[14] 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’."”[15]

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.[16]

Satyal puts together comedy shows for corporate innovation sessions.[7] He runs a consulting business called Standpoint Agency,[3] an agency that helps marketers generate insights for their businesses.[17] Brands such as Dannon, P&G's Herbal Essences and Gillette have signed up.[7]

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.[18]

He has been blogging on his website since 2002.[19] Satyal has over 50 million views on YouTube.[14] He has stated that his career goal is to host the Oscars.[20]

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".[3]

Comedic style[edit]

Satyal's TV-clean act resonates with Middle America.[15] Satyal did not do any ethnic humor at all during his first few years.[6]

It was Pete Sampras, then World No. 1 men's tennis player, who told Satyal to start doing Indian jokes.[21] Satyal has described his performance style as alternatingly self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating.[17] "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."[3] The actress Eva Longoria once told Satyal she thought he was "hilarious".[22]

Satyal opened for the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in front of 17,000 people in San Jose, California.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Satyal's mother migrated to the US in 1970 and his father in 1971 from India. They are naturalized citizens.[8] He has two brothers who are fraternal twins - Vikas and Rakesh.[8] Rakesh Satyal is the author of Blue Boy.[24] Satyal is friends with the SNL and Weeds star Kevin Nealon. Satyal's favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye.[25] He is a Hindu[25] of Indian Punjabi descent.[10]

Satyal proposed to Harsha Mistry, a Texas pharmacist, onstage at The Funny Bone in Newport, Kentucky, as he was opening for the 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 the actor Ed Weeks from The Mindy Project and the 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."[26]



Year Title
2014 No Man's Land
2013 Rajiv... Left to His Own Devices[27]
2007 Indian Invasion Comedy[28]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Indian Invasion Comedy Lead [28]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Bollywood Fashion Awards Host
2007 Asian Variety Show Host
2008 Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes? Comedian [28]
2008 Desi States of America Host [28]
2010 Last Comic Standing Co-star [28]
2012 Actors Entertainment Guest [28]
2013 Big Time Rush [28]


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Customer Service Sucks Customer Service Rep, Lead [28]
2013 Top Guys Lead 2 episodes[28]
2013 Instacurity Therapist Dr. Jeeves [28]


Year Title Role Notes
2014 The Bob & Tom Show Guest [29]

Awards and recognitions[edit]


  1. ^ "Rajiv Satyal on Instagram: "BABY ANNOUNCEMENT! People always ask, "Have you made it?" Now we have. Because we made him. Us, Harsha + Rajiv #babyannouncement #FunSizeFunnyIndian #NewMaterial 🥰🍼💙"".
  2. ^ Satyal, Rajiv. "How I Turned My Job Into an Opportunity to Travel to Every Continent". Travel and Leisure. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hemmerle, Amber. "Q&A with Rajiv Satyal". CityBeat - Cincinnati. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Kiesewetter, John (20 November 2008). "Comedy's in his Bones". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  5. ^ Rajendran, P. "Desi stand-up comedian Rajiv Satyal conquers new lands". Rediff. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Epple, Aaron (17 April 2014). "For local-born comedian, ethnicity is liberating and limiting". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Neff, Jack (10 September 2012). "What You Can Learn From the Funniest P&G Marketer Ever". AdvertisingAge. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Beckman, Wendy. "Rajiv Satyal Calls Himself the "Funny Indian"". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  9. ^ 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. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Vaidya, Harsid. "Rajiv Satyal, The Funny Indian". EventCombo. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  11. ^ a b c Budzak, Gary (7 April 2007). "Stage replaces sales meetings". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Comedy: Rajiv Satyal". citybeat.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Engineering grad makes Cincinnati laugh" (PDF). rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Rajiv Satyal, Comedian on StandUp Going Viral with I AM INDIAN". Scott Bonnie. 10 January 2016.
  15. ^ a b "State Department Sends 'Chai' Comedy Tour To India". NPR.org. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Rajiv Satyal". Dare To Be You!. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Comedian Rajiv Satyal Comes Home to Ohio, 10/5". Broadway World. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  18. ^ "05 Listen". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  19. ^ "06 Read". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Calling SNL, have you met Rajiv Satyal?". eventcombo.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  21. ^ "A minute with . . . Rajiv Satyal". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Q&A with the comedian Eva Longoria found hilarious | NAAAP Cincinnati". naaapcincy.org. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  23. ^ Tracey Lien (27 September 2015). "Silicon Valley welcomes Modi with song, dance - and a Shazam joke". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  24. ^ "In conversation with Rajiv Satyal". Le Loop. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  25. ^ a b "Rajiv Satyal". ATOD Magazine. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Watch: Comedian Rajiv Satyal's One-Man Show NO MAN'S LAND". Broadway World.
  27. ^ "09 Buy". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Rajiv Satyal". IMDb. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  29. ^ "The BOB & TOM Show - Pages tagged with 'Rajiv Satyal'". bobandtom.com. April 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  30. ^ "Said with a punch" (PDF). rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  31. ^ "10 Scoop | Rajiv Satyal - Funny Indian Comedian". rajivsatyal.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  32. ^ "DesiClub.com's Top 50 Coolest Desis of 2007". Eventcombo. Retrieved 9 June 2014.

External links[edit]