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The Rise of Women in the Indian Stand-Up Comedy scene

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Stand-Up Comedy in India rose to popularity only a few years ago. Now, the stand-up scene is filled with cool and witty youngsters who dared to make life-changing decisions, switching from their unsatisfying earlier careers to comedy. Indian women did not stay behind either and took to the stage and as you see, some of the most popular stand-up comedians are now women.

With their don’t-give-a-damn attitude, witty jokes, and their way of tackling social issues one at a time and raising awareness on genuine feminist issues, they have made a special place for themselves in the industry.

Here are some of these female stand-up comedians who will not just leave you with a belly-ache with laughter, but also a new perspective:

Aditi Mittal:

Aditi Mittal was one of the earliest women to break into Stand-Up comedy, which was dominated by men. She uses comedy to raise awareness about issues prevalent in the society.

Her wit and sarcastic narration of incidents is unparalleled. Her topics of comedy includes gender, sex, society’s notion about women’s beauty, sanitary napkins, as well as Osama Bin Laden and Miss India contest winners. She also has her own comedy special on Netflix, titled ‘Things They Won’t Let Me Say.’

Neeti Palta:

Earlier a professional in the advertising industry, Neeti shifted her career to TV, and after four years writing for a show, she again did a shift and entered the hilarious world of Stand-Up Comedy.

Her comedy is observational, and she loves being subtly sarcastic. She tells stories about her personal life, family, and stories from her childhood. Her topics range from Body Image, Women and Men in Society, Indian Weddings and their extravagance, Current Affairs, Issues in Society, and much more.

Radhika Vaz:

Radhika Vaz is known for her angry personality on the stage during her performances. According to her, the improvisational theatre class which she took helped her build a career as a performer on stage.

Her acts and plays include ‘Older. Angrier. Harrier.’ and ‘Unladylike: The Pitfalls of Propriety.’ She also has her own book, titled ‘Unladylike: A Memoir’ talking about her life as an Indian women. Her Stand-up includes topics such as marriage, babies, festivals like Karwa Chauth, legalization of cannabis, sexuality, and feminism.

Sumukhi Suresh:

Sumukhi Suresh’s comic acts are the proof that what men can do, she can do better. She entered the Stand-up comedy scene in the earlier stages and has grown to be as popular (if not more) as many of the male stand-up comedians.

She joined an improvisational comedy group in Bengaluru, The Improv, and performed in a 100 shows across India and internationally. She was also a part of Better Life Foundation web series. She also came out with her own show on Amazon Prime Video, titled Pushpavalli.

The List goes on and on…

female Comedians

Prashasti Singh, who moved through cities during her education and career, until she finally ended up in Mumbai. You may know her from Amazon Prime Video’s Comicstaan, where she delivered performances that were a laughter-riot.

Nidhi Goyal, a lawyer as well as the first blind stand-up comedian in India. She is a friend of Aditi Mittal, and discusses gender, relationships, sexuality, and disability in her performances.

Kaneez Surka, an improv artist and comedian, originally from South Africa, but based in India. She appeared in numerous AIB Videos, and was a part of Comicstaan as a judge.

Urooj Ashfaq, the young and upcoming stand-up comedian, who has travelled across cities performing alongside various popular artist, and was also a part of the TLC show, Queens of Comedy.

These are some of the prominent Female Stand-up Comedians working in the industry, not just spreading laughter, but also awareness about various women-related issues. We have come from an absolute absence of women in Stand-Up Comedy, to female comedians reaching heights of popularity, and have become a role model and a source of motivation for young aspiring women who are afraid to leave the conventional careers and enter into the world of the unconventional.

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