Russell Peters

Foreign comedians with Indian links

We often take the names of the likes of Tanmay Bhat and Kanan Gill when it comes to Indian stand-up comedy, but what we tend to forget is that, there is also a whole generation of Indians living abroad who are spreading laughs around the world. These guys sure know how to tickle those funny bones, with a desi swag! Check out the funny foreign comedians with Indian links below.

Russell Peters

When you mention stand-up, Russell Peters’s name features right on the top. The Anglo-Indian from Canada, has full-house shows all the year round. And why not! His stand-up performances are based on his observations on being brought up by a very traditional Indian father and always ends with ‘Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad’. Not just that; he also does good impressions of various ethnic groups. He might not be born and brought up in India, but also had an ‘Indian’ parent and very well understands the plight of Indian children. See his set on ‘Beating the Children’ and you will realize how Indian he is at heart.

Aasif Mandvi

One thing common with most of Indian-origin comedians abroad is the inspiration for their acts – it comes from their own ethnicity, their personal experiences of growing up as an Indian in a foreign land. The same holds true for Aasif too. He is best known for his acts on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but Aasif is much more than that. He is an actor, writer and a comedian. His acts too are based on an Indian living abroad, hilarious and at the same time, makes you think. Go watch ‘Flight Safety rules for Brown People’ and you will know what we are talking about.

Aziz Ansari

Who doesn’t know him? An actor, writer, producer, director, and a comedian; he has donned the hats of all these roles perfectly. Aziz is known for his role as Tom Haverford on the NBC series Parks and Recreation. He has won many awards, one among them was the Golden Globe Award, where he became the first Indian American actor to win a Golden Globe for acting in television. His acts too are from his personal experiences and the way he talks is like the way he would talk to his friends – jovial and colloquial.

Lilly Singh

She belongs to a different league of comedians, but that does not take away the fact that she is indeed a ‘Superwoman’! With three million subscribers for her YouTube channel, Lilly does vlogs, skits and stand-up acts in which she gives adds her own ‘Indian’ touch. The 25-year-old has stayed in touch with her ancestral roots and that is quite evident in almost all her acts. Check out her channel ‘Superwoman’ and we assure you that some of you might even cry hard laughing.

Mindy Kaling

Identified as ‘One of the 100 most influential people in the world’ by Time magazine, Mindy is best known as Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s sitcom ‘The Office’. Born to Indian parents the talented actor, comedian, writer, producer and director has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series as a producer of The Office five times in a row. In 2011, Mindy Kaling’s witty book ‘Is everyone hanging out without me? (And other concerns)’ was well received by the readers.


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