Rajiv Satyal is a Los Angeles-based comedian/host. His TV-clean act has made him one of the most versatile comedians working today. He began his career in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rajiv had an unusual entry into standup, doing his act for then-World No. 1 tennis player Pete Sampras in a locker room. Satyal has some interesting claims to fame: he opened for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of 17,000 people. He made the massively viral I AM INDIAN video, which has been seen over 50 million times, shared by Bollywood stars, and used to introduce the Indian Prime Minister in Shanghai and Dubai. He has opened for Russell Peters more than any other Indian comedian. Rajiv has opened multiple times for Tim Allen, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jo Koy, Kevin Nealon, and Dave Chappelle, and even opened Chappelle’s very first show after his much-publicized African hiatus. One night in New York City, Satyal closed the show at Gotham Comedy Club, following one of his heroes, Jerry Seinfeld.
Satyal performs weekly at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. He has 12 videos with over 100,000 YouTube views each, and been featured on/in Amazon, NBC, NPR, Nickelodeon, Netflix, GQ, Bob & Tom, Times Now, Fx, Zee TV, Spotify, Pandora, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, Advertising Age, The Times of India, The Huffington Post, and The LA Times.
Rajiv has performed on five continents. He co-created the world-touring Make Chai Not War, a Hindu/Muslim stand-up show. The U.S. State Dept. sponsored it, sending it to seven cities in India. The show became part of the Congressional Record after being mentioned on Capitol Hill to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
This University of Cincinnati engineer and former P&G marketer has done stand-up at more than 100 colleges. He named his alma mater’s online radio station “Bearcast,” launched/managed a Miss India America’s career, and has spoken to audiences from Fortune 500 companies to NFL players on innovation, diversity, and personal branding. His corporate clients include P&G (13 times), GE (8 times), Google, General Mills, Quaker, Toyota, Cisco and more. He runs a consulting business called the Standpoint Agency, which helps marketers generate insights for their brands. He gave a TEDx Talk, “The Jester Is King.”
Satyal has acted in national commercials and in TV shows. He has recorded 130 episodes of his podcast, The TanGent Show, and has interviewed everyone from Deepak Chopra to Seth Godin to Preity Zinta. In his spare time, Rajiv writes TV ads, performs improv, and produces sketches. His writings have made the front page of Medium and received hundreds of thousands of views on Quora.
In 2018, Satyal ran a Kickstarter, which was 100% funded in one day and exceeded 2x its goal ($56K total) in one month. The purpose is launching his own talk show, What Do You Bring to The Table? Guests include everyone from Hasan Minhaj (Satyal’s old roommate) to the first Indian Miss America to the first Indian U.S. Surgeon General.
Rajiv has written and performed three 100-min one-person shows, each one with a different theme. In 2019, the subject is politics, culminating in a performance at the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2017, Taking a Stand, all about music, led him to become the first standup comic ever to perform at Spotify.
And back in 2013, Rajiv wrote No Man’s Land, a show about his dating life that sold out all performances from LA to NY to San Francisco to Cincinnati. This show actually led to Satyal’s marriage, which itself had a comedic arc: Rajiv proposed to his girlfriend while opening for Kevin Nealon, and at his wedding, Russell Peters finally opened for him.
Wow... what a party this past weekend... thank you to #TheSalon for bringing a plethora of us crazy brown creatives together in this even crazier town of Hollywood. Thanks to @melaniechandra for telling me about it, to @janina for hosting, and to @rakeshsatyal for connecting me to Nik Dodani, one of the organizers and a super talented badass. I returned the favor by doing my best impression of Rakesh. It's pretty spot-on... I mean, I've had almost 40 years to get it right. Happy Holidays! #indiansinhollywood
YES, THAT ELF YOU SEE ON TV IS ME! [ @medium link in bio: https://link.medium.com/vHe0GwUbd2.] It was a sticky hot Los Angeles summer afternoon. After booking two of my first eight auditions since the move from Cincinnati, it had been years since I’d booked anything. This Toyota USA commercial was a big opportunity: in the business, we call it a Network National. It runs in all markets across the country on broadcast and cable channels. Depending on how many times it airs, you can buy a Yaris... or a Lexus. I suppose I even got the chance to audition because I haven’t uploaded a head shot to my acting profile in 10 years. The description called for us to wear… “Green or red. You pick if you want to dress as the badass gearhead or cheerful elf.” If you know anything about the way I look, I don’t think “badass gearhead” springs to mind. So, I threw on a bunch of my cheerful green and cheerful red clothing and my cheerful jester hat and cheerfully drove to Hollywood (in my Acura) with bells on. Literally. The jester hat jingles. Cheer ended when I ran up against that Hollywood monster: parking. Out of time and out of frustration, I jammed my SUV into a tiny space at Yum Yum Donuts and began the long walk to the audition. Sometimes, there are moments that seem to capture where you are in life. Like Prince Andrew, I hardly sweat, but the perspiration underneath these crazy layers of clothing had started. Just as I got to Melrose, this huge double-decker Hollywood Stars tourbus pulled up. I could see all of the tourists peering at me, thinking, “What in the world is this dude wearing in the middle of September?” And I heard myself thinking, “What in the world am I wearing in the middle of September?” It takes a lot for me to feel an ounce of shame, but this was humiliating. What was I DOING? "What you think I rap for — to push a f*ckin' Rav-4?" - Kanye West I mean, I'd just headlined The Cutting Room in Manhattan with my solo show, "The Man in The Middle," and was gearing up to take it to New Jersey. I'm doing my part to save the empire by changing the hearts and minds of my fellow Americans, and the next thing I know... #acting
Thanks, Li Lin, for having me on your super fun podcast! @funnymillionaireli From a @funnyindian to a @funnymillionaireli ... http://funnymillionaires.com/how-to-be-a-funny-indian-with-rajiv-satyal
Another New York Autumn Trip in the books... With this many Indians, we should call it The Big Mango. 🥭 #newyork #newyorkcity @thecultureadventure
Whew! My only regret from hosting the @gqindia 50 Most Influential Young Indians Awards 2019 in Association with the Glenlivet Books on 10th November was not posing for a photo onstage with @karanjohar, even after he crossed the stage to shake hands. Luckily, the photographer was ON IT. So happy the GQ team sent this to me today... even if it looks like we’re shaking hands with a ghost. भूत #gqpowerlist
Reconnecting with Anupam Kher here tonight at @theakshayapatrafoundation Gala in New Jersey. I introduced him by remembering we have 4 things in common: 1. Strong Punjabi connection. 2. Both actors. (He’s slightly more successful.) 3. Same barber. 4. Born 7th of March. 🎤 💧 Snapping that shameless onstage selfie. Support our great cause at FoodForEducationOrg. 🇮🇳 🇺🇸
What a wonderful podcast convo with @candishickman! #BecomingKnown #BecomingKnownPodcast
Heading down to host, for the second year in a row, the GQ India Most Influential Young Indians Awards in Association with Glenlivet Books 2019. Well, I’m hosting the 2019 awards for the first time. Last year was the 2018 awards. But you feel me. Let’s do this. 👔 🇮🇳
So pumped to return to host the GQ India Most Influential Young Indians Awards 2019! 🎙 @chekurriengq @akshayliveshere #GQPowerList: Rajiv Satyal (@funnyindian) will be hosting the 2019 GQ 50 Most Influential Young Indians event. For #WhatWhenWhere, watch the video. ________________________________________ #rajivsatyal #youngindians #success #host #funny #influential #theglenlivet #exclusive @theglenlivetindia #video #inspirational