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 is the only person ever to perform standup comedy on all seven continents; in December 2019, he became the first person ever to do standup on Antarctica. 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.
KOBE There's something about being so physically close to a worldwide tragedy. When Michael Jackson died, I was in West LA, 2 miles from Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Undoubtedly the greatest performer of my lifetime & maybe of all time. 🎤 Kobe Bryant's helicopter went down today in Calabasas, 20 miles from our home here in Burbank. 🚁 Many of you know I'm a basketball fan. I grew up on Michael Jordan, and in recent years, rooted for fellow Ohioan LeBron James (Cavs and Lakers). 🏀 Amit Barot took me to my first Los Angeles Lakers game. He has season tickets so we had pretty darned good seats with a nice clear view of the court and of my favorite actor of all time. 😎 The coolest part was going down to the tunnel where the Lakers run out to the court. All 20 of us VIPs (not that I'm a VIP but I was that day, courtesy of Barot) stood along the tunnel walls & put our hands out. What a thrill when Kobe's hand touched mine for a brief second... I got to give Kobe Bryant a hi-five! 🙌🏾 Barot & I just exchanged texts... he's understandably devastated. I think we're all in shock out here in LA. 😢 As I text with my friends, Casey and Jim, back in Cincinnati, we're remembering that we often forget that celebrities are actually people. They can undergo tragedies like the rest of us. I can't imagine the final seconds of the life of this legend (but more importantly... human). Or maybe I just don't want to. To crash down in flames with your 13-year-old daughter. I'm sure he'd trade all of his achievements, his fame, his fortune... all he's ever done to live a normal life and see his children grow up. 🙏🏾 And to think they are holding the GRAMMYs tonight in that same building, the Staples Center. How strange and precious and ephemeral life is. My wife and I will tune in to see what I'm sure will be a fitting tribute. Thank you to Brandon Reid Pridgett and Samia Khan for immediate text and call, and to Zoran Saher for the epic photo. R.I.P., Kobe Bryant... and to all of the other people who perished, lesser known but no less important. Basketball legend, fellow Angeleno, and... above all else, husband, father, and human being. 💙 #kobe #kobebryant
New York City! Friday, February 21. MELANIE CHANDRA & RAJIV SATYAL PRESENT... BACK TO SCHOOL 🚌✏️📚 FB Event link in bio. Ticket link coming soon. Please mark your calendars... 🗓 https://facebook.com/events/s/back-to-school/212175826469486/?ti=icl #standupcomedy #improv #standupny #indian #indianstandupcomedy
OK, so I'm a few hours late. I slept in... Happy MLK Day! 😀 But it’s also Leap Year, so I’m a day early.
Snowing like hell. Shouldn’t be this much white on MLK weekend. ⛄️ #themaninthemiddle 🇺🇸
Honored to appear on the Hindu American Foundation Podcast... Myriad ways to listen. Enjoy! 🙏🏾🕉 https://share.transistor.fm/s/ccdef125?fbclid=IwAR0JFzA7a3zikpp8jAW_Hfjb3hYff9nEiIr98P6BUF4YjtT1ABbNIj7muhc https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/thats-so-hindu/id1494372037 https://open.spotify.com/show/3T45qePxR5DkdEobTVR3XK?nd=1
BARING OUR SOULS Super fun night out in Venice, CA. Pritesh Shah really has created something special at a yoga studio on the westside of Los Angeles. 14 shows and going strong. Dope lineup. Boss crowd. We all had to take off our shoes so it was like going over to his house. Cool sharing a stage with Stephen Kramer Glickman. Hadn't seen the dude since I was an extra on Big Time Rush. I ostensibly did a Q&A about Antarctica and may have to do more Q&As for my sets in the future. A blast. Congrats, brother, and thanks for having me. 🕉 #barefootcomedy
Dork the Explorer. #7continents #globalcomedian
“Well, I’m back,” he said. - The last line of THE LORD OF THE RINGS
7 CONTINENTS On Christmas Eve 2019, I told some jokes to some people and to some penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula, becoming the first person ever to perform standup comedy on Antarctica and on all 7 continents. 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇮🇳 🇦🇺 🇿🇦 🇦🇷 🇦🇶 #7Continents #globalcomedian