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Deepak Chopra

Comedian Rajiv Satyal sits down with renowned author/speaker Dr. Deepak Chopra to ask him a series of questions – some silly, some serious.

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Russell Peters

I drove a mile up the street to interview the biggest comedian in the world. I sat down with Russell Peters at his mansion in our shared town of Studio City, California, to ask him my famous (well, after this) litany of questions in Episode 118 of The TanGent Show. As with all of mine, I did not edit, so what you’ll hear is a raw, real conversation between two comics and a peek into Russell’s daily life when he’s actually not touring the planet. Despite the fun interruptions and a bit of an ADD start, the result is a remarkably free-flowing chat that simultaneously showcases Russell’s legendary wit and features his seldom-seen serious side. Russell initially claims he wants to keep it to 30 minutes but we went for almost two hours (like both of our first times). We actually continued chatting after the outro so the official podcast is 1 hr 25 min. (I’ll release the rest, where we reviewed Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time, in the future.) Russell reveals his love for The Police and rap (ironically made by people who don’t like the police), describes the merits of being punched in the face, resents the recent attention to bullying (which happened for the second straight episode), reveals what motivates him in a year where he’s going to make $20 million, shares what frustrates him about his career, approves of both my bald head as well as the new name of this podcast, and comes full circle in how to beat the bullies (with a tangent about boxing, which involves, appropriately, being punched in the face). I do let fly with my loud laugh a number of times – but can you blame me? And despite (because of?) our different humor styles, you’ll be entertained by the continual punch-counterpunch between an established global star and a rising one. Since he helped launch my career, I’ve always said that without Russell, there’s no Rajiv. Well, without Rajiv, there’s no 1.5-hr Russell interview. Enjoy.

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Kevin Nealon

I drove out to the Westside to sit down with SNL and Weeds star Kevin Nealon at his home. He couldn’t have been more gracious with his time. Well, maybe he could’ve given me 23 hours instead of 1. But really, this was enough. The man is known throughout show biz as kind, down-to-earth, and, of course, hilarious.

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Seth Godin

I traveled to the Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, offices of Marketing Guru/Blogger/Author Seth Godin to discuss a plethora of topics… the definition of leadership, American exceptionalism, how he knows whether his speeches are successful, how to improve the US school system, how to avoid the “race to the bottom,” how overrated degrees can be, whether you should have a backup plan, the differences between freelancing and entrepreneurship, his latest success (Squidoo), why you should give away as much as possible, what he’s really good at, whether I should hire joke writers, kicking it with Malcolm Gladwell, and the best darned answer to my Jeopardy! question yet. Brought to you jointly by Funny Indian and Brand Innovators, please enjoy my interview with this genius, and more importantly, kind soul.

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Chris D’Elia Part II/II

I was so glad to have caught Chris D’Elia right before his catapult to stardom. He used to call me – yes, call (not text) – to hit open mics in the Valley. And now he’s a network sitcom star.

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Chris D’Elia Part I/II

I was so glad to have caught Chris D’Elia right before his catapult to stardom. He used to call me – yes, call (not text) – to hit open mics in the Valley. And now he’s a network sitcom star.

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Kumail Nanjiani

On his only day off in what seems like months and on the eve of the shooting of an HBO pilot with one of his idols, Mike Judge, comedian Kumail Nanjiani finally came by after more than two years of trying to schedule a podcast appearance. (We thought it was a year and actually our first correspondence was January 2011, which is nuts.) And while he’s a kind man to acknowledge just how much I myself am out of LA, it’s clear to see why this man is so hard to pin down. Because he lets his cell phone deactivate every month. Ha. No, that’s the old Kumail. He’s doing recurring or regular roles on Veep and Portlandia, co-hosting perhaps the hottest weekly comedy show in LA (Meltdown), recording a podcast w/ his wife (Emily), and writing and performing standup all over the country (The United States of America). We talk about when puns work, why it’d be better to find a snake in your house than a ghost, why Groundhog Day is such a psychologically great movie, the differences and similarities of baseball & cricket, what a real-life gunshot sounds like, how computer science and philosophy are similar both to each other and also to comedy, the moving goalposts of success, whose approval he seeks, who has it figured out, whether comedy is a meritocracy, the evolution of the definitions of nerds-geeks-dorks, the link between bureaucracy and Nazis, and his advice to the kids out there. You can check him out at kumailnanjiani.com. Or can you? That’s a joke you’ll get once you listen to this truly fun podcast with a hilarious man headed to the top, wherever that may be. Enjoy.

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Hasan Minhaj part I/II

Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones were once roommates. Might they one day talk about that time when Hasan Minhaj and Rajiv Satyal were roommates? Perhaps.

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Hasan Minhaj part II/II

Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones were once roommates. Might they one day talk about that time when Hasan Minhaj and Rajiv Satyal were roommates? Perhaps.

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Maz Jobrani part I/II

What you have to realize, says Maz Jobrani, is that many of the men running these countries are insane. One amongst many insights dispensed by the globetrotting comedy star.

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Maz Jobrani part II/II

What you have to realize, says Maz Jobrani, is that many of the men running these countries are insane. One amongst many insights dispensed by the globetrotting comedy star.

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Sebastian Maniscalco part I/II

“Love to,” is what Sebastian Maniscalco said when I told him I’d love to interview him on my podcast. A man of few words becomes a man of many as he sits down to share his experiences in the world of standup comedy.

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Sebastian Maniscalco part II/II

“Love to,” is what Sebastian Maniscalco said when I told him I’d love to interview him on my podcast. A man of few words becomes a man of many as he sits down to share his experiences in the world of standup comedy.

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Matt Walsh Part I/II

The hottest improv school in the world, Upright Citizens Brigade, has four founding members. I was honored to interview Matt Walsh, who has appeared in everything from Role Models to Old School to the HBO hit show, Veep.

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Matt Walsh Part II/II

The hottest improv school in the world, Upright Citizens Brigade, has four founding members. I was honored to interview Matt Walsh, who has appeared in everything from Role Models to Old School to the HBO hit show, Veep.

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Aasif Mandvi

Actor, writer, and Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi took a break from filming his HBO series The Brink to sit down with comedian Rajiv Satyal to discuss his new memoir No Land’s Man and what is was like growing up Indo-British-Muslim-American. From start to finish, they had the audience rolling. Great audience, great rapport, great evening.

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Reshma Shetty Part I/II

You know her as Divya from USA’s globally-syndicated hit, Royal Pains. I know her as a girl I tried to pick up at an art museum in my hometown. Reshma Shetty was majoring in Opera at the world-renowned College-Conservatory of Music, a school at the University of Cincinnati. Even given the advantage that I studied at UC’s College of Engineering, it’s hard to toss game on a woman two inches taller than you. I got friend-zoned and couldn’t be happier about it. This amazing pal and talented actress will cross town to meet me in her city of New York or provide an interview whenever I need a star.

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Reshma Shetty Part II/II

You know her as Divya from USA’s globally-syndicated hit, Royal Pains. I know her as a girl I tried to pick up at an art museum in my hometown. Reshma Shetty was majoring in Opera at the world-renowned College-Conservatory of Music, a school at the University of Cincinnati. Even given the advantage that I studied at UC’s College of Engineering, it’s hard to toss game on a woman two inches taller than you. I got friend-zoned and couldn’t be happier about it. This amazing pal and talented actress will cross town to meet me in her city of New York or provide an interview whenever I need a star.

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Fahim Anwar Part I/II

He’s a better version of me. At least when it comes to standup. Seriously, whenever I see Fahim Anwar crush a room with a new bit, I think, “I should’ve written that!” He’s so within my reach – yet so outside of it. A talented comic and dancer, this man willingly graced my podcast and any dance floor set up at my birthday party every year. You may not be able to see his moves, given this is audio, but you can listen to a man making moves.

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Fahim Anwar Part II/II

He’s a better version of me. At least when it comes to standup. Seriously, whenever I see Fahim Anwar crush a room with a new bit, I think, “I should’ve written that!” He’s so within my reach – yet so outside of it. A talented comic and dancer, this man willingly graced my podcast and any dance floor set up at my birthday party every year. You may not be able to see his moves, given this is audio, but you can listen to a man making moves.

Rajiv Satyal is a Los Angeles-based comedian, host, and speaker. You’re welcome to hit the orange button below to hire Rajiv, interview Rajiv, seek Rajiv’s comedic advice, give Rajiv a piece of your mind or to sign up for Rajiv’s monthly newsletter. His newsletter will let you know ahead of the general public when he’s in your area for a show. He also includes the five funniest things he sees each month. So it’s good for a laugh. Or five.

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