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Ravi Patel Part I/II

Before he was an international superstar following his smash hit, Meet The Patels, he was that fun guy you’d see around Los Angeles. He’s still that guy.

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Melanie Chandra

She credits me with getting her into the business, which is quite possibly the highest compliment I’ve ever received. We met in LA in 2007 and hit it off immediately. At the Bollywood Music & Fashion Awards in New York (OK, fine – New Jersey), we spent a weekend together and a lifelong friendship was born. I had the pleasure of managing Melanie Chandra before she got “real” management – and boy, the woman is in the stratosphere now. Even though this was my only phone interview, our closeness is still palpable. One of the kindest people I’ve ever met, she, her husband, my wife, and I are now all good pals. Watching this actress, model, and dancer blossom into an “international pop sensation” has been a pleasure.

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Hari Kondabolu Part I/II

Azhar Usman and I co-created Make Chai Not War, a Hindu-Muslim comedy showcase that has toured the world. In 2012, the US State Department sponsored our 7-city tour of India. Whom did we select as our third guy? None other than the very talented Hari Kondabolu. The three musketeers formed a forever bond as we had our ups and downs crossing the motherland. Literally – Hari stopped in and visited his grandmother in Hyderabad. The man’s star continues to rise – glad I caught him before his orbit was too high.

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Hari Kondabolu Part II/II

Azhar Usman and I co-created Make Chai Not War, a Hindu-Muslim comedy showcase that has toured the world. In 2012, the US State Department sponsored our 7-city tour of India. Whom did we select as our third guy? None other than the very talented Hari Kondabolu. The three musketeers formed a forever bond as we had our ups and downs crossing the motherland. Literally – Hari stopped in and visited his grandmother in Hyderabad. The man’s star continues to rise – glad I caught him before his orbit was too high.

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Janina Gavankar Part II/II

“SHE’S coming over here?!” So spoke my then-roommate Hasan Minhaj, as Janina Gavankar made her way over to appear on my podcast. The much-credentialed actress with credits like True Blood and The L Word was an absolutely awesome interviewee. I’d expect nothing less from a shifter.

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Janina Gavankar Part I/II

“SHE’S coming over here?!” So spoke my then-roommate Hasan Minhaj, as Janina Gavankar made her way over to appear on my podcast. The much-credentialed actress with credits like True Blood and The L Word was an absolutely awesome interviewee. I’d expect nothing less from a shifter.

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Prashanth Venkataramanujam

~”You must now live in the post-world of your having said what you said.” Think about that for a sec. An example of various aphorisms dropped by my guest, Comedian Prashanth Venkataramanujam. The man with a 25-letter name knows more than his fair share of dollar words, which he peppers into our conversation – with as much skill as I drop in puns – as we cover how we met (he and my next podcast guest, Asif Ali, both opened for me in Chicago years ago), how he got started in comedy in the Second City (he and his friends started doing standup in each other’s basements), why he hates Nickelback haters (what have you done with your life?), why Eminem is the greatest rapper ever (so what if you can DJ a party off of purely jay-z tracks?), what it’s like to have a really, really close-knit group of friends back home, and what a miracle truly is. Enjoy.

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Eddie Brill

Eddie Brill, the long-time booker for The Late Show with David Letterman, had me over to his East Village apartment, where I was wowed not only by the plethora of photographs of him with everybody from Barack Obama to Paul McCartney but also by his captivating, on-going commentary on such a wide variety of topics. Aspiring and established comics alike should take note of this particular episode, as Brill shares what he looked for as he booked Letterman and still searches for as he books the Great American Comedy Festival in Johnny Carson’s hometown. Eddie provides us with food for thought as he shares his thoughts on food. We discuss whether comedy is a meritocracy – after we define that word. And this podcast episode itself closes the loop (after a near-record number of tangents). How so? Well, Eddie and I met as I took one of his renowned (and global) comedy workshops. And here I got to tell him about the comedy workshops we did this year in India as part of our US State Department-sponsored tour. Brill-iant. Enjoy.

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Adam Curry

The Podfather. No less than Steve Jobs referred to my latest guest as the pioneer of the podcast. Adam Curry hopes to be remembered for more than just what I knew him as – my favorite MTV VJ from the 1980s. And I’m sure that he will be. (And we’ll know he “made it” when there’s a plaque of him displayed somewhere in a public place.) We cover his conversation with Prince, his theories on the world and politics, the pharmaceutical industry (“Is your kid acting too kid-like?”), why online advertising will never pay out (ever-expanding supply), why he lives in Austin (one corporate word: sustainability), what he’s really good at (sifting thru large amounts of data and uncovering discrepancies), what it’s like to have a ton of money and then not, whether humans simply consume more than we produce, and his purchase of MTV.com and Curry.com. The host of the No Agenda podcast might’ve made more Indians jealous with the ownership of Curry.com than me with FunnyIndian.com. It’s a marathon convo – and it’s absolutely worth it. And now you know him from Adam. Enjoy.

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Jeremiah Watkins

I spot-traded with Jeremiah Watkins. Now, that’s a rare statement because the man doesn’t do that. OK, so that’s not exactly what happened. Dare I say we stand in mutual admiration of each other? I dare say, because it’s my podcast and therefore my description and therefore I’ll write whatever I want. Well, I can certainly speak for myself: I am a big fan of J-Dub and all he’s doing so I invited him on my show, where he brought his high-energy personality and quick wit to boot. Only a fortnight ago, I did his Improvised Standup Show, which is a quintessential experience. Jeremiah hosts at Rant LA in Hollywood and introduces about ten comics who bravely ascend to the stage and ask the energetic crowd for suggestions. They (We) then proceed to… improvise. The show is so popular amongst comics that if you get on more than a couple times a year, you’re killin’ it. On this episode, Mr. Watkins and I discuss our love of bombing onstage, our shared fear of kids in horror movies and love of the Beatles, why Tommy Boy is so boss, and our understandably mixed feelings on backhanded compliments. Enjoy.

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Dwayne Perkins

World-traveled and seasoned comic Dwayne Perkins, the whiz kid from the projects, came to my Studio City residence to speak on many things, including the benefits of stringing together international gigs, explaining the perception of the other 5 boroughs by Brooklynites, appreciating the pun-making ability of optometry places and Asian restaurants, interpreting audience reactions to jokes, being “one of us” when it comes to crowds, having nothing to lose as a rich or poor kid when going into entertainment or sports, lamenting not going into the dot-com industry, and opining about how being funny and nice as a guy is kind of like being pretty and nice as a girl. We got into exactly none of my questions as the convo simply flowed like hot chocolate. Btw, you should pick up his book, Hot Chocolate for the Mind. How do you like that segue? About as much as you like them apples? After all, the Whiz Kid (sort of a Will Hunting) spent some time in Boston. So, yeah… um, buy his book. Kind of titled like those Chicken Soup for the Soul books. So, if Dwayne released one of those in Asia, would it be for the… Seoul? Puns! So, had Dwayne launched a startup with Bill Gates, would it have been MS Projects? Puns! Enjoy.

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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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