The emergence of social media and online pop culture has caused a significant transformation in the Indian comedy scene. In the last decade, Indian stand-up comedians have witnessed a surge in popularity, with the establishment of numerous comedy clubs across the country and their acts going viral on various social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube. These comedians have taken over the online conversations and are now an essential part of Indian pop culture. Here is a compilation of the top-notch and widely admired stand-up comedians from India whose content on YouTube and social media can leave you in splits
Formerly a UPSC aspirant and a food business owner, Anubhav Singh Bassi is now a successful stand-up comedian, who also happens to be a qualified lawyer. His performances such as ‘Hostel‘, ‘Waxing‘, and ‘Cheating‘ on YouTube have gone viral with millions of views.
After working as a research analyst, Abhishek Upmanyu, a chemical engineer by profession, became a writer for ‘On Air with AIB’ before gaining popularity with his hilarious stand-up acts including Friends, Crime, & The Cosmos, Delhi, Mumbai & Rich People and Breakup, Respecting Elders, & Discrimination.
Abish Mathew began his career as an RJ in Red FM, Delhi, before transitioning into stand-up comedy. His YouTube show, Son Of Abish, is widely popular, where he has interviewed numerous guests, including famous YouTube and Bollywood personalities.
One of India's most celebrated female comedians, Aditi Mittal, has performed in comedy shows around the world. In 2013, she was invited by BBC to the prestigious 100 Women Conference in London. Her comedy covers a range of topics, from cultural issues to women's problems in India. Her notable acts include The Story of Madhumakkhi and Bra Shopping.
Appurv Gupta, an engineer by profession, has been a regular performer at college fests and corporate events. In his comedy, Gupta Ji, he humorously portrays the lifestyle and culture of a middle-class Indian family. Some of his most popular acts include GuptaJi Ki Aeroplane Wali Journey and Apple, Micromax & Patli Pin wall chargers.
Atul Khatri, a former CEO of a family-run computer business, changed his career path and ventured into stand-up comedy. He has performed in various comedy clubs and was a member of the East India Company. He also appeared in TV commercials for renowned brands and on numerous OTT shows. Some of his famous comedy acts are Atul Khatri on the Justin Bieber Concert and When your child turns 18.
Biswa Kalyan Rath, a comedian from Odisha, gained fame with his Pretentious Movie Reviews alongside Kanan Gill. He then became a prominent figure in Indian stand-up comedy, performing in comedy clubs nationwide and featuring on several OTT platforms. His must-watch acts include Biswa Kalyan Rath – Extroverts and Chaos and Uber and Me
Kanan Gill rose to fame with his appearances on Pretentious Movie Reviews with Biswa Kalyan Rath. He has since performed in top comedy clubs across the country and on OTT platforms such as Amazon Video and Netflix. Some of his best acts include Prem Aggan Review and Siblings
Kenny Sebastian has appeared in international shows and on several OTT platforms, including Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. His stand-up acts that you should not miss include Middle-class restaurant problems & Indian Parents, OCD, and Electricity at Home.
Kunal Kamra, who worked as a production assistant in an ad agency before pursuing comedy, has appeared in various ad films and OTT shows. His comedy frequently targets politicians and the government, with some of his well-known acts being Patriotism & the Government and Revisiting Demonetisation. He is also popular on YouTube for his show Shut Up Ya Kunal!, where he has interviewed notable guests such as Arvind Kejriwal, Javed Akhtar, Ravish Kumar, and Asaduddin Owaisi.
Radhika Vaz is a pioneering female comedian in India, known for her fearless and sometimes controversial performances that challenge society's views on women. Her unique humor often provides a fresh perspective on gender stereotypes. One of her standout acts was "What the F**k should I wear?", where she stripped down naked to collaborate with the fashion brand FabAlley and break taboos. Another must-see act is "Why do men and women have separate toilets?
Rahul Subramanian, formerly in the corporate world working in e-commerce, branding, and digital marketing, has since become a popular stand-up comedian in India. His hilarious performances often resonate with the urban middle class. Don't miss out on his acts, "Break Up and MBA" and "India and Pakistan."
Sorabh Pant was an early entrant into the Indian comedy scene, initially working with Vir Das before founding the comedy group East India Comedy in 2012. Along with other comedians, he performed at comedy clubs across India and internationally. Check out his acts, "Engineering Colleges: Stupid Rules" and "Uncles on WhatsApp?"
Vir Das, one of the earliest stand-up comedians in India, has also made appearances in Bollywood movies, TV shows, and major comedy festivals worldwide. He has even written comedy columns for notable publications like Femina, Maxim, and Tehelka. You won't want to miss his popular acts, "Indians are Racist-ish" and "Indians are Homophobic."
Zakir Khan, known as the "Sakht Launda" of Indian comedy, has gained a massive online following with his endearing and relatable performances. He gained fame after winning Comedy Central's "India's Best Stand-Up Comedian" competition in 2012 and has since appeared in several shows on Indian OTT platforms. Don't miss out on his acts, "When I met a Delhi Girl," "What happens when you fail in an exam!" and "Life Mein Chahiye Izzat."