The Bourbon Room

Rajiv Satyal

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 100 million times, shared by Bollywood stars, and used to introduce the Indian Prime Minister in Shanghai and Dubai. He was the first person to perform an hour of standup comedy anywhere in India. 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 13 videos with over 100,000 YouTube views each, and been featured by Amazon, NPR, Nickelodeon, Netflix, GQ, Bob & Tom, Times Now, The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, The Times of India, The LA Times, and The Washington Post.

Rajiv is the only person ever to perform standup comedy on all seven 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, DE&I, and personal branding. His corporate clients include P&G (14 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 TV shows. He recorded 130 episodes of his podcast, The TanGent Show, and has interviewed everyone from Deepak Chopra to Malala Yousafzai to Marisa Tomei to Paul Reiser 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. And yes, he has a Wikipedia page.

In 2018, Satyal ran a Kickstarter — 100% funded in one day and exceeded 2x its goal ($56K total) in one month — to launch his own talk show, What Do You Bring to The Table? Guests include everyone from Hasan Minhaj (Satyal’s old roommate) to Lilly Singh to Dr. Vivek Murthy, the first Indian U.S. Surgeon General.

Rajiv has written and performed three 100-minute one-person shows, each one with a different theme. In 2019, the subject was 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 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.

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