Don’t we all love YouTube a lot more since these stand-up comedy videos have blessed our lives? If you were obliged to choose a video category to watch for hours, we bet, you would go for watching the Indian stand up comedians!
However, it is a booming business in the comedy industry right now, being an Indian stand up comedian. But on the receiving side of this business, being the ones who don’t sweat before the show, don’t work on their scripts for days, rather enjoy their time laughing our asses off to the shows of these comedy artists(not to forget, paying for the tickets too), we do get to pick the best out of the best.
We do get a say in deciding who are the best stand up comedians in India because we are the ones who know whether the joke has hit the mark or not! Plus, we have watched just too many comedy shows now to know the names of all the famous Indian stand up comedians, and nothing can stop us from coming up with a list, we would rather enjoy it to its core. Our list is prepared considering the polls we organised on our social media handles, our expert team and the popularity of the various comedians.
Best Indian Stand Up Comedians in 2021
Let’s take a look at the list of Indian Stand Up comedians in reverse order.
15. Aditi Mittal
Out of all the female stand up comedians in India, Aditi Mittal has made it as the top gun of the English comedy scene in our country! The crowd at her shows needs to be open-minded and rise up from the world of hypocrisy and superstitions to enjoy all her content.
Many of the people from the Punjabi comedian’s audience often take her as a woman who looks down on men and has no other topic to crack jokes about rather than women’s issues and patriarchy. Many, on the other hand, find every bit of her routine hysterical!
However, Aditi comes in CNN-IBN’s list of top 30 “witty, intelligent and incredibly fun” Indian women on Twitter.
14. Jaspreet Singh
Born in Amritsar, Punjab, Jaspreet Singh’s hysterical comedy routines have gone viral among the Indians, and he has risen as one of the best standup comedians on YouTube. Oh, did you know that he is one of the Engineers-turned-artists? Yes! He passed out in 2011, with a degree of Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science.
Nothing is more fun than a lovely Punjabi guy sharing his hilarious anecdotes! The Indian gene in Jaspreet is just too profound to make him deliver the most relatable content of all.
13. Kunal Kamra
Given his affairs with Arnab Goswami on an IndiGo flight which got Kunal Kamra banned by various other airlines, his reputation has surely gone to the dogs especially among the ‘Bhakts”. But not to forget, he knows how to make people laugh, and had made his name to the list of top stand up comedians in India.
In his eponymously named web series, “Shut Up Ya Kunal!”, Kamra had discussions with politicians and activists, of course, with a touch of comedy. Anyway, as a stand-up comedian, Kunal knew his game, and with his polished adroit comic skills, could send his audience into hysterics every time he came on-stage.
12. Vipul Goyal
There won’t be a second you wouldn’t enjoy in the show of this rib-tickling Indian Comedian, who knows what he is doing when he is on-stage. And why wouldn’t he! After all, Vipul Goyal secured AIR 165 in IIT-JEE(2003). Now we know how he writes those well-calculated jokes and gets tonnes of laughter!
If you want to get a guffawing dose of clean comedy, with very rare blue or dark humor, then Vipul Goyal is your go-to Indian stand up comedian. He is renowned for picking up the most lying around and mainstream topics like Facebook, dating, engineering, or Indian Marriages, and turning them into hysterical comic sets!
11. Rahul Subramanian
Hailing from Mumbai, Rahul Subramanian is one of the most famous stand up comedians in India, who has also worked in Sketches and Improvisational comedy shows, specifically with AIB, and on Amazon Prime, with Kaneez Surka.
The 32-years old nails the show by making us see the funny side of the most common and random things. Maybe that is why Rahul Subramanian has used the name “Random Chikibum” for his YouTube handle.
10. Kenny Sebastian
Kenneth Mathew Sebastian, with his unique style of comedy based on the simplest of things, has once and again proven over the years that the angle of thinking is everything when it comes to humor! Although his content seems basic, we can’t deny that what Kenny does on stage cannot be nailed by anyone else. Even if he is talking about biscuits, he somehow manages to make it pretty sophisticated. The comedic personification of random items to convey his perspective is one of the things that Kenny masters.
Famous as an Indian stand up comedian, Kenny is also a singer, actor, and writer. He has written his own web series, is often seen on-stage singing sweet melodies with his guitar, and has performed in web series and sketches on YouTube and Amazon Prime. “Chai Time With Kenny” is a major hit, one cannot watch the show and not enjoy it! Did you know that Kenny started making his own films at the age of 15? He had directed two feature films and twelve shorts by the time he was 23.
9. Varun Grover
Varun Grover not only just tops the list of stand up comedians in India, but he is also a very successful screenwriter and lyricist. For those who don’t know, Varun Grover is the writer of the movie, “Massan”, along with two others, he is also the co-creator of the musical comedy show, “Aisi Taisi Democracy”, which is a political satire that reflects the truth of the issues in India, using stories and songs.
Born in Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh, in a Punjabi family, the 40-year old graduated from BHU as an engineer in 2003. His comedy style is generally based on current affairs in India, fused with satirical remarks on Indian politics, which makes the audience go crazy, people tend to enjoy his shows very much, but his choice of content has even made him receive death threats several times.
Also, did you know Varun Grover has been awarded as the Best Lyricist for the song “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage” at the 63rd National Film Awards in 2015?
8. Tanmay Bhat
He is probably the man who needs no introduction in India. We all knew Tanmay from AIB before he went solo and big on YouTube through his own channel. It was after he was asked to step down from AIB due to his involvement in a separate sexual harassment case in the #MeToo movement in 2018, that Tanmay went through a period of depression, but as we are all here to witness, he has risen from the ashes fiercer and funnier than ever.
Tanmay will always find an abode as an OP Indian stand up comedian in our hearts, as we laugh away at his jokes as he roasts the cringeworthy TikTokers. Also, aren’t his reaction videos the best?
7. Aakash Gupta
Only if people knew the secret ingredient that Aakash uses in his comedy shows, in a parallel comic scenario, would it be sold more than the Covid Vaccines. Seriously though, Aakash Gupta nails every comedy set every time! It’s almost like the guy has no bad days when it comes to stand up comedy, and that’s just the kind of hard work and talent we are here to appreciate!
After he won Comicstaan Season-2, it was in no time that he became a sensational comedy artist, and one of the best stand up comedians. Hailing from New Delhi, the 27-years old comedian has graduated from Delhi University where he had developed an interest in theatre and participated in plays. We’re sure he must be the favourite Indian stand up comedian of many from the youth of India.
6. Biswa Kalyan Rath
Who would have known that the guy from Pretentious Movie Reviews, who didn’t even talk as much in the videos could one day become one of the best stand up comedians in India?
We are sure that even Biswa couldn’t have anticipated that being an IIT graduate, he would one day quit his job to pursue his career in comedy.
After his graduation in 2012 from IIT Kharagpur, the 31-year old went on to work in the IT industry in software, advertising and graphic design. Soon after, in 2013, he met his buddy Kanan Gill at an open mic event in Bangalore and his life took a major turn, and the rest is history. Being an Indian with a good taste in humor, we know you wouldn’t have missed even a single video of the “Mast Aadmi”. Did you know that Biswa loves to play chess? It is known that he is pretty good at it.
If you follow him, you must know that Biswa recently got married to the Indian television and film actress Sulagna Panigrahi. Many comedians took it to Instagram to congratulate Biswa on the wedding in their own funny ways.
5. Vir Das
Vir Das has probably become the face of Indian Comedy in foreign countries, after entering the international stage for a stand-up special, on his recent tour, “Abroad Understanding”. You can watch his various shows including this stand up comedy special on Netflix.
He got educated as an actor from Knox and Harvard, and for those who don’t remember, Das has made appearances in “Namastey London”, “Delhi Belly”, “Go Goa Gone”, and many more. He has written, directed and starred in his debut comedy specials, and has recently acted in an American web series called “Whiskey Cavalier”.
When he talks on stage, it is clear to see how woke and intellectual he is, his topics are not as common or random, they are well thought out and he does a great deal of amalgamating his witty and strong opinions, and his peculiar sense of humor!
4. Anubhav Singh Bassi
This spectacular comedian has made huge fans all over the country over the past couple of years. With his nostalgic stories based on memories of college and school, the 29-year old has made his mark in the field of anecdotal comedy.
Born in Meerut, Bassi tried out various career options, starting with Chemistry Honors from DU, which didn’t quite turn out to be his thing, after which he started his career as a lawyer, which again wasn’t his cup of tea. He even tried his luck in UPSC but didn’t gain any success, the same happened with his fast-food restaurant. It was in 2017, that he made his entry as a comedian and now he is one of the best stand up comedy artists in India.
3. Abhishek Upmanyu
Abhishek Upmanyu has been sensational with his comedy sets and punchlines, providing the whole country with shots of hysterics and hilarious meme content. He has such a huge fan base that people actually wait for his videos to be out, and everything in this description might even be sounding obvious to you!
Hailing from New Delhi, the 30-year old has his place reserved on the list of the best stand up comedians, with his well-timed jokes and punchlines that hit right where he wants them to. By the way, did you know that Abhishek has a tattoo that says “Dal Makhani” in Hindi? Also, Upmanyu is a cat person, he owns a cat!
He graduated as a Chemical Engineer and was working as a Research Analyst in 2013 when he quit his job to pursue comedy.
Not many of you may know that he worked as a writer for “On Air With AIB” in 2015, after which his first video, “Indian Insults And Comebacks” came out in 2016, then he made us all a fan of his gums a.ka. masude and the rest is history.
2. Kanan Gill
Kanan’s career started with working as a Software Engineer for three years when he won a comedy competition called Punchline Bangalore, followed by another win. Kanan then left his job, almost like he had realised his fate of becoming one of the best stand up comedians in India. Kanan shot to fame through his YouTube show Pretentious Movie Reviews with his friend, the famous Biswa Kalyan Rath.
The crowd has admired and enjoyed the concept of that video series so much that everyone wants to see them do more of it, but when asked about the same, both have given cryptic who knows in the answer.
Apart from being a comic, Kanan is also an actor and has made his debut in Bollywood alongside Sonakshi Sinha in the movie Noor on the big screen. He said in an interview with the Indian Express that amid the pandemic he has managed to make time for himself, as his schedule is no more packed with tours and shows. Oh, and did you know Kanan used to be a part of a band and became the lead singer because he wrote funny songs?
1. Zakir Khan
Zakir Khan is a phenomenal poet, writer and bests out of the best stand up comedians in India. His fans’ love and admiration for him has no bounds, and he just keeps winning Indian hearts every time he comes on-stage. Zakir does an astounding job with observational comedy, but his fun and nostalgic anecdotes hit close to home. What people tend to love even more is his poetry and write-ups which never fail to warm their hearts. The way Zakir Khan steals moments in between his comedy routines to share major life truths is impeccable!
In his anecdotes, Zakir has shared his journey of making something big out of life, doing what he enjoys, all the struggles that followed him after leaving his home to follow his dreams, and how he was very close to giving up but he didn’t.
The comedian co-hosted On Air With AIB in 2015 and performed various comedy shows, and after he had made his name a household synonym for comedy, people rushed to Amazon Prime to see his comedy specials,” Haq Se Single”, “Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare”, and “Kaksha Gyarvi”.
Some honorable mentions – Amit Tandon, Atul Khatri, Abish Mathew, Atul Khatri, and Sumukhi Suresh.
Which one do you think is the funniest Indian Stand Up Comedian?
Things in the comedy arena are always hot and fresh with the trendy jokes of the new comedians, but also hysterically rusty with our old stand-up comedians rocking the stage one more time. The journey of the best stand up comedians in India hasn’t been easy, most of them quit their regular jobs to follow their passion, and that is so much more than just words.
It is a boon to be able to watch these hysterical people sharing their stories, as all our troubles melt away while we laugh at yet another comedy set. Let us know which one of these amazing sensations is your stress-reliever. Pick your favourite in the comment section, guys! Your opinion matters!