Greetings from Los Angeles!
My heart is filled with gratitude to all of you who have supported me these last few months. It has not been easy adjusting to this new life for any of us. But y’all have certainly made it easier.
As we transition to this virtual reality, organizations are reaching out for me to emcee and perform standup comedy for their Zoom events; comedy bookers are doing the same for me to do ticketed Crowdcast events - in fact, I have one tonight! By the Grace of God, I booked a hosting gig for a company whose employees all submitted their quarantine videos… and I laid down an audio track for an upcoming Netflix series. You won’t see me… but you may hear me.
I’ve been going live on Facebook and Instagram every Thursday at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT. Is that a good time for you? If not, when’s good? Please include your time zone.
Please like or comment on my Substack posts. It helps our stuff get seen more.
Now the news.
My Mahatma has been blessed with a rash of bookings. Thank you to those of you who followed up on my pitch from last month… you can hire him (me) to wish you a happy birthday or any other such message… many people are playing them during their Zoom parties. One kind gentleman in Seattle even booked Gandhi to lead a guided meditation for his company… and paid well. The best part? It was a Deepak Chopra script; I had quite a kick sharing that news with the guru himself.
Grateful for the work on a Saturday as I got booked to do an all-day corporate video shoot... all from an Instagram DM. It’s a new world out there, folks.
It was kinda like a Tosh.0, as employees sent in their home quarantine clips and we strung them together for one big variety show.
Had to make all my comedy guns fire as we wrote and recorded on the fly, improvising the intros & outros and burning the participants. 🔥
04/30: Facebook Live
05/02: Indiaspora Gala (pic)
05/05: Comedy/Variety Power Hour
05/07: Facebook Live
05/14: Facebook Live
05/21: Facebook Live
05/28: Facebook Live
How cool to share a screen with former Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi.
05/30: Hasna Comedy Show (pic)
06/11: Nowhere Comedy Club
A "Viral" Video
(Well, An Anti-Viral Video)
50 Indians from around the world virtually join hands to spread cheer and not spread corona.
(Hey, not all of us became doctors... so this was the least we could do.)
I released my second comedy special, The Coronavirus Chronicles Part II, recorded at my home in Burbank, California, on 6 May 2020. We did a Facebook Watch Party. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of people who have “paid” to watch it. It’s of course free, but with an income off 90+%, I wouldn’t mind a Venmo, PayPal, Chase QuickPay, or other e-money if you do laugh. Just don’t walk up and hand me cash. Ha. You can see if it’s worth your time (or money) because you can still watch it on Facebook. Here it is on YouTube:
NY-Based actress Melanie Chandra and I have been going live on Instagram every week.
If you're into comedy, Cincinnati, or origin stories, check out Ep. 118 of The Cincy Shirts Podcast. It isn't often I go back and actually listen to interviews of myself. I mean, I'll watch standup videos of myself because that way it's 100% Rajiv the entire time and there isn't anyone interrupting me. What could possibly be better?
PF was responsible for getting me some of my first press, including multiple mentions in Cincinnati CityBeat and even papers in other cities.
Josh was running the Funniest Person in Cincinnati Contest when I started standup. I've done a number of deep dives on podcasts about how I began, advice, and the like, but since Josh and I have a connection dating back literally to when I first took the stage, I'm able to tell the story in a very personal way. Tons of people, places, and things (could've just written "nouns") get mentions, especially around the Cincinnati, Montgomery, Fairfield, and Hamilton areas (could've just written "Southwest Ohio").
I added several posts to my series: The Last Dance and Musings on the Coronavirus.
Is the IT Department running the world? We closed everything and are now reopening it. This is the equivalent of "Hey, let's try turning it off and turning it back on."
Proud to announce I'm working on Biden's Campaign to ensure he doesn't lose too big.
I promise this isn't as dirty as it sounds: Everybody, stop mask-debating!
Golf and NASCAR are back. This means sports should be returning soon.
When life gives you lemons... post all about it on Nextdoor.
"I have a condition that keeps me from wearing a mask." Yeah, it's called Assholia.
My phone keeps saying I'm exceeding my daily screentime. So I'm buying a 2nd phone.
I figured out "Plandemic" was BS when the filmmaker misspelled "filmmaker." (pic)
Great spread. The organizers just sent over the coverage of that time we raised a bunch of money for Ignite Asha. What a night. Oh, it was my birthday, too. 7 March 2020.
Since this is a FUNNY Indian Newsletter, I present here the 5 funny things that I saw, heard, wrote, or remembered for the last month... otherwise known as FIVE - Funny Indian's V Events.
5. Wow. I read Prof. Scott Galloway’s newsletter every week. Love this. Not hilarious but insightful. (pic)
4. Raft Rapping. Hilarious. #NSFW
3. Every Covid-19 Commercial Is Exactly The Same. I get it after two minutes but it still made me LOL.
2. I wish I could recall who tweeted about the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street, but it was something like: “Coronavirus wipes out humanity. Stock market up 2%.”
1. Comedy at its best. Gotta love those Aussies. (pic)
Our condolences to the victims of the Pakistani flight from Lahore to Karachi. What a tragedy on the eve of Eid. Thoughts & Prayers for all.
Feeling helpless after the George Floyd murder? Our friend, Pastor Chuck Mingo, is holding a session this Tuesday, June 2, called Racial Equity Matters: Groundwater. The Groundwater Presentation is a three-hour introduction to racial equity that uses stories and data to illustrate the structural and cross-sector nature of racism. I’ll be signing in. It’s free. Let’s take care of each other.
THANK YOU to all of you for your support. You are my true core of fans — I couldn't do this without you. If you think your friends would enjoy this, please forward it along...
Big Ups, Mad Props, & Much Love,