From corporate cubicles to comedy clubs, “Funny Indian” Rajiv Satyal has been making people laugh all over the world for a decade. Now, the former Procter & Gamble marketing manager will bring his unique brand of sidesplitting humor to his hometown of Fairfield, Ohio, for the first time in 10 years on Friday, October 5 at the Fairfield Community Arts Center Theatre.
Satyal, a Los Angeles-based, second-generation Indian American, grew up in Fairfield, a Cincinnati suburb. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in engineering, he worked for Procter & Gamble for four years, before deciding he would rather make people laugh than sell them toothpaste and diapers. His experiences at the world’s largest consumer products company often figure into his act, but never in a derogatory way.
“It’s common for comedians to say they hated their jobs, but I actually loved it at P&G,” Satyal said. “I still come back from time to time and do shows for them. While I worked there, I won P&G’s Funniest Employee Contest. That’s when I started to think I actually might be able to do comedy professionally.”
Satyal, who describes his performance style as alternatively self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, has opened many times for well-known comedians Kevin Nealon (“Saturday Night Live,” “Weeds”), Kevin James (“The King of Queens”), Tim Allen (“Home Improvement”), Dave Chappelle (“The Chappelle Show”) and legendary Indian comedian Russell Peters, who declared Satyal one of the top two U.S.-based Indian comics. Satyal has previously performed on NBC, on three continents, and at comedy clubs in Cincinnati, but he has never done a full performance in Fairfield. His 90-minute “homecoming” show will be a multimedia experience, and will include photos and videos of his recent U.S. government-sponsored comedy show, “Make Chai Not War.”
Satyal, a Hindu, founded “Make Chai Not War” with Muslim comedian Azhar Usman to help bring people of different religious and cultural backgrounds together. When the U.S. State Department found out about it, the agency sent Satyal, Usman and comedian Hari Kondabolu on a seven-city goodwill tour of India, which received international media attention, including coverage by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The Times of India, and National Public Radio.
“Touring India for Uncle Sam was a great experience,” Satyal said. “I’m not going to turn the Fairfield show into a travel lecture, but I will talk about some of the crazy things that happened over there. I will also cover dating, technology, race, politics and anything else in the social realm.”
“Rajiv Satyal: Coming Home” will be performed on Friday, October 5 at the Fairfield Community Arts Center Theatre, 411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield, Ohio 45014. Showtime: 8:00 p.m. Tickets: $15 adults, $12 seniors and students.
For information, call 513-867-5348 or visit www.fairfield-city.org/cac/.
Information about Rajiv Satyal is available at www.FunnyIndian.com.