From sporadic acts and a handful of names, the stand-up ‘scene’ in the country has evolved into a growing industry in the past few years. Now, a lush sector with ample platforms, opportunities, and new entrants, there’s a lot of talent out there to tickle our funny bone. And here, we’ve picked five of the best female stand-up comedians in India. You’d want to be on the lookout for their acts for sure because these girls are bold, dynamic and know a thing or two about perfect timing in between laughs.
One of the brightest shining stars of young stand-up talent, the 23-year-old Urooj Ashfaq has already been winning hearts (and smiles) for two years now. Her name spread amongst the audience after she finished at second place in TLC’s ‘Queens of Comedy’ in 2017, and since then her popularity has only grown. The effortless manner in which she touches upon important topics with her jokes is what will have you hooked. Be it mental health or religion, Ashfaq has the knack of presenting acts—on stage or on social media—such that no one leaves offended. A happy-go-lucky vibe, caring about current scenarios without taking herself too seriously, and natural laughs is what you’ll find when watching her.
What started as making vines just for fun led Supriya Joshi aka Supaarwoman to becoming one of the most sought-after female comics in the country. Her sense of humour was picked up by All India Bakchod (AIB), and she was offered a job, which led to her creating skits such as ‘If Apps Were People’, ‘A Woman’s Besties’, and ‘The Bollywood Diva Song’. Using her voice to fight fat shaming, speaking of male privilege and gender issues is a big part of her social media presence. Witty and insightful about everyday life, her acts will have you laughing at yourself too. Not just comedy, she also posts on beauty and song covers off and on, so there’s tons to look out for when it comes to this multi-talented woman.
Once again, we have a comic who landed in the profession by chance. As she awaited her chartered accountant results, Thakker set out to do freelance writing, which led her dabble in stand-up comedy. Today, a full-time comic, her narratives have a girl-next-door character, and will take you back to the good old school and college days more often than not. Interestingly, unlike most comics of the generation, she’s not on Youtube, though she is on other social media platforms. Thakker believes that this gives her a blank slate to perform on stage, as well as a fresh audience who has no pre-conceived notions about her. She’s your go-to girl for funny takes on everyday things and lighthearted comedy.
For someone who saw stand-up comedy and wanted to be a part of it, Shreeja Chaturvedi is doing just that today. You may have seen her in Primevideo’s ‘Comicstaan’ earlier this year, and it’s her deadpan comedy on daily life things that gained her fans. Confident and keen to continuously evolve, Chaturvedi is one you’d want to keep tabs on. Cute, clean-cut jokes are her thing, and it feels like one’s interacting with their friend when you hear her talk or go through her social media. She’s got the gift of getting the jollies out of the mundane.
Another comic who appeared on ‘Comicstaan’, which showed the much-deserved limelight on her, Sejal Bhatt’s words will hit home. Not one to mince words, her acts revolve around growing up in a conservative Indian household, being a Kashmiri Pandit, and womanhood. Spinning relatable anecdotes, which may or may not be traumatic to a certain degree, on their head and enthusing humour into the situation is her flair. As its too close to harsh realities of life, don’t forget to take it with a pinch of salt.