Asif Ali
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Asif Ali

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Comedy



The best kept secret in music


"Comedians bring East Asian perspective to KU"

Asif Ali, Prashanth Venkat and Hasan Minhaj share the same city, East Asian ethnicity and knack for comedy. But before September 2008, they performed all their part-time stand-up shows in Chicago alone. Since they combined their acts into one entity – the Brown Man Group – and began touring campuses nationwide, however, both their success and their fun at work, Ali said, has skyrocketed.

“It’s easier to come up with material, to bounce ideas off each other,” Ali said. “When you all look up from each other and learn from each other, it’s a great sense of accomplishment.”

Hasan Minhaj, Prashanth Venkat and Asif Ali make up the stand-up comedy troupe Brown Man Group. Minhaj, Venkat and Ali will perform a free show on Saturday.

The three have performed past shows with NBC, E! Chelsea Lately and HBO, but they will come to Lawrence together for the first time this Saturday at 6 p.m. for a Halloween performance in Woodruff auditorium. The South Asian Student Association, which teamed up with the Asian American Student Union and the Pakistani Student Association to host the event, paid all expenses to make it free and open to all students, Shivani Karia, SASA president said.

“We thought it would appeal to everyone,” Karia said. “We thought this would be a great way to begin Halloween weekend.”

Ali said The college crowd is the trio’s favorite to entertain because they like to perform for their peers. Mohammed Ali, the group’s manager, said the students who attend the show this Saturday will be first live audience to see it. He said the different approaches of the comedians should give their content a broad appeal. Ali has more intellectual, smart humor, he said, and Venkat takes a more brash, in-your-face approach. He said Minhaj was unique from both of his partners because of his enthusiasm and energy on the stage.

“Each comedian has a very different type of routine,” Mohammed Ali said.

Asif Ali said that after each member of the group takes the stage, the three will then come back out together for a final, more improvisational stretch of the show. He said this part was usually the most popular of each performance.

“It’s like a band,” Asif Ali said. “We all work better together. The energy will be a lot better, and the audience will be able to feel it.”

Asif Ali said he thought he and his two partners would likely tie in Halloween at various points on stage. He said he hoped students would show up in costumes to make that part of his act especially entertaining.

He said involving the audience has been something he has incorporated more and more into his material since he started sharing the microphone with Venkat and Minhaj one year ago.

He said the relationships he has built with both of his two group members has improved his job the way a more healthy environment would help in any line of work.

“I think we’ve gotten a lot closer over these shows,” Asif Ali said. “We stay in touch pretty often and we hang out a lot when we can.”

Asif Ali said the great senses of humor they all share is what keeps their bond particularly close.

“We’re all really good friends,” Asif Ali said. “I think we all will be friends until we make a lot of money and kill each other,” he added with a laugh.

Asif Ali said he couldn’t wait to take the stage with his two best friends in Woodruff Auditorium to try their new act together this Saturday night.

“We’re looking forward to destroying Kansas with hilarity,” he said. - Kansan News: Ray Segebrecht


Micheal Palasack (100+ NACA shows)
Daniel Tosh (Comedy Central)
Tig Notaro (Comedy Central)
Russell Peters (International Standup)
Aziz Ansari (MTC, Parks & Recreation)
Jo Koy (Comedy Central)
TJ Miller (Comedy Central)
Kevin Hart (Comedy Central)
Dave Chappelle (Comedy Central)




Asif Ali is a standup comedian, improviser and emcee living in Los Angeles, California. His trademark stage personality and storytelling has been RECENTLY featured on:

*Comedy Central Presents: Adam Devine's House Party
*Netflix's Arrested Development
*ABC's Modern Family
*NBC's Up All Night
*CBS's Young & The Restless
*NBC's Standup for Diversity Tour
*CBS's Sketch Comedy Tour
*Hosted the 2012 Bel Air Film Festival
*Hosted the 2012 82nd Oscars Vanity Fair Party
*YouTube Webseries "Social Musicologist" w/ Reggie Watts
*YouTube Channel "Goatface Comedy" member

Asif has performed in: Scotland, Manchester, Ireland, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Canada, UAE, Bahrain, Malaysia, Qatar, & more!