Kabir Singh
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Kabir Singh

Kent, Washington, United States

Kent, Washington, United States
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By Archi Sarkar, Special to India-West
Feb 29, 2012 SUNNYVALE, United States

The Rooster T Feathers Club here was packed Feb. 23 as Indian comics Kabir Singh, Raj Sharma, Suraj (Raj) Dutta and Shanti Charan charmed the audience with their smart, fast and funny humor.

The idea for the “Outsourced Comedy” show took shape when Singh won the Rooster T Feathers Bay Area Stand-up Comedy Competition in 2009.

“Kabir had begun touring and was looking for more people like Sammy Obeid to be a part of it,” Sharma told India-West. “He had seen my work during ‘Gurus of Comedy’ at the San Jose Improv and he asked me if I wanted to be part of it. And I said yes.”

Dutta set the mood with amusing anecdotes about gangsters, reality TV shows and meth addicts before introducing the most popular theme of the evening: life as an Indian American.

“During my last trip to Fry’s, I felt as though I was in India. I even met two cousins who I never knew existed,” he quipped.
Dutta hosts the “Curry Kings of Comedy” at the Punchline in Sacramento, “but I love coming to Rooster T Feathers because it is so diverse. It is always a unique experience,” he told India-West.

Charan, who won the Rooster T Feathers New Talent Comedy Competition last year, was offered a spot on Singh’s “Outsourced Comedy.”

“Being one of the few Indian American women who are professional stand-up comedians makes it kind of cool,” Charan told India-West. “But sometimes I feel it is difficult as an Indian woman, since we can’t touch on certain topics as openly as men can.”

Charan has degrees in international business and communication studies from San Jose State University but chooses to wait tables by day in preparation for being a stand-up comedian.

“It has not even been two years since I started, but I totally want to try this out for a while. I can always fall back on my degrees later, if things don’t work out,” Charan said.

With a perfectly thick native accent, Charan amused the audience as she mimicked a typical Indian mother who expressed concern about her daughter’s abilities to pick a suitor.

Singh entertained the audience with his singular witticisms, opening his set with, “Occupy Wall Street, I can understand. But, occupy Oakland? I mean, seriously, when you can just take it.”

For the next 30 minutes, he joked about the benefits of arranged marriage, dating faux pas, having to choose between an Xbox and a girlfriend during an economic meltdown, the driving and bargaining skills of Indian Americans and moms learning to text message.

“Four years ago, a couple of friends of mine from high school signed me up to mike and didn’t tell me about it, and that’s how I got into stand-up comedy,” Singh told India-West.

“But what inspired me to continue was the lack of talent there was in Indian stand-up comedy and how much scope there was to grow and contribute to this field.”

Singh’s mother attended the show. When asked about how Indian parents take to such an unconventional profession, the comedian admitted that “I have been very lucky. My parents are the most understanding and supportive people in the world. My dad was my biggest fan. He came to all my shows before he passed away two years ago.”

Singh also has two sisters. “One is a doctor and the other is a lawyer. Both went to Harvard, so my parents got their quota, I guess, and I got a free roll,” he joked.

Sharma concluded the evening’s performances with his witty conversations about fear and the Indian American trait of passive aggressiveness, among others, and juxtaposed his own experiences with input from the audience.

“Never get arrested on April Fool’s Day,” he told the audience. And if you do, ask for two phone calls instead of one.”
The “Outsourced Comedy” tour is scheduled for various comedy clubs in Burbank (Flappers Comedy Club, Feb. 28), Sacramento, San Jose and Hollywood (The Improv, Mar. 25) throughout February and March.

“There are also a couple of things in the works for Showtime. I will be on sometime in July,” Singh said.

“I am really excited to be the second Indian American comic, after Russell Peters, to make it on there and am really looking forward to it. I think the time is right for Indian comics, and there is a lot of great talent out there. We are doing really well.”
- India West


Live Review: Anjelah Johnson at the Uptown Theater
Posted by Nicolas Grizzle on Aug 10, 2013

She started as a wave, rolling in from far out in the ocean. She built up steam and, halfway through the show, her jokes began to land with explosions of laughter. Anjelah Johnson is more than a one-joke pony–this California comedian’s built to last.



Slipping seamlessly between “normal” and her lovable ghetto gurrrl voiced-characters, Johnson was a quick study for the audience at Napa’s Uptown Theater last night. Some hilarious jokes were performed so quick and nonchalantly that the audience, largely unfamiliar with much of the culture she was referencing, probably would have laughed even harder had they grown up in a more diverse area. Her opening joke nailed this sentiment. “I’ve never been to Napa before,” says the Mexican comedian who grew up in San Jose before moving to Los Angeles. “I thought it would be more…” and she made a snooty duck face. You know, the ones on every teenager’s Facebook page, but influenced by a glass of wine and a sense of entitlement. Before anyone starts up the hate train, I stress that she said it wasn’t like that. Unbundle your undies, already.

I’m going to sandwich a bit about Kabir Singh’s set in the middle because I don’t want anyone to miss it. This Indian comedian opened the night with hillarious riffs on Indian culture, among other topics. He’s very loud and energetic and it’s tough not to like him. Besides that, his jokes are great. One of my favorites was Indians bargaining: “Even an Indian getting mugged would bargain. ‘I’m gonna shoot you!’ ‘Ok, buddy, how about you just stab me and we call it a day, huh?’”

Johnson recently married a Christian rapper, who was on hand to pose for pictures with everyone leaving the theater. If you search Instagram, just type “Anjelah Johnson’s hudband”–this will yield more results than his name, surely, which I still don’t know. Even though she once had a whole joke about the oxymoronic music genre that is Christian rap, Johnson (and her huge, sparkly diamond ring) seems quite happy with the turn of events. Her jokes about moving in and starting a life together were not as brutal as they could have been. Maybe her biggest peeve was her husband’s use, once, of her toothbrush. “I never even thought of that as an option,” she says.

Johnson mostly went with new material, but a few Raiderettes in the crowd, waving pom poms after the best jokes, caught her attention. She busted out some moves (she was a Raiders cheerleader in 2003 when the team went to the Super Bowl), and even made a Raiders joke (the punchline was, essentially, the Raiders). The Raiders fan in the front row could not argue, and even took off his hat in a moment of shame.

She saved her “hits” for the end, busting out the characters of Bon Qui Qui and the Nail Salon Lady while showing T-Shirts and even a 3-song rap CD featuring the characters. She rapped along with some of it over the sound system and said the idea was picked up by Atlantic Records and to expect a full-length effort soon. With all her skills (she’s a talented dancer, singer and rapper in addition to being ridiculously funny), it’s a wonder she hasn’t landed more movie roles or her own TV show (though she does a significant amount of voice acting). If this album news is true, it could be the crossover hit that cements her career. Hey, good music is good, and good music that’s funny is often even more entertaining.
- City Sound Inertia


Discography

"Welcome To The Future"
Debut Full Length Comedy CD
Released: Feb 05, 2013 Uproar Entertainment

Photos

Bio

Kabir "Kabeezy" Singh was born in Portland, Oregon to his first generation parents from India and was teased in his youth for being an Indian in America. When his dad contracted to work with the Indian government, his family moved back to Bombay for two years where he was taunted for being an American in India. Kabir soon realized his humor would help him gain friends all over the world, and it has been working ever since!

Kabir has developed a huge fan base in only a few years with his ability to connect with audiences through his high energy performance of hilariously well crafted material on cultural differences and racism.

Competing against 150+ of the best comics in California, Kabir won both the 2008 and 2009 Bay Area Stand Up Comedy Competition and performs regularly at the Hollywood Laugh Factory, Long Beach Laugh Factory, Hollywood Improv, Cobbs and Punchline in San Francisco, and many others. After completing his tour in Europe and India last fall, India West called Kabir, "The Next Big Indian Comedian." Kabir has worked with Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook, and Russell Peters and is currently touring with with Anjelah Johnson (MADtv, The Chipmunks).